Help! I’m new to international admissions

June 20, 2019
  • International
  • International Admissions
  • International Admissions and Credential Evaluation
  • International Education
  • Professional Development and Contributions to the Field
cartoon person buried in paper with only their hand visible because its holding up a "HELP!" sign

Being new to international admissions can be overwhelming. You’re given a stack of documents, many in a foreign language, you may not even don’t know what to look for or how to decipher them.

Don’t worry -- you can be successful in your new role. AACRAO’s tools and resources can help. Check out our responses to these three common questions.

Who can I ask?

  • Build your network. In international admissions your professional network is essential. The International Activities Listserv helps connect professionals around the globe, and is a great place to ask questions and request expertise. Our International Activities Listserv is a starting place to poll your colleagues on questions about institutional policy and procedures while sharing your expertise to deepen someone else’s knowledge in the field.

  • Attend a professional meeting. Conferences attract colleagues with rich professional experience from around the world, and targeted sessions keep you abreast of what’s happening and what’s changing in the world of international education.

  • Attend a workshop or training. AACRAO offers a variety of affordable training opportunities to help you understand the world of international credential evaluation, including topics like international admissions, compliance, and record keeping. Our annual Summer and Winter Institutes focus on International Admissions and International Transfer Credit respectively. The Summer Institute is a comprehensive introduction to the foundations and principles required for you to do your job. To fast-track training or for a large group on campus, we also offer customized on-site training options.

  • Join a free webinar. AACRAO webinars are a quick way to learn about or keep up to date on a specific topic. For example, on May 16, we spoke about updates to secondary education in the U.K. (GCSEs and A-Levels). Search through webinar archives for other topics. The subjects are not limited to international admissions; you’re sure to find an intersection with your profession in the archives.

What resources are available?

  • Sign up for the AACRAO International NEWSLETTER. This free biweekly email connects you with a vast network of international credential evaluators and credential evaluation agencies, alerts you to professional development opportunities, and much more.

  • Subscribe to AACRAO EDGE. This searchable database an indispensable research tool providing current information on the educational systems of the world. Each country profile includes overview information, an educational ladder showing the structure of the education system, grading information, and credentials awarded, along with descriptive information and placement recommendations in a U.S. context. Profiles also include scans of hard-to-find books on country/regional education systems.

  • Check out AACRAO publications. Our bookstore has resources such as The AACRAO International Guide, a comprehensive manual that can be kept on your office’s resource shelf and on your Amazon Kindle.

How can I get more involved?

  • Join a committee. Committee Group 2 may spark your interest, with options in Admissions, Publications, Recruitment, Marketing, and Study Abroad -- all with a focus on international education.

  • Research, write, and publish. Our International Publication Advisory Committee can guide you in getting your work reviewed and considered for inclusion. Apply for the Nathanson Research Fund to support your independent research, or deepen your expertise through an assigned research project as an IESC Fellow, working closely with experts in the field.

As you can see, the opportunities for you to grow in your new role are endless. Take a deep breath and absorb as much information as you can. And remember: AACRAO is here for you.


AACRAO's bi-weekly professional development e-newsletter is open to members and non-members alike.