Suyun Ma, who was recently hired as UI International Programs’ first external global relations coordinator, uses Chinese social media platforms to communicate and cultivate stronger relationships with prospective Chinese students and their parents as well as UI’s growing alumni base in Asia.
Social networks play a large role in the life of a college student. For me specifically, I have found my kindergarten friends through Chinese social networks, researched information on universities through Twitter, and even found an apartment through Facebook. On American social networks, people can say what they want and share opinions on various topics without being constrained. But in China, not all words can be said because the government controls our freedom of speech.
The University of Iowa is trading English for Mandarin and Facebook for WeChat to reach out to international students.
The university has announced it will hire a new global external-relations coordinator to connect the university with international alumni through social media throughout the world. The new coordinator will be in charge of developing, maintaining, and nurturing a program of international alumni relationships.