The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Ida Mansourian returns from recruiting blitz abroad

Photo courtesy of International Affairs

Assistant Vice President of International Affairs, Ida Mansourian, recently returned to Chatham after visiting Iraq, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey to recruit students.

Mansourian visited Iraq because she had an invitation to go to a student fair that is held annually for students that are pursuing either their master’s degree or Ph.D. in their discipline.

Since she was in the region, Mansourian decided to visit the other countries as well, especially the Gulf countries because Chatham doesn’t have many students enrolled from that region. Mansourian believes these students have potential and that the institution needs to diversify its population. Conservative parents in these areas would want their daughters to be protected especially at women’s colleges.

Mansourian said that there are several steps in the recruiting process. “I talk with student counselors or advisors about the upcoming visit. Then I would work with the local [prospective] students and talk to them about the university and the type of programs that we have.” she said. “Also I worked with professional agencies who handled everything. They advertised within the country.” Mansourian also visited co-ed schools that didn’t know women colleges still existed.

When asked what other countries International Affairs plans to recruit students from, Mansourian said, “The next one we have will be Vietnam because [Linh Phung, the ELP coordinator,] will be presenting a paper in Vietnam. China is another country we will prioritize on.” Mansourian hopes that bringing students in from these countries will create a bridge between students, and that they will be able to learn from each other.

An interesting observation Mansourian said she made during her travels was the shock on people’s faces when she told them that Chatham was a single sex university. “They will ask why do we still have single sex universities, and I will tell them the history and rationale for why we still have it.”

Through her travels, Mansourian learned to build a rapport and connect with people when recruiting. “Every culture is different. We cannot have the same expectations that we have with this culture. We have to be respectful of the different time frame.” Mansourian said having international students is a great way for students from the U.S. to learn about other cultural resources. “Try to bring the globe to our institution. Meet the students and learn about the countries without having to travel there.”

Correction: An earlier version of the article misquoted Mansourian as saying a student will be presenting a paper in Vietnam. It is Linh Phung, the ELP coordinator will be presenting a paper in Vietnam.

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