Dean of Admissions, Dane Rowley, travels 5 cities in 5 days to recruit students from Asia He’s launching Augustana’s focused effort to welcome more international students to campus.
5 Cities in 5 Days – Part 1
What a rush to be 5 major Asian cities in 5 days! It is no way to travel if you want to get an in depth sense of place, culture, language, history and people. But if you want to talk to as many students as possible in as many of the top schools in Southeast Asia as possible it is the best way to travel. And still, if you watch intently enough and listen close enough you can still be transformed by a place even in a matter of less than 24 hours.
Monday – Singapore
I could make a very compelling case that within Asia there is no better contrast to India than Singapore. Singapore is one of the world’s most tightly controlled economies and societies but for so many reasons, mostly economic I think, no one living there seems to really mind all that much. This city-state is efficient and clean, prosperous and progressing.
Since first traveling there in 2006 I have noticed a new trend that is fun to watch – there is an increased focus in giving the natural world and natural beauty greater place in a mass of people and buildings. New construction is, like Augie’s new construction – LEED certified.
New buildings have space on the inside and outside for plants and flowers all deliberately placed to add functionality and beauty. The new beautiful seaside park is also a testament to this focus on how natural and human made structures can be placed together with inspiring results.
In Singapore I also met up with the group I will be spending the next 2-3 weeks traveling with: Mark Khan from Babson College in Massachusetts, Becky Konowicz from Chapman University in California, and Cheryl Borden from Elon University in North Carolina. We call ourselves the Pocari Sweat tour, named after a Japanese gatorade-like drink that you really need to stay healthy given the kind of work schedule we create for ourselves. We had a fantastic opening dinner on Sunday night and a full day of visits to Singapore American School and the Overseas Family School on Monday.
Tuesday – Manila
Less than 24 hours in the Philippines didn’t provide much time to think about more than the great students and counselors I met at The Brent School and at International School Manila. At both schools our hosts and their students greeted us with water, food, Pocari Sweat, great questions, and an open-mindedness to what our 4 different colleges offer. Another highlight of our time in Manila…aside from the study in chaos that is the Manila airport…was being able to share in some delicious tacos and banana pancakes (at the same time) for dinner at The Pancake House.
Wednesday – Kuala Lumpur
KL is a place I always feel very comfortable traveling. I’ve met some very warm and good-natured people there and I admire how open and diverse this predominantly Muslim country is. Though we also had less than 24 hours here as well we kept very busy doing some completely different things. First thing in the morning we were at the International School of Kuala Lumpur to talk to students as they arrived at school to start their day.
Afterwards we went to Taylor’s College to learn more about the diploma program they have there providing students 30-60 transferable credits they can use to complete a degree in the US. It is an American style and US regionally accredited program. I talked with many students from all over Southeast and South Asia as well as the Middle East.
Malaysia has very deliberately become a hub for education in the region. Our last stop before a 3rd flight in 3 days was the Education USA Advising Center (MACEE) in KL. There we not only did a college prep workshop for the students and parents attending but the workshop was also shared via webcast and recorded for future use. A new but fun experience with 3 very different audiences. All in all a productive day sharing information about college in the US and getting students interested in Augie.