Syracuse University

SU goes on the road to engage prospective students in the MENAT region

In less than one month, Sherlyn Sychua, regional manager for advancement and external affairs/admissions, covered thousands of miles from Dubai to Turkey visiting high schools and attending educational fairs to share the Syracuse experience with prospective students in the Middle East and Turkey.

Sychua’s trek began in the UAE, where she met with students and guidance counselors at area high schools to communicate the many advantages of studying at Syracuse University. Her recruitment efforts in UAE coincided with a college fair hosted by the US Educational Group (USEG). The event was bustling with more than 475 prospective undergraduate and graduate students. Sychua was joined by two graduates of SU, Hamad Al Nuaimi ’12 and Lara Marto ’13, who helped staff the SU exhibition table.

“The students and their parents really gravitated to Hamad and Lara,” said Sychua. “Hearing their first-hand perspective of the academic and cultural experience of SU painted a real picture of the university that does not come through nearly as vividly in a brochure.” 

Sychua’s next stops were Oman and Bahrain for more school visits. She continued those meetings with counselors and prospective students in Kuwait where she also attended another USEG college fair. There, she was joined by four alumni who helped share the benefits of a Syracuse University education. Muneerah Alrabe ’13, Ayed Salman ’96, Hessah Alojaynan ’12 and Mohammed Alramadhan ‘78 interacted with students and parents seeking information about opportunities to study at American universities.

A trip to Jordan also meant high school visits and a recruitment fair hosted by the USEG. Close to 800 students walked the exhibition floor researching colleges and universities. SU alumni Ali Al-khatib ’87, Jaber Al Nouri ’83 and Nabil Carmi ’99, assisted Sychua in communicating the value of a Syracuse degree. 

“Prospective students and their parents were truly impressed to see the eagerness of former SU students to promote their beloved University,” added Sychua. “That kind of endorsement shows that the college experience is much more than just lectures and exams.” 

Leaving Jordan, Sychua headed to Saudi Arabia, where she visited schools and attended yet another college fair. This fair was held at the U.S. embassy in Riyadh, where 500 students convened to collect information and ask questions.

Then, it was on to Qatar followed by Turkey for more school visits. In Turkey, Sychua added one last college fair to her itinerary before returning to the SU Dubai offices. The Council of International Schools hosted the fair, which showcased numerous universities from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Europe. SU alumnus Isik Curol ’79 worked alongside Sychua to tout the many compelling reasons to choose SU.

Sychua arrived back at SU’s Dubai headquarters with the names of many prospective students. The success of the recruitment tour is evidence that Syracuse University continues to be a preferred institution among students in the MENAT region.

According to Sychua, the zealous support and participation of SU alumni at the recruitment fairs was also a key component in securing such significant interest. “The enduring tie of alumni to SU, as well as its reputation for academic excellence and welcoming atmosphere, bodes well for sustaining the growing number of applications submitted by Middle Eastern and Turkish students.”