Recruiting students in Asia – a whirlwind tour part 2


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 2

Thursday – Hanoi
After a late flight we traveled (very slowly even though there was no traffic) to our hotel for a quick nap before needing to be up for our day in the capitol of Vietnam. This was my first time there and I wasn’t sure what to expect.


I was mesmerized by the sights and sounds of the place. It is less developed than Ho Chi Minh City but it is catching up fast. Hanoi also has a much deeper sense of what Vietnam was before the war, during it’s French colonial days and even before that. In fact we saw pictures of Ho Chi Minh and other patriotic/propaganda (depending on your point of view) flags and posters celebrating the anniversary of Vietnam’s independence day from France immediately following World War II.

During the day we met with students at the United Nations International School in Hanoi and with educational counselors and students at an agency.

In between we took a ton of pictures from our taxis and even had time for a quick walk around beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake where the Turtle Tower is in the heart of Hanoi.








By now we are all so exhausted from a busy schedule and a flight every day of the week. Can’t wait to Ho Chi Minh City for 2 days!



Friday – Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is probably more easily recognizable to Americans as Saigon and was the capitol for the South during the Vietnam War. There are still strong western influences there and the incredible economic development there in the last 15 years challenges the notions of what a major city in a communist country looks like.


We spent Friday cris-crossing the city going from the American International School to Saigon South International School and finally to the International School of CMC.




Saturday we participated in an incredibly well run program in collaboration with the Yola Institute.

Along with my enthused translator we participated in a college fair for students and parents and I had 6 interviews with some of the most interesting and intelligent students I’ve seen in a long time.

In fact I didn’t even need my translator all that much because of the students solid English skills.



Vietnam has great potential for Augustana and my time here was very well spent. The Pho was pretty great too.

About meghancooley

Meghan Cooley has worked in admissions for over 15 years. She's served in a variety of roles, ranging from tour guide to admissions counselor to her most recent position as Director of Admissions and Recruitment. Through many admissions cycles - she's experienced the ebb and flow of the higher education landscape in the Midwest, become an expert on family dynamics within the college search, guided many through the details of the college search and witnessed the joy and disappointment of student college decisions.

Now, as the Director of Recruitment Communication and Manager of social media at Augustana College, Meghan and her team of talented students focus on marketing Augustana to prospective families, educating families about the college search process, and enhancing professional development opportunities in the profession. She is passionate about increasing diversity (socio-economic and ethnic) in private higher education, alleviating the fears and frustrations that often come with a college search (especially in first generation families), and above all, helping students find the best fit for them as they explore all the educational opportunities available.

Meghan often invites guest bloggers mostly including Augustana admissions staff and current students to contribute. The talented students and staff offer a perspective in the trenches of the college search and college experience.

A 1999 graduate of Augustana College, Meghan holds Bachelor's Degrees in English and Spanish. An avid international traveler, she recommends hiking the Inca Trail to Manchu Picchu in Peru, eating Gelato in Rome, Italy, and seeing an opera at the Volksoper in Vienna, Austria. She is married to Augustana graduate and Modern Woodmen project manager, Luke Cooley. They have three sons, Charles, Oliver and Bennett.

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