Global Engagement Solutions for Higher Education


Personalizing the Student Experience with Terra Dotta Engage

September 30, 2022


Effectively reaching students about what your global education office has to offer them at your institution has always been a challenge. And it makes sense, doesn’t it? Students are constantly gathering new information on a seemingly second-by-second basis. It comes at them so frequently, and from so many different directions, that the communications you’ve sent them in the past get a quick glance at best, and at worst live indefinitely in the trash folder of their email account.

However, what if there was a better way to quickly grab their attention, show them how your office can enrich their experience as a future global student, and ultimately guide along their journey through the decision process?

Through Terra Dotta Engage, institutions just like yours are able to better communicate and personalize the student experience so content and communications stand out from the rest of the noise. Below are a few ways they are doing that now with Engage.

First of all, we can all agree that the days of sending a simple text email and expecting students to take action on it are behind us. That’s why with Engage, global education offices are provided with the tools to create robust communications that immediately attract the attention of any would-be global student.

Not only can offices quickly customize communications and schedule them ahead of time, they have total control over the layout and content. This means you can brand it specifically for your global office or institution, add pictures or videos to help draw students’ attention, and even tie in programs or upcoming events you want to highlight.

Global offices can also control what students get communications based on criteria such as major, year, and more, determine when they’re sent, and automatically follow up with students who’ve received communications previously. Not only does this help personalize their experience as they get your communications, this also saves you time during your pre-advising process. To learn more about how Engage helps with pre-advising, check out our latest blog here.

Next, making sure students are aware of your programs and other key initiatives are such an important part of your office. That’s why you can highlight certain programs when you’re creating your communications to help put students down the right path of selecting a program that’s the best fit for them.

Engage’s all-new guided discovery is designed to match students’ interests, needs, and other demographics such as major, desired location, and more, and Engage does the rest. With a sleek interface and easy-to-see programs information, Engage will even sort programs based on top recommendations for the student, programs with upcoming deadlines, and the most popular programs that their peers are applying for now.

Finally, hosting fairs, workshops, or other events from your global ed office is one of the best ways to meet students where they are in their global journey. Through Engage’s events management and calendar, you’re able to link important or upcoming events or fairs to the communications sent to students. From the event, students can view the details of the event, register, and even link it to their social media accounts.

Interested in learning more about how Terra Dotta Engage can help your office better personalize the student experience and guide students along their journey to global citizenship? Click here to learn more.


How Terra Dotta Engage Helps Automate Pre-advising Communications

September 21, 2022


As a member of the global higher ed community, you have so much to accomplish on a day-to-day basis that everything can feel like a daunting task. Whether you serve the needs of outgoing or incoming students at your institution, or your role spans across all of global education, there’s one simple truth: you have to find the time and resources to effectively support the needs of global students.

However, what if you had the capability to automate many of your pre-advising and communications processes that are manual and time consuming today? What would it look like to truly personalize the experience you offer students who attend your institution internationally as well as those who are interested in traveling abroad?    

Institutions are already experiencing how Engage, Terra Dotta’s newest addition to the Global Engagement Platform, is helping them to automate their pre-advising steps that previously took up so much of their time and resources. Let’s take a look at a few ways institutions are more effectively supporting all global student needs with Terra Dotta Engage.

One of the more time-consuming aspects of global education is the early-stage pre-advising communication that happens with students as they start their global education journey. Getting stuck in the endless communication loop is certainly a time-sucker for most global ed offices; however, providing needed and important communication is a crucial part of the student experience.

With Engage, offices are able to quickly create campaigns and provide students a personalized communication journey. Best of all, these communication journeys can be completely automated, allowing your office to focus more on in-person advising and building relationships with students, not sending emails.

When we think about communications to students, most institutions probably think of plain-text emails. Though they have their place, students’ lives seem to move much too fast for a simple text email. What’s needed to catch their attention are robust communications with engaging pictures, links to your programs or upcoming events, and more.

With Engage, your office can create visually appealing messages that quickly capture your students’ attention and provide better engagement with your office. As your office creates campaigns, you’ll get simple drag-and-drop functionality to add images or videos on the fly, easily highlight your current programs, or shine a light on any events or fairs you’re hosting in near future. If you create similar communications throughout the year, easily save them now and copy them later to use again in the future.

Speaking of events, Engage provides global education offices with the tools to create events that quickly grab the attention of current or future travelers at your institution. Engage’s events builder allows your office to add important details such as location and time, but also includes the ability for students to RSVP to events and take attendance. As you create events and publish them to students, they’ll have all the information they need to learn more about what your office has to offer this year. 

By simply creating events and adding them to the integrated calendar as well as including them in your communications, your office is not only providing students with better, more engaging content, you’re also saving time by automating many of the communications processes that you spend so much time on today.

Interested in learning more about how Terra Dotta Engage can personalize and automate your pre-advising process and provide you with a better overall communications strategy to better connect with students? Click here to learn more.


How Terra Dotta's Newest Solution Helps Streamline Institutional Communications and Enhance the Student Journey

June 29, 2022


In the fast-paced world of global education, it can be difficult to grab the attention of students when their lives seem to operate at the speed of light. And it’s no surprise; as hectic of schedules as they have, yours probably looks quite similar.

So it begs the question: as institutions continue to put greater focus on global education, how will leaders enhance the student journey for both incoming and outgoing students? How will you or your global education offices find the time to streamline and personalize communications for students that have such diverse backgrounds, needs, and goals?


Terra Dotta, the leader in global engagement solutions for higher education, is actively building solutions to answer problems faced by institutions just like yours every day. Terra Dotta’s newest addition to the Global Engagement Platform, Engage, is the communications hub of your institution and directly integrates with current incoming and outgoing Terra Dotta solutions. Terra Dotta Engage is designed to strengthen the connection between the student and institution, allowing you to better communicate, reach, and ultimately enroll more students in programs, register for events on campus, and more.


Terra Dotta Engage was built to enrich the student experience through personalized communications via email, text, and even chatbot. By providing campaign management tools that help target specific students based on age, year, interests, and more, institutions can connect with students earlier in their global education journey. Additionally, institutions with study abroad programs can match prospective students with programs based on student interests, their ideal locations, majors, and more.




Terra Dotta Engage not only allows for targeted, robust communications, but also automates many of the communications processes institutions have today. For example, build clean, beautiful messages fast with Terra Dotta Engage’s drag-and-drop message builder and schedule them ahead of time. For quick access, launch preconfigured message templates, only editing when needed, or build new ones from scratch. Institutions can also build dynamic message sequences with multiple touchpoints, such as automatically adding students to a new contact list when they open a message or click on a link.




Terra Dotta Engage is more than just a communications solution for institutions. It also serves as the hub for student events and also includes a student-facing calendar. For example, create one-time events or recurring events, share them to the calendar, and even build event brochures to coincide with events. And for events that don’t need to be promoted to all students, institutions can hide them from the public calendar and communicate them separately. 



Terra Dotta Engage also provides your global offices and institutional leaders with insightful reports and metrics to make sense of your student engagement. As new campaigns are executed in Terra Dotta Engage, it gathers real-time data on campaign performance, such as the percentage of messages opened and links clicked so you’ll be better informed about what content student is engaging to students and where you need to improve. Institutions can even observe student engagement on a customized level - from daily to yearly, and anywhere in between.    


Interested in learning more about how Terra Dotta Engage can unify your communications and provide a better overall experience for students? Fill out this short form to get more information from Terra Dotta.



How Universities Can Meet The Global Engagement Needs Of Today’s Students

June 10, 2022


While National College Decision Day was on May 1, high school seniors begin researching their top colleges and universities months and even years earlier, considering various factors in their searches like cost, location, academic programs and campus life. But one prominent factor that I believe institutions’ business officers need to be more aware of is study abroad programs.

Students know the value of participating in a study abroad program academically, culturally and professionally, so when it’s time to decide where to attend college, many look at schools that offer and support these programs. In fact, according to a recent survey by my company of U.S. college students, nearly 90% (download required) said an institution's study abroad program and the schools' support of such programs was a decisive factor in their selection decision.

…read the full article on Forbes


Student Voice in Study Abroad 2022

February 23, 2022


After two years of study abroad programs that were drastically reduced or paused all together, many of our clients report pent-up demand.

Is it real, or is it wishful thinking?  Thankfully, we can see evidence of renewed interest and demand happening in near-real time. At Terra Dotta, we see traffic levels from over 700 customers rising dramatically on our Study Abroad application servers, proving that interest in study abroad is indeed coming back.

What about the students? How are they reacting and adapting to the possibility of a return to more normal study abroad opportunities?

To get a sense of the students’ perspectives regarding study abroad, we commissioned a survey of over 100 students from across the United States. 

We wanted to know their current thoughts on study abroad. Are they planning to go? When? Where? What concerns do they have? What do they want the decision-makers in their institutions and in society to know?

Terra Dotta is pleased to release the first edition of our Study Abroad Survey: The Voice of the Student.

Fill out the form below to download the survey.



Terra Dotta Reacts Quickly to STEM Changes in Latest ISSS Release

February 3, 2022


In a world of constant uncertainty, institutions of higher education need a partner more than ever who will provide the right tools, guidance, and support to help bring some much needed balance and stability back into their international education offices. Unfortunately, colleges and universities who haven’t found that key partner yet are feeling the pain of working in older, outdated solutions that don’t help them expand their reach to new students across the globe.

However, Terra Dotta, the leader in global education for higher ed, continues to be the chosen partner for more than 700 colleges and universities by providing tools to institutions of all sizes and helps them connect with more students than ever before.

As part of the latest 22.0 release in Terra Dotta International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), Terra Dotta continues to defy the odds by providing top solutions and service to international education offices through continued enhancement of the Terra Dotta ISSS solution. 

Very recently, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced they decided to allow 20 additional majors within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs - also known as STEM - for an additional 24 month work authorization in the US.

In an effort to consistently provide the most value for higher ed institutions, Terra Dotta learned of this SEVP update and acted quickly, adding the additional 20 majors in Terra Dotta ISSS as part of the 22.0 release in January 2022. This allows higher ed institutions using Terra Dotta ISSS to have the most up-to-date access to all STEM programs and provide students with needed work authorizations.

This is just one example how Terra Dotta continues providing the best global education experience possible for both universities and students. Click here to find out more how Terra Dotta can help your institution reach its goals for global ed in 2022.


How Higher Ed Institutions Save Time and Resources with Terra Dotta's Newest Integration

February 1, 2022


If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught international education offices anything over the last two years, it’s how to adapt to change. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously said, “change is the only constant.” This is truer now than it has ever been.

As international student offices learned how to adapt to new ways of operating, other procedures and requirements left offices struggling to find a better solution. One of those requirements is the need to manually sign Form I-20s for F-1 students.

From the start of the pandemic, international mail and courier services were significantly affected, preventing students from receiving documents in a timely manner. Additionally, the inability for university officials and students to meet on campus due to travel restrictions and closings only made the situation worse. However, Terra Dotta, the leader in higher ed solutions for global education, recognized an opportunity to provide even more value to international education offices when the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) authorized the use of electronic signatures for the Form I-20 in October of 2021.

As part of the latest 22.0 release in Terra Dotta International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), international education offices are now able to integrate their ISSS solution directly with DocuSign, a leader in electronic signature solutions. After a simple integration of DocuSign within Terra Dotta ISSS, international education offices can expedite and streamline the process of signing Form I-20s for both the university as well as the student.

Terra Dotta's integration with DocuSign allows international education offices to easily send documents to DocuSign either via batch interface with SEVIS or through Terra Dotta's RTI Connect within ISSS Student. This removes so much of the headache associated with the manual sending of documents to students.

After the document is sent to DocuSign, DSO's will have instant access to all documents in their email address where e-signatures can be applied to the document and automatically sent to the student. Not only does Terra Dotta's integration with DocuSign streamline the process of printing, completing, and sending Form I-20s to students but even automatically notifies the student on the behalf of the DSO.

Furthermore, Terra Dotta ISSS will also record that the Form I-20 was sent to DocuSign in the student's general history log creating an important audit trail even when e-signatures are involved.

With Terra Dotta's ISSS integration with DocuSign, DSO's and international student admins will be able to streamline their document processes, instantly deliver Form I-20s with no need for printed resources, and even notify students on the behalf of the university. Click here to learn more about how Terra Dotta ISSS can help streamline your university's process for incoming students. 


Higher Ed Predictions for 2022 by eCampus News

January 14, 2022


As we wrapped up 2020, we thought for sure that 2021 might bring us a reprieve from pandemic learning. Well, it did–but it also didn’t. Virtual and hybrid learning continued into the spring, but campuses gradually welcomed students back for in-person and hybrid learning. 

Many silver linings emerged, and flexible online learning options became a “must have” for more and more students. Equity remained front and center, too, raising issues of inequitable technology access, along with racial and socioeconomic disparities and discrimination. 

2021 brought with it renewed calls to support the nation’s educators, who have worked tirelessly (and constantly) to support students’ varied learning needs and personal and professional obligations. 

And now, we head into our third year of learning during a global pandemic. We asked edtech executives, stakeholders, and experts to share some of their thoughts and predictions about where they think edtech is headed in 2022.

Here’s what they had to say:

Higher ed value and globalization. The value equation for higher ed is changing and colleges and universities that invest in globalization to build better student experiences in 2022 can offer more engaged learning communities. Students want to get back to normal and connect to other cultures and countries – and advisors and administrators want the same. This pent-up demand will drive increased interest in study abroad and international education and sustain adoption of pandemic best practices such as study away and internationalization on campus. At the same time international education drives economic value on campuses and in the economy at large. Given this landscape new strategies will emerge in 2022 to engage students and align global experiential learning opportunities with individual profiles and student objectives. To remain competitive, institutions will invest in the consolidation and integration of previously siloed functions to streamline globalization processes and grow related programs. Learning is about experience and strategies that connect students and scholars with the global community will help deliver the authentic personal experience that many students need and crave. –Anthony Rotoli, CEO, Terra Dotta

Check out the full article from eCampus News  



The Art of Increasing Global Engagement Among College Students

January 6, 2022


Global education delivery in higher education has shifted remarkably over the past 18-24 months and now includes virtual and domestic programming in addition to outgoing and incoming student programs. To meet the multidimensional needs of students and prepare them to be global leaders of tomorrow, we must now view students through a more complete — and complex — lens that incorporates all facets of their collegiate global engagement experience. 

Similar to how business marketers personalize customer engagement strategies, institutions must view their students with this type of focus, personalizing and connecting their international cultural experiences for a more enriching result. How can this be accomplished?

1. Shift Overall Mindset: To engage more students in a comprehensive international education experience, institutions should create and capture interest earlier in the student journey and get to know students from their first interaction with the institution. This means approaching international education during the recruitment phase and freshman year and promoting available opportunities like internships, volunteer programs, domestic and international trips and valuable virtual programming (which may also be paired with in-person experiences). As an example of earlier global programming, Northeastern University offers a freshman global experience called the Program, where students study abroad for their first semester before transitioning to the institution’s Boston campus in January. 

2. Connect Globalization Dots To Understand Students As Individuals:Linking all relevant student information requires connecting data among all campus departments that touch global engagement. With this gold mine of integrated data, including demographics, major, GPA, relevant campus interests, etc., colleges can tap into technology solutions to begin suggesting personalized and tailored international programs, trips or other experiences that may be of interest, similar to the Netflix or Amazon “more like this" offering. Incorporating duty of care across this vast amount of student data is part of the puzzle for informing a relevant, engaging global experience. For example, institutions like Syracuse University successfully pulled in data from different sources and used it to ensure students’ safety and compliance domestically during the pandemic.

Read more from Terra Dotta's CEO, Anthony Rotoli, on Forbes


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