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U.S. Commercial Service Education Team Rocks According to Hofstra Associate Dean Gioia P. Bales!

As many of you in the Higher Education Recruitment field may know, U.S. Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade, Francisco Sánchez, recently led a hugely successful education trade mission of 66 U.S. colleges and universities to Brazil on August 30- September 05, 2012, which was the largest-ever education services trade mission led by U.S. Commercial Service (CS), Sánchez said. “Education is a growing service export for the United States and supports American jobs. The 66 schools participating in this mission provide a broad range of programs and degrees and every time they recruit international students, it helps put money back into the university and the community.”

The mission, in close coordination with the U.S. Department of State’s EducationUSA Advising Centers, explored opportunities for international student recruitment and partnerships with higher education institutions during stops in Brasilia, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro. More than 8,700 students from Brazil currently attend U.S. colleges and universities.

Long Island United States Export Assistance Center (LI USEAC) recruited two universities among the 66 schools that participated on the education trade mission. U.S. Commercial Service Officer Tanya Cole a member of the CS Education team had the opportunity to interview Associate Dean Gioia P. Bales at the Hofstra Frank G. Zarb School of Business, who participated on the Brazil education trade mission. This was the first mission that Dean Bales attended; although Hofstra School of Law has participated in all of the CS education recruitment missions to date. CS Education Team interviewed Dean Bales to get a fresh impression of customer satisfaction of the recent trade mission and to identify areas for improving the program to help U.S. educational institutions achieve their international student recruitment goals.

What was the highlight of the Brazil Trade Mission?

This is the first time that I participated on such a mission so I was not sure what to expect. My original concern was that perhaps mostly junior level recruitment staff attends these types of trade missions, which was not the case. There was a good balance and mix of participants, both at the junior and associate dean level. This seems to be important for the students as the senior staff could make good initial assessments as to the suitability of the proposed or interested applicant. Also, the schools have a better idea of which students are more likely to be accepted to their programs. The junior level staff kept the mission moving and active, which was great to cover all the cities and schools and interact with those that had already participated on a CS mission.

What other benefits did you get from participating on the mission?

The interaction with the other colleges and universities was great as it gave me ideas on potential programs that we can develop to attract a more diverse pool of international students, such as joint business law degree programs. Also I was able to gain cultural exposure to Brazil in terms of understanding what specific programs their students are attracted to for U.S. universities and obstacles to attending private universities in the United States. This helps us to focus our recruitment efforts.

What was an important component of the education trade mission?

I enjoyed meeting the guidance counselors at the schools because this provided an insight into what U.S. programs can benefit the students for the Brazilian job market. That way I am able to identify other programs at Hofstra such as English Immersion Programs (exchange programs) that can be excellent feeders for other degree programs like the MBA or LLM programs at Hofstra.

What about the pricing of the trade mission—was it in line with industry standards?

In my case it was an excellent opportunity and cost-effective option for Hofstra University. I was able to attend for the reasonable supplemental fee of $300, as my colleague in the law school had already paid the initial participation fee. I like this pricing program, which allows the university to send representatives of various programs, while providing cost savings for Hofstra to explore other international student recruitment activities.

Do you think you will recruit any students from Brazil as a result of this trade mission?

Yes, I certainty do. There were a number of promising applicants.

Any suggestions for improving the education trade mission?

I think CS did a great job on the ground implementing all the trade mission activities—especially the wonderful reception hosted for us at the U.S. Ambassador’s house in Brazil—we all felt special. The CS Education Team Leaders Joan Kanlin, Director of Westchester USEAC and Amy Ryan, Trade Specialist at Atlanta USEAC were outstanding in coordinating all the events and providing on-the –ground logistical support for all the participants. One area for improvement is the pre-trip communication. It would help to know all the travel logistics in advance of the trip. Eventually everything worked out. There is really no replacement for the face-to-face exposure and communications with the students and schools that we gain from participation on education trade missions. It is a great opportunity.

About Hofstra Frank G. Zarb School of Business and Dean Gioia P. Bales

Located close to the global business capital of New York City, the Frank G. Zarb School of Business will help you find your edge. The school offers technology, resources and an acclaimed faculty, as well as one of the nation's only programs with dual AACSB accreditations in business and accounting. There are both graduate and undergraduate programs in diverse areas of concentration including: Departments of Accounting, Taxation & Legal Studies in Business, Finance, Information Technology & Quantitative Methods, Management, Entrepreneurship & General Business, and Marketing & International Business. Gioia P. Bales is the Associate Dean and Adjunct Professor of Finance at the Frank G. Zarb School of Business.

About the U.S. Commercial Service and CS Education Team

The U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service is an organization dedicated to helping U.S. manufacturers, education institutions and services and U.S. businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises compete and win in the global marketplace. We are a field-based network of approximately 1,400 trade professionals located in 85 U.S. cities and in more than 70 countries who provide commercial diplomacy and trade promotion support to U.S. companies. We guide companies through every step of the export process, from shipping and logistics to learning about foreign regulations. We offer trade counseling and advocacy and customized solutions to enter new markets and overcome exporting hurdles. The CS education team actively promotes U.S. education as an export throughout its global network. The CS Education Team organizes a number of recruitment trade missions, student fairs, virtual fairs and webinars to help U.S. colleges, academies and institutions recruit international students worldwide. For more information, visit:


“Hawaii Pacific University has had a very positive experience working with The U.S Commercial Services.  We have attended a handful of Virtual Education Fairs as well as a few Trade Mission Fairs abroad.  All were very well organized and productive.  They have helped us get brand recognition in some markets as well as set us up with some trusted recruitment partners.  We value their expertise in this field and look forward to working with them on many more events in the future!”

Lindsey Garbenis
Associate Director, International Admissions
Hawai'i Pacific University


“The U.S. Commercial Service’s initial support of fostering new educational partnerships in China and later presence at the signing ceremonies celebrating the new partnerships between Metropolitan State University and three Chinese universities - a Sister University agreement with Chongqing Jiaotong University, a memorandum of understanding with Henan University, and an addendum to a memorandum of understanding with Jiangxi Normal University - added credibility to the event.

The participation of the U.S. Federal Government served wonderfully to impress on our Chinese university partners the significance attached to such higher education alliances at the national level.”

Roger Prestwich, Ph.D
Professor, International Business
Director, International Programs, College of Management
Metropolitan State University


April 2012 – Israel America Recruiting Fair Feedback

“This was a wonderful trip and experience for me. On both a personal and
professional level. I was able to develop. Thanks Study America!”

“Very well done, extremely organized.”

“I really liked how the fair was organized; it has been the best one so far I have

“For not being Fair coordinators you did a great job. It was well advertised, that
produced the excitement and turnout. I liked the one day fair... that creates
excitement, as well as creating a bigger crowd…”

‘We could reach a target that we could not by ourselves (Israelis interested in
studying abroad)”

“Organization and service was excellent”

“You all did an excellent job, particularly for a first attempt! Keep it up!!!”

“A well-run program and a wonderful learning experience!”


November 2011 – India Education Mission Participant Comments

 “It exceeded my expectations in terms of meeting students and potential for research collaboration.” -  West Virginia University

 “It was a well-planned, well coordinated tour”. –University of Houston.

“Thanks for making the experience a positive one. I learned a lot about the challenges and opportunities that exist in India, and my colleagues and I will be able to educate our University officers accordingly. Overall, we were fortunate to participate in the mission, and we look forward to participating in future missions.” – Long Island University

“Excellent program, best money we ever spent!”- Southern New Hampshire University.

“Great work and great organization! This mission provided the highest level of exposure giving credibility to our institution. The market intelligence we gained will be key to our success.” - Montana State University.

“Impressed with the events and exposure to target cities!” – Stevens Institute of Technology.

“This mission exceeded my expectations as the opportunities to connect with schools/institutions/agents were extremely successful.” - University of the Incarnate Word

“This has been a well organized, guess-free way to meet the right people and test the market.”– Dickinson State University.

“I came with no expectations but leave very pleased with the possibility of future work with India.” – Georgia Southern University.

“Great job with organizing everything! We had an excellent trade mission and I was pleased to see how many students we were able to meet. ” – University of Southern California.

 “The best outcome of this mission to India was meeting our goals for brand recognition and visibility.” – Ball State University


May 2011 – Vietnam/Indonesia Education Mission Participant Comments

“I've never seen an education fair so well organized!  This is really the best!" (re: Indonesia)

"I was very impressed with the students - they were very articulate and asked all the right questions." (re: Indonesia)

"Attendance at the fair was really really good, and the quality of the student was excellent." (re: Indonesia)

"This mission is an excellent use of our taxpayer dollars and I'm so pleased to be a part of it!"

“The most positive take-away was the exposure our university received…. We believe we might have gotten on the radar of a few of the agents, which would be key for sustained recruitment.” “I want to thank the entire Commerce team for your support. You have been amazing from day one. It’s been such a pleasure working such a professional and kind group of people. I’m so honored and proud to have been a participant.”

“[We] had not investigated the recruitment possibilities from Indonesia for quite some time, so it was nice to be able to look at what the current recruitment potential is. In addition, it was a good opportunity to rekindle old agent relations and look at new possibilities with newer agents. For Vietnam, this was an opportunity for us go get exposure to the public without relying on the marketing of our counseling agents.”

“The primary benefit to my institution was in strategic market exposure and increased market intelligence. We have been active in Indonesia for many years…. Student recruitment in Vietnam has been initiated but is still in the early stages and I believe the trade mission has been a boost.”

“The trip was a great learning experience and it provided me with insight into the education markets in both countries! Extremely well coordinated and efficient. Good briefings in Ho Chi Minh. Great briefing in Hanoi!”

“I would like to congratulate the organizing committee within the States and overseas. This has been a great experience for me and my institution. It was a very helpful mission to better understand the market in Indonesia, Vietnam and especially in assisting [us] getting more name recognition in Indonesia. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity and initiative of the Department of Commerce. I hope more missions in the same region and others around the world take place in the near future.”

“I thought everything don on the part of the Department of Commerce was well organized, professional and much appreciated! The market exposure was excellent!! I will not hesitate to participate in the missions in the future…. Overall, I think the mission may eventually pay for itself. Great job Debra and Bernadette!!”

“USDOC took the lead in putting together an excellent whistle-stop tour of Jakarta, HCMC, and Hanoi. Partinering with a professional partner like Sompoerna guaranteed an amazing Jakarta turnout.”

“Through this event we met many prospective students and furthered our exposure and interest in Indonesian partnerships. We met other universities with similar goals and we met organizations in both countries that can facilitate our goals of recruitment and partnering.”

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