I’ve been badgering Kristen to report on her trip to Asia.  Here’s the first (and, I hope, not the last) of her posts.

As I wait here in Narita airport in Tokyo with some time on my hands, it’s a good time to reflect on my current recruiting trip and fulfill a promise to Jessica to write a post at the same time.

Every year, Fletcher admissions representatives make a few trips outside the U.S. to speak with applicants. As you can imagine, it is difficult to decide how to allocate our time and resources, given that Fletcher students come from so many different countries. This year’s entering class alone includes represents of 57 countries.  Peter spent some time in South America in September, Laurie will be traveling in Europe, and I’m in the midst of two weeks in Asia, including stops in Seoul, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and Tokyo.

This is my first trip to this part of Asia, but I feel very well prepared. Between our current students and alumni who come from or are familiar with these cities, I arrived armed with everything from restaurant suggestions to etiquette tips to thoughts on what unique questions applicants in each city might ask. As to that last point, it’s been interesting to see that the questions, in fact, haven’t differed significantly according to region. Students everywhere are interested to know what makes our curriculum unique, who is eligible for scholarships, and what our average GRE scores are.  It’s the ultimate Fletcher “realization”: that our applicants worldwide, while unique in their professional, academic and cultural experiences, bring to the process the same sets of concerns and questions. Hopefully our travels (and this blog!) help clear up some of that.

I won’t bore everyone with details about how impressed I was by the bustle of Hong Kong’s harbor or sheer array of options in Tokyo’s department store food halls … for many of our Fletcher applicants, you have already experienced these for yourselves!  But I’ve been enjoying my experience and the chance to see a new part of the world.

I hope to meet some of you on my next stops: Seoul, Shanghai, and Beijing!


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