While our team has had strong success partnering with our admissions colleagues to host live YouTube chats connecting newly admitted students with current Duke students, those chats are generally not accessible to the significant number of students coming to Duke each year from China, where YouTube is blocked.
Our solution to this is to use WeChat, a popular Chinese messaging and social networking application, to connect our current students to admitted students from China for real-time conversations.
Regular decision results for admission to Duke were released on March 29, and on April 1 we hosted our live session with the admitted students. A team of current students from China gathered at 8:00 a.m. Durham time to share their Duke experiences and answer the admitted students’ questions about Duke.
The response and participation from admitted students was incredible: about 90 percent of the admitted students joined the chat group. Our student hosts had to shut the conversation down after about 70 minutes of questions and conversation across a range of topics, such as finding your “group” on campus, FOCUS, DukeEngage and other programs, when and how to choose a major, taking classes outside of your intended major, selective living groups, how to get basketball tickets, what the party scene is like on campus, and on and on.
Duke’s Graduate School also hosts a similar chat session for its admitted students from China each year, working in partnership with graduate student hosts from China.
So now you know. If your institution is also home to a large population of Chinese students, it may be worth investing some time to tailor your efforts to connect with them around critical points in the admissions process.