An education agent is an individual, organization, or company that provides education support and placement services to students interested in studying abroad. An agent advises students and their families when selecting an institution, study program, and study destination based on their individual desires.
There are several types of agents who are normally in- volved in this business:
Education agents and referral representatives
This type of agent represents a limited number of educational institutions, often specializing in particular programs and destinations. Usually, an agreement has to be in place be- fore agents in this category start representing an institution.
Study abroad advisors
These professionals work from international advising centers, providing general information about study abroad opportunities, often under the umbrella of a public organisation.
Travel agents with an education division
These agents will sell educational programs in addition to other travel packages. Although many educators initially shy away from working with travel agents, they do make good educational representatives. Travel agents often have a solid and wealthy customer base, offices in good locations, good English speaking skills, familiarity with visa administration, and international currency transactions. Low-profit margins in the competitive travel industry give them an incentive to invest in educational departments as a means of expanding their business.
Professional educational advising is increasingly seen as a must-have service. In many countries, it is common practice for prospective students to use an education agent when seeking placement in an educational institution abroad. In some countries, 60–80% of international students are assisted by education agencies and advisors.
Agents who understand the local market can be your point of contact and act as an extension of your recruitment team. As a direct link to the students and their families, agents can answer any questions, reassure and guide them throughout the admissions process, and provide visa application support. Agents are best equipped to maximize the usage of social networks in their home countries and know best how to reach and recruit potential students.