International Admission recruiters strengthen global diversity at DePaul

Rachel Marciano
December 02, 2015

From the Americas to Europe to Oceania, the recruiters of DePaul's Office of International Admission have worked for nearly 10 years to build the university's international undergraduate student population. As a result of these efforts, DePaul's international student population has more than doubled in the last decade. Read on to learn about the people who travel the world building the university's reputation and recruiting top students.

Pruccoli speaks Italian and Russian, and recruits from Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Russia (represented in dark blue). He also works with students from Southeast Asia and Oceania (represented in light blue). (Graphic by Jeff Carrion)

Dino Pruccoli - Director

As a first generation Italian-American, Pruccoli has always been interested in international studies and relations. After graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in International Area Studies and working at several institutions across the country, Pruccoli finally made it to DePaul in 2008. Now he travels to Europe, Africa and the Middle East in search of excellent students for DePaul.

What is the recruiting process like?

Each fall we speak with high school seniors, usually around 5,000 students per trip. We spend about two days in each country, and visit three to four high schools per day. Then in the evenings we have public college fairs and meet with a lot of the parents to help answer their questions, as well. After those couple days, we hop over to the next country and the process starts all over again. There really is no down time, but I love it.

DePaul faces a lot of global competition when it comes to international students. What makes our university stand out to these applicants?

DePaul is an urban school, and many international applicants are from big cities and want to continue being in that environment. DePaul also has quality programs and we've achieved a lot of great rankings, which the parents like.

Our team also does a great job of connecting with the students. We really try to be approachable and have developed strong connections with the high school counselors at the schools we visit. A large part of this job is relationship building, and we really work to establish and maintain those relationships everywhere we can.

What are your goals for the office in the coming years?

We want to continue growing and diversifying the university's international student body, including the transfer population. We currently have 11 international transfer agreements in seven countries, five of which are in Malaysia. Thanks to those agreements, Malaysia is now the third largest undergraduate population at DePaul. We'd love to establish more around the world, making it easier for students to maintain their credit when coming to DePaul. 

We also hope to continue strengthening our involvement in the US Pathway Program under the broader Consortium of North American Universities. In this academic program, students spend their first year of college learning in their home countries. Then they take part in the Summer Bridge session at Northeastern University in Boston as an immersive experience designed to help them transition to life as an international student in the United States. Following successful completion of these fall, spring and summer academic terms, students matriculate to one of the CNAU universities and transfer over up to a year's worth of credit. 

Antonia Creteanu - Associate director

Creteanu speaks Romanian and French. She recruits from North and South America (represented in dark blue), and works with students from Southeast Asia and Oceania (represented in light blue). (Graphic by Jeff Carrion)

After earning a bachelor's degree in language translation from the University of Bucharest, Creteanu worked in human rights in her home country of Romania for six years. She then traveled to DePaul in 2001 to earn a master's degree, and began student-working in the International Admissions department. Creteanu now works full-time, recruiting from the Americas and Southeast Asia.

What is something most people don't know about international recruitment?

It is not at all glamorous; it is go-go-go. We travel to so many countries in such a short amount of time. It's really important for us to remember where we are and what the culture is. Where we were yesterday, or even three hours ago, could have completely different customs than where we are in that moment.

How many countries are represented by the international population at DePaul?

This fall we reached a total of 113 countries, which is incredible. Not only do these 113 countries now have ties to DePaul, but the entire university community has more than 100 different cultures and perspectives to engage with and learn from.

What makes DePaul stand out to international applicants?

From personal experience, it was the people. When I was applying to schools for my master's degree, someone from DePaul sent me a very friendly, personalized email and I was sold. Now I try to emulate that when traveling abroad on behalf of DePaul.

Diversity is another competitive advantage DePaul offers. Not only is Chicago a major city in the U.S., but it's also full of people from every country and background. International students understand that even though they're leaving their families and friends, they may find a bit of home within Chicago at DePaul.