An education agent is an individual, company or organization that provides educational advice, support, and placement to students in a local market who are interested in studying abroad. There are different types of education agents that you might encounter when seeking a representative abroad.
- Educational referral agents and representatives: This type of agent represents a selected number of educational institutions, often specializing in a number of programs and destinations. Usually, an agreement has to be in place before agents in this category will 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 organization.
- Travel agents with an education division: These agents will sell educational programs in addition to other travel packages. Although many education providers initially shy away from working with travel agents, they do make good educational representatives. Travel agents often have a solid and wealthy customer base, premises in good locations, good English skills and familiarity with visa administration and international currency transactions. Low-profit margins in the competitive travel industry give them an incentive to invest in education departments as a means of expanding their business.
In many countries, it is common practice for prospective students to use an education agent when seeking placement in a university or college abroad. In some countries, 60 – 80% of international students are assisted by education agencies and advisers making it an essential part of international student recruitment.