Gillham recruits international students
Friday, September 21, 2007
By Kimberlee Rhodes
As Oklahoma Christian University’s only international recruiter, Greg Gillham is building up a lot of frequent flier miles.
Gillham came to the university in 2006 and helped bring more than 60 students to university’s campus since then.
“I love my job,” Gillham said. “I love having the opportunity to work
with university students from many countries and helping them gain the
chance to get a Christian education at OC.”
Traveling about two to three times a year, Gillham helps make strong
relationships with several countries including Australia, Korea, and
“My strategy has been to go to countries that are sending many students
to the U.S. and with which OC has strong connections,” Gillham said.
Oklahoma Christian has solid relationships with China, Japan, and South
Korea because of the Pacific Rim study abroad program, making those
countries ideal places to start recruiting.
“Right now, there are about 137 students, [at Oklahoma Christian] representing about 35 different countries,” Gillham said.
“I would like to visit Africa because of our strong relationship
with Rwanda and because we get many inquiries from prospective students
in African countries. I’ve focused on recruiting in Asia first, and in
the future, I hope to also travel to Latin America and Europe,” Gillham
Gillham not only recruits students, but is also a valuable connection once they arrive.
“Greg is really the front door for international students,” Director of International Programs, John Osborne, said.
Applications for international students are complex, so Gillham aids
applicants and once the student gets their green card, he helps
incorporate them into the university.
Gillham’s next destinations are Japan and China, where he will stay
for two to three weeks, encouraging potential students to become part
of Oklahoma Christian’s community.
“I try to market OC as a safe, friendly, Christian environment,”
Gillham said. “In other countries people only know about big schools on
the east and west coast. Some have never even heard of Oklahoma.”
Gillham says since Oklahoma Christian is in a large metropolitan area
but is still a small university the community aspect is a big selling
point for international students.
Most students in Asia live primarily in or around big cities, so they like the idea of being in a smaller area.
“I can honestly market OC as a good value,” Gillham said. “OC doesn’t
charge extra fees for out of state or international students because
we’re private. Also, students are able to apply for academic
Financial assistance is not the only motivation for students to pursue attending Oklahoma Christian.
“Technology is another intriguing aspect to potential students,”
Gillham said. “Our wireless campus along with our strong academic
program is very important to students, especially engineering
Gillham also recruits students who are not of the Christian faith. She
hopes that even though they are here for what Oklahoma Christian has to
offer academically, they will benefit from the Christian atmosphere as
Gillham is not the only one excited about international students on
campus. Several American students at Oklahoma Christian have built
strong and lasting relationships with the international students.
“Going to school with international students has been a blessing,”
sophomore, Alex McCumber, said. “I love being able to experience
different cultures here on campus. It’s always interesting to see a new
perspective on things.”
Gillham will set out to leave for his next trip the beginning of October.