There were, at least, 25 faculty sponsors around the world except US universities whom I applied for PhD. It was exactly one year. Oh so tiring. Most of them gave good and positive responses. While the others were saying sorry that his research group was full at the moment and informed another good time to be recruited. They were so welcome. The others as well did not reply at all. My trick is do not send a very long email. They would be tired and bored to read and click “delete”. See my a one year endeavor since March 2014 to 2015 here.
Dr. Asep K Permadi, Petroleum Engineering, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia advised me:
PhD preferably tends to look for the professor instead of the university because you will learn from him/her during your entire study. Thus, find out the expert in the research area you are interested in.