Tag: USA

The magnitude of the crisis among international students

“Not many international students are equipped to advocate for themselves when a crisis arises”

This week’s guest blog is by Ruby Cheng, director of the International Enrollment Program (Asian Pacific Region) at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

I’m writing this article as an international educator, a guardian of a college international student, and an advocate who wants to voice up the concerns for the vulnerable and underrepresented group, international students, during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

When the COVID-19 became imminent in China in early February, I saw a great effort exerted by U.S. institutions, trying to accommodate Chinese applicants. Many international admissions offices offered opportunities for applicants to delay the transcript submission due to the closure of schools and universities in China.

In response to the closure of the testing centres for TOFEL, IELTS and GRE/GMAT, many admissions offices provided flexible policies including online interviews and Duolingo test, which allows students to take the English proficiency test at their homes. Those strategies made Chinese applicants and their families feel welcomed, despite the virus chaos they are experiencing in China.

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Bringing the world home to Missouri

“We want to expose students to the world to enhance their comfort with cultural differences and to prepare them for successful careers in a global economy”

Since its founding in 1996, Cenet, a nonprofit in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, has provided affordable study abroad experiences for American and international students, and work-based exchange opportunities in the US for young adults around the world, the organisation’s executive director Robyn Walker writes.

Having grown up in nearby southern Illinois, I was Cenet’s first study abroad student (to the sunny island of Malta), and now have the privilege of serving as the organization’s executive director.  Cenet recently revised its mission – “to inspire a safer, more prosperous and compassionate world through international education and cultural exploration” – and with that in mind, I want us to have more impact in our local area.

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Number of Vietnamese Students in the US Rebounds

“Viet Nam remains a shining star in a rather dark and gloomy international student recruitment galaxy for US educational institutions”

For those US colleagues who recruit in Viet Nam, there is some good news in challenging times.  According to the latest SEVIS by the Numbers update from March 2019, there are 30,684 Vietnamese students studying in the US at all levels, an increase of 3% over August 2018.  Overall, Vietnamese students in the US comprise 2.62% of total international enrollment vs. 2.47% last August.

As you can see below, Viet Nam still ranks fifth among sending countries and is now in the same statistical league as Saudi Arabia, which saw a sizable decline of nearly 9%.  (The only other top 10 sending country with an increase was Nigeria.)  Read More

Dr. Mark Ashwill is managing director of Capstone Vietnam, a full-service educational consulting company in Viet Nam with offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Ashwill blogs at An International Educator in Viet Nam.

How international students can adjust to life on a college campus

“As an international student, that first session is crucial to your academic success”

Whether you’ve sat in a world history class or travelled outside your home country, you probably know that cultures and customs vary greatly around the world. College culture is no exception. For international students going to the US to achieve their higher education goals, adjusting to a new lifestyle and culture can be a shock.

Luckily, there are several ways that international student can adjust to life on a college campus. Here are just a few to get you started so you can start your college experience on the right foot.
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Brexit and the Strengthening of US Partnerships

“US institutions will do well to pay close attention to the final negotiations of Brexit in early 2019”

The much anticipated  September report of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has largely confirmed everyone’s expectations: yes, foreign students are an unalloyed benefit to the UK, but, no, not all obstacles will be removed to promote their arrival.

It’s a bit of a contradiction, but one that might be explained by the committee being appointed and answerable to the Home Office. With its eyes on the Brexit horizon, the committee admits it sees “no strong arguments for discriminating in favor of EU Students.”
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The Elevator Pitch: Why every international student (and professional) should craft one

“Your elevator pitch can be your answer when someone asks, “How do you plan on adjusting to a foreign company’s work culture?”

Whether applying to a company for an internship or a first job, an elevator pitch is that company’s first impression of your ability to fill a space in that organisation. This can even happen when visiting representatives at a college’s career fair or when answering the infamous first question, “Tell us about yourself.”

What is an elevator pitch? 

An elevator pitch, also known as an elevator speech, got its name from the amount of time you may spend with another individual in an elevator. On average, elevator rides last about 30 seconds or less. With your elevator pitch, you have that long to persuade someone before one of you walks off the elevator.
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U.S. is Losing an Opportunity for Economic Growth

International students studying in the US become powerful contributors to the economy…impacting foreign relations in ways that can lead to global growth. 

It is easy to view the value of international students in terms of economic impact says Gretchen M. Bataille, senior consultant at Navitas USA. But, as she explains, international students contribute much more than tuition fees, and unfortunately, the US seems to be missing the memo. 

Education is not often considered an export. However, contrary to images of barges laden with goods, the United States’ most valuable exports are services, including education. In July 2017, services accounted for over one-third of total exports at $65.8 billion.

International students studying in the US become powerful contributors to the economy and contribute new ideas, lifestyles, values, and experiences to their home countries, transforming their local economies and impacting foreign relations in ways that can lead to global growth.

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Bundled pathways unbundled. Can universities have their cake and eat it too?

“In the context of financially strapped universities with decreasing domestic enrolments, the prospect of large numbers of international students paying out-of-state tuition rates makes the bundled pathway an attractive proposition”

Are so-called bundled pathways the future of international student recruitment at US universities, and the world over? At a time when the international education sector is dominated by conversations on change, Jean-Marc Alberola, president of Bridge Education Group takes a detailed look at options for internationalisation in higher education. 

In recent years, much debate and a significant amount of controversy has surrounded the advent of third-party international student pathway programs in the US higher education marketplace. The debate is particularly active in international educator circles and was a hot topic at the NAFSA annual conference this year, with at least four sessions devoted to the theme, including a study commissioned by NAFSA itself.

These new pathway programs, whose main protagonists include a few large, often private-equity backed firms such as Shorelight Education, StudyGroup, INTO, Navitas and Kaplan, have been well documented in the press.

Some of the confusion and misunderstanding surrounding international student pathway programs is a result of the term being broadly used to describe a wide variety of models, including intensive English programs that prepare students for university admission, TOEFL waiver partnerships, and progression from community colleges to four-year institutions.

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Is the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s anti-agent stance a case of Americentrism?

“If US institutions hope to continue to attract international students in an increasingly competitive marketplace, then we had better sit at the table and find a way to make this work”

Jean-Marc Alberola, president of Bridge Education Group, reflects on a recent proposal to prohibit the use of compensated oversea student recruitment agencies in part of the US, and looks at the arguments for and against using agents.

After much study and debate on the topic of commissioned agents in international student recruitment, is it time for many in the US higher edu community to reflect upon the notion that it might be viewing the agent debate from an overly US focused perspective?

To many, the recent proposal by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to extend the prohibition on incentive compensation to the recruitment of foreign students who are not eligible to receive federal student assistance is bewildering. That is, it is bewildering unless we consider that this might very well be a case of bias, or having a US centric perspective, with an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, that the context of domestic student recruitment somehow applies and is relevant outside the United States.
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Jean-Marc is President of Bridge Education Group, a comprehensive provider of language and education services including corporate language training, teacher training, university pathway programs and international student recruitment. Jean-Marc started his language industry career with Telelangue Systems in Washington, D.C., before venturing on to Brazil, Chile and Argentina to launch Linguatec Language Centers. After 12 years in South America Jean-Marc returned to the U.S. to head up Bridge Education Group.

Jean-Marc has over 25 years’ experience in language and education abroad and is a regular presenter at AIEA, NAFSA, AIRC, IALC, and ICEF events. Jean-Marc holds a BA in Economics from the University of Vermont.

How Trump’s immigration ban may lead to uniting America and the world

“The United States’ image was compromised by the executive order, but there’s another side to this story: fortunately, the public outcry was immediate and widespread”

Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration was damaging and divisive. But the US is refusing to be divided, argues Jill Welch, deputy executive director, public policy at NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

When President Donald Trump signed his executive order on immigration in his first week of office, US and international citizens alike were alarmed to see a country that has prided itself on being a nation of immigrants, suddenly turn its back on those fleeing violence and shut its doors on those seeking opportunity with the mere stroke of a pen. This does not represent the America that we aspire to be.
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Jill Welch is NAFSA’s deputy executive director for public policy. She has been engaged in working with Congress and the Executive Branch on international education issues for more than a decade, and she leads a team of talented staff in promoting international education as central to constructive US global engagement and to peace, security, and well-being in the United States and the world.