School is in session, but the large number of international students who filled seats in California universities’ classrooms are not. Post a catastrophic world event and the immigration restrictions that ensued, international students have been less visible in classrooms around the country. While some of them were shut out of the US, competing universities in other countries were welcoming them with open arms.
It’s us and not them
Credible statistics show that foreign interest in American colleges didn’t wane due to lack of interest but due to circumstances beyond their control. A survey showed the reduction in students resulted from denied or delayed visas, and the tightened immigration policies of a former presidential administration. These extenuating factors were the primary culprits in stemming the tide of international student hopefuls. Rather than give up, however, many internationals took their money elsewhere to get an education.
Signs the tide is turning
Despite the negative numbers, hope showed up on the horizon. With the advent of a new, immigrant-friendly administration comes the reinvigorated hope of foreign students with their dreams. Many international students consider a US education to be among the world’s finest. With so many renowned institutions that are recognized by first names around the world, i.e., Harvard and Princeton, getting a spot at a US university is still the opportunity of a lifetime.
Lest one forget, the US benefits greatly from international students. With many of them paying their tuition out of pocket, their enrollment at US colleges and universities is a big boost to the economy. Billions of dollars annually are collected by US universities and help underwrite staff jobs. It is a relationship between students and institutions that is mutually beneficial and fosters understanding. Given that many international leaders have been educated in America and more will do the same, maybe one day this study abroad experience on US soil will lead to world peace.