By Robert Chapderlane
Across the nation, colleges and universities are opening their doors to students for the fall semester; an increasing amount are international student with over a million this past spring.
According to Miriam Jordan at the Wall Street Journal, “American universities are enrolling unprecedented numbers.”
While FM welcomed back students for its fall semester, some one hundred of them are international students from 31 countries. Students from all over the world select FM, including Jin Gyeong Yu, Duy Le, Faisal Waheed and Abdul Wadud.
Yu is from South Korea, and goes by the name Christine. Duy Le, who is from Vietnam, prefers to be called Joe. Waheed hails from Pakistan, and Wadud is the only student this semester from Bangladesh.
Joe said FM was the only school available to him. Christine chose FM based on a friend’s recommendation. Waheed and Wadud found FM online.
After FM, Christine plans on transferring to SUNY Stonybrook, and Waheed and Wadud both hope to work in America. If unable, they will return to Pakistan and Bangladesh.
They all agreed this school has excellent facilities and living conditions are comfortable. The resource they use most is The Evans Library.
Waheed and Wadud said, “The Library is king.”
International students face many challenges in attending American colleges. Some include leaving family and one’s home country, and trying to be accepted into a new culture while obtaining funding and housing.
The most daunting challenge is overcoming language barriers, although most speak English. FM offers an English as a Second Language (ESL) course to help students integrate. Students have the option to take ESL courses while pursuing a degree.
All of the international students interviewed agreed that English has been their greatest obstacle. Christine said “speaking opinions in class” is difficult due to struggles with the language.
With so many nationalities present at FM, it is an opportunity not only for international students to experience diversity, but American students, as well.