Sep 212004
 
Authors: Kathryn Dailey

There are 800 to 1,000 international students and 300 to 400

international researchers and faculty on campus according to Mark

Hallet, director of International Student and Scholar Services.

These students represent over 100 countries on the CSU campus

and have traveled all the way to Colorado for various reasons.

“(International students) come here primarily for the academic

programs followed by word of mouth from friends who have gone here

and lastly because of the welcoming environment at CSU,” Hallet

said.

But there are many other benefits both to the students who study

abroad and the students they come in contact with here in

Colorado.

For Gemima Cody, a junior communications major who is visiting

from Austrailia for a semester, studying at CSU has been a good way

to see what the United States is like firsthand instead of

accepting the poor reputation that the country has in the world

community.

“The stereotype of Americans are that they are fat, loud and

pushy, massive consumers,” Cody said “I haven’t met anyone that

fits that stereotype.”

Beth Backer, a sophomore art major, agreed that meeting

international students can be invaluable.

“Its a great opportunity for people to learn about each other,”

Backer said.

Backer became friends with an exchange student from Spain.

Backer took seven years of Spanish. She would speak Spanish to her

friend and he would speak back in English. It was a good way for

both of them to practice outside of their native tongue, she

said.

“Its a learning experience that can’t be obtained in any other

way,” Backer said.

Cody came to the United States because she knew a lot of people

at CSU who had studied at her university in Canberra,

Australia.

The biggest cultural difference she has experienced here is the

drinking age. Cody has studied in England and Australia where the

drinking age is 18 and a common social activity. She has found that

it makes the attitude on campus less mature, Cody said.

Cody thinks that many of the problems that young Americans have

with alcohol are caused in part by the high drinking age. If

individuals are introduced to alcohol when they are at home with

their parents they may learn to use better judgment when drinking,

she said.

There are a wide variety of services offered on campus to

international students to help them assimilate.

The Transitions Program works to identify the needs of

international students and their families and works with the

community to create programs for them. International students can

attend career workshops on resume writing, interviewing or

obtaining permission from the U.S. government to work in the United

States on a temporary basis.

CSU also offers a global certificate program that works with

campus staff and faculty to teach them cross-cultural communication

skills and gives information on specific cultures. This makes the

faculty and staff more comfortable working with diverse

students.

Cody has especially enjoyed The Transitions Leadership Program.

The program consists of seven CSU students who take international

students under their wing. It is a way for international students

to meet American students and get to know Fort Collins.

Many international students run into difficulties with the

language barrier, Hallet said. The Intensive English Program helps

students gain a certain level of language proficiency before they

transfer into full-time course work.

Cody said she has been comfortable at CSU since she got

here.

“People are pretty excited about accents,” Cody said.

 

Top three countries international students come from:

1. India

2. China

3. South Korea

Top Three Majors of International Students

1. Electrical Engineering

2. Computer Engineering

3. Computer Science

or every Friday at 6 p.m. the International Housing apartments

have a gathering for foreign and local students to meet. Everyone

is welcome.

Contacts: Mark Hallet, director of International Student and

Scholar Services 970.491.5917

Gemima Cody, junior communications major from Australia,

970.980.3248

Beth Backer, sophomore art major

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