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
But there are many other benefits both to the students who study
abroad and the students they come in contact with here in
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
“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 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
“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,
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,
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
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
“People are pretty excited about accents,” Cody said.
Top three countries international students come from:
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
Contacts: Mark Hallet, director of International Student and
Scholar Services 970.491.5917
Gemima Cody, junior communications major from Australia,
Beth Backer, sophomore art major