Erik Presley (USA)

How well will Foreign Students Endorse their overseas experience?

by Erik Presley | August 11, 2012 | Erik Presley (USA) 0 Comments

As I’m working in our Jakarta Office we came across an article by Susan Woodward in The Chronicle entitled “From Foreign Students, Hardly a Ringing Endorsement for Australia.” What she reports has driven the desire to write this blog post.


As ELI 360 and it’s offices have long been involved in helping students from all over the world go to the U.S. for their studies we’ve seen many different reactions from the host university and the international students. What we have gained over this time is perspective. While our perspective is fueled by this involvement we have a deeper knowledge because we’ve all been ex-patriots of our own country. Our offices in Shanghai and Jakarta have studies abroad, our personnel in the U.S. have all lived overseas for work and study.

The issues shared in the article deal with challenges at universities in Australia yet they are the same issues that all our partner universities face year-in-and-year-out. The difference with our partner universities is that they have elected to make their campuses globally friendly.

They have intentionally worked towards achieving the following realities on their campus:

  1. a culture among faculty, staff and students that effectively shares an honest concern for the over-all welfare of international students who come to the U.S. for their studies
  2. all students domestic and foreign are individuals who have unique needs and aspirations that require help
  3. an environment where faculty and staff are willing to spend some time with students and listen to each; to advise each, to mentor each, etc.
  4. a set of policies and organizational structures that help facilitate international students’ integration in the classroom and student life.

Over the last decade working on developing the partnerships we have in place one of our key goals has been to find universities that first offer a safe welcoming environment for students to study. That is a key issue for international students. Of course we also connect with exceptional universities that have a strong set of majors and are academically rigorous.

Probably the key difference between the comments in this article like Mr. Liu’s below and our partners’ students is the fact that for the last three decades international students have come, studied and graduated saying they felt empowered and assisted in not only achieving the goal of a degree but the ability to become leaders in their profession.

It’s difficult for international students, that’s always been a fact, but the universities and government don’t do much to help,” said Mr. Liu. “All I did in the past came from personal effort. They didn’t do anything at all to give me more of a chance, or a program to make me feel more at home.

To read just one of many interviews with international students at our universities click here – Desmond Yeo, CEO GFT in Singapore.

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