Foreigners face many obstacles by coming to study abroad in the US

By Staff Writer
October 16, 2003

Seattle Times/KRT

The watch on international students has become increasingly tighter in recent years. Complications concerning visa applications have been a threat for international students because of Congress’s resolve for stronger national security.

Jennifer Marks-Gold, international student support adviser, said, “A tracking system is in place that is a web-based program that makes us keep up on the (foreign) students.” An area where there was little concern for example an international student who missed a class has become information that is important to the government.

As reported on National Association of Foreign Student Advisers website, the Institute of International Education surveyed members of the American Association of Intensive English Programs and found a 19 percent decline in total enrollments between 2002 and 2003.

Marks-Gold said, “The new laws are stricter and horrible for (international) students. There is a decline over the entire country. Students are studying in Europe.”

The main issue has been the visa applications and the continuing renewal of them on time. The screening process has been an increasing problem due to the “efficiency” the government desires.

Zdravko Markov, senior Internet computing major from Bulgaria, said, “Every international student has to stay on top of his or her visa status to make sure it is not expired and if it will expire soon you have to apply for renewal months before it expires or you won’t get the new one in time and you will be in the country illegally.”

Markov continued, “Also, after graduation international students who want to stay in the US and work have to look for jobs that can provide them with working visas which could be very difficult and stressful.”

NAFSA reports on their website that during the academic year of 2001-2002, foreign students and their dependents contributed more than $11.95 billion to the U.S. economy based on tuition figures, enrollment figures and living expenses.

Posted to the web by Angelina Wagner

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