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UNT sees international student enrollment increase

UNT sees international student enrollment increase

UNT sees international student enrollment increase
October 17
18:33 2018

UNT International recently released its 2017-18 academic year report and cited an increase of 99 students from the previous academic year.

Upon admission to the university, international students must take various steps to legitimize their purpose for being in the U.S. UNT’s International Student Services works with students to ensure a successful transition, said Lauren Jacobsen, director of international student and scholar services.

“An international student’s journey to the United States doesn’t end at the point of admission to their degree program,” Jacobsen said in an email. “They must then receive immigration documents from UNT, go through a visa interview with the U.S. Department of State and then be entered through U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”

In contrast with domestic recruiters, international recruiters face several additional challenges, including language barriers, time zones and cultural practices.

“The most distinguishing difference is that no one wakes up one day half way around the world and decides on their own that they want to study in Denton, Texas,” said Pieter Vermeulen, director of international recruitment, in an email. “Their decision to choose UNT is based on the suggestion or affirmation of a ‘recommender’ such as a UNT alumnus, international education advisor, international high school counselor, et cetera.”

Jacobsen said that while Denton may not seem like the first choice for international students wishing to study abroad, the growth and opportunity found within the DFW region gives UNT some added appeal.

“The DFW region is growing quickly, and with that growth comes opportunities for our students to experience a lively metroplex with internship opportunities and job opportunities after graduation,” Jacobsen said.

Despite a slight drop from the previous fall semester, UNT’s College of Engineering (CENG) continues to report some of the highest numbers of both undergraduate and graduate international students. The 703 students enrolled in the CENG for fall 2017 were spread out among various majors including computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering and others.

“We have the mechanical and energy engineering program and the fact that students can do both mechanical and energy within that degree is popular for some of our students as well,” said Kathryn Beasley, assistant director of recruitment and admissions for the CENG. “Those are just a couple of examples of things that we do particularly well that students are interested in.” 

The flags of Venezuela, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, Pakistan and Nepal are just a few of the many nations’ flags that decorate the international student advising center. Jordan Collard

Many programs within the CENG are considered eligible for the 24-month STEM Operational Practical Extension, which allows students up to three years of work authorization in the U.S. after successful completion of a STEM program.

“This work authorization allows our graduates the opportunity to work in their field of study and gain practical experience as it relates to their degree program,” Jacobsen said. “Not all majors at UNT are eligible for the 24-month STEM extension, so that makes a program of study in the College of Engineering highly attractive.”

Vermeulen said that while most campus programs and resources are available for the use of all students, international students have options available that allow them the opportunity to succeed in their academic endeavors while at UNT and beyond.

“International enrollment growth across our campus — not just in engineering [but] in Denton, [too], and at the New College in Frisco is driven by innovative initiatives of the UNT faculty to offer programs that combine creativity with technology to prepare our students for careers of the future,” Vermeulen said.

Featured Image: First year Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) student Amy Lee listens as instructor Elizabeth Matthews reviews an assignment. After completing level six of the IELI program, students are eligible to apply for undergraduate programs at UNT. Jordan Collard

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the acronym for the College of Engineering is CENG, and not COE as it was written in an earlier version of this story.

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Alex Hall

Alex Hall

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1 Comment

  1. lgjhere
    lgjhere October 20, 18:26

    Sadly, Trump’s contentious issue is yet one more thing that makes being an international student away from home difficult, compounded by our complex culture and language problems. Welcoming and assimilation assistance must come from numerous sources, including the White House, to aid these young people embarking on life’s journey. Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments, immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow students, and even informative books to extend a cultural helping hand.
    Something that might help anyone coming to the US is the award-winning worldwide book/ebook “What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” Used in foreign Fulbright student programs and endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it identifies how “foreigners” have become successful in the US, including students.
    It explains how to cope with a confusing new culture and friendship process, and daunting classroom differences. It explains how US businesses operate and how to get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to work with/for an American firm here or overseas.
    It also identifies the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.
    Good luck to all at UNT or wherever you study or wherever you come from, because that is the TRUE spirit of the American PEOPLE, not a few in government who shout the loudest! Supporters of int’l students must shout louder.

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