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Davis

Davis, California

Monday, September 20, 2021

Campus hosts record number of international students

This quarter, there is an estimated 1,120 international undergraduate students at UC Davis, about 680 of whom are new.

This number is approximately 70 to 80 percent higher than the number of international students in previous years; last year, for example, there were 344 international students.

With increased undergraduate admissions throughout the UC system, the number of admitted international and exchange students is rising as well.

“UC Davis is committed to increasing California, out-of-state and international student numbers,” said Moira Delgado, the outreach coordinator for Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS). “In general, most campuses are moving toward internationalizing in the broad sense of the term: sending more students abroad, increasing international students and internationalizing the curriculum.”

Still, many students are apprehensive about the growing number of out-of-state and international students out of fear that they are taking their place within the system.

According to the Student Fees Fact Sheet by Budget and Institutional Analysis, national and international students pay $12,711.82 per quarter, while California residents pay 5,085.82.

“I’ve seen a steady increase in the number of international students occupying seats in lecture halls, in the library, at the MU — everywhere,” said fourth-year chemical engineering major Kent Ly. “I suspect that the university is accepting more students from abroad to bridge the gap in funding since non-Californian students pay more than twice the typical resident in tuition and fees. I fear that instead of directly addressing the real issue — which in this case is tuition hikes — the UC system will resort to decreasing the number of California-based students admitted in favor of accepting more international and out-of-state students.”

Despite the negative response, many international students remain optimistic about their role on campus and what they can offer.

“I think I can empathize with their views to some extent,” said fourth-year design major Madevi Sun-Suon, an international student from Cambodia, about the negative response from in-state students. “For example, when it comes to financial matters, I think the UC should prioritize Californian students because the UC is a public university. The same goes for admittance. However, I do think having more international students can also bring benefits for the school because they bring in more diversity and a different perspective for the campus community. Our world is so interconnected that being open-minded and having a more international perspective is useful for everyone.”

To help incoming international students acclimate to American university culture, new seminars are being offered at the Student Academic Success Center that focus on American cultural values. In addition, the International Students Club was recently formed to help students more easily integrate themselves into the campus community. SISS also launched a mentoring program that serves a similar purpose.

Delgado said that the presence of international students is an asset to the campus.

“International students bring incredible diversity to our campus and it is not only an opportunity for them to learn about U.S. culture but also a wonderful way for U.S. students to learn about other cultures,” Delgado said.

STEPHANIE B. NGUYEN can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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