UC Davis admitted a record number of international students this fall, up to 680 from last year’s 344. In total, there are about 1,120 international students on campus.
The rise is dramatic. Some students are frustrated because they feel too many international and out-of-state students are being admitted to the university, and since UC Davis is a public university, it should prioritize Californian applicants.
While we understand this argument, we also acknowledge that the university desperately needs money. And if we’re on the subject of program cuts and fee hikes, accepting more international students is more than reasonable.
International students are a financial boon for UC Davis, as they pay $12,711.82 per quarter versus California residents who pay $5,085.82, according to Budget and Institutional Analysis.
And more than that, international students add diversity. We all need to be more culturally aware. We should all think beyond Davis, beyond California and beyond the U.S.
We hope our new international students feel welcome and become part of our campus community. Some students hold the opinion that foreign students bunch up together and rarely socialize with locals. We’d like to see this change, as the “they don’t want to be friends with us” mentality is probably felt on both sides and unnecessarily self-perpetuates year after year.
There are lots of ways to cross this boundary. There’s the PAL Program, through the linguistics department, where American students pair up with international students to chat once a week. Both parties learn more about the English language as well as about other cultures.
There’s also the International House, which hosts weekly meetings, foreign film screenings and other programs. It’s a great asset to the community, but if UC Davis continues to enroll more and more internationals, the university may want to expand its own programs. For example, the I-House at UC Berkeley provides housing to international students and local students in one intercultural space, and other schools have active pairing programs where local students can request foreign roommates at their off-campus residencies.
UC Davis has arguably the best study-abroad programs in the UC system, with other UC students frequently choosing our offerings over their own institutions. Many UC Davis students are culturally open-minded and want to expand their horizons. For those who can’t afford to go abroad, having a greater international presence here on campus is a great asset.
So, international students, welcome! We hope you enjoy our trees, bikes and cows and we hope to meet you soon.