It’s no secret that international students are the bread and butter for US colleges’ bottom line
International students represent the most profitable segment of the student body for American Universities. They pay full tuition, room and board, and often times buy luxury cars while studying in the U.S. The students from the U.S., including those eligible to pay instate tuition, are barely covering the increasing costs of higher education. Between requests for financial aid scholarships and the pressure from the public to keep the tuition fees down, the higher eduction institutions have no choice but to look at international students to provide some relief.
But international students body presents its share of problems:
Compromised test results before admission? Or it’s just too difficult to master English?
They are required to pass either TOEFL or IELTS before coming to the U.S. To fight for these students, the colleges continue to lower the requirements, sometimes requiring the students to take some English Courses at the universities before being able to attend regular classes. Sometimes the results of Standard Exams do not match the students’ fluency level. It’s not clear whether the tests are compromised or the ability to express yourself is hard to develop. Parents even send their kids to attend their last couple of years in U.S. high schools, making it even costlier for them.
Flocking together with students from your country as a defense mechanism
Learning a foreign language is not an easy task, being fluent is even more difficult. Many people after living many years in the U.S. still struggle to express themselves. Students from Japan, China, and Korea often return home and still have a strong accent. Frequently, that they can’t enunciate a “th” sound or confuse when to put “a” or “the”, etc. One of the reasons is because foreign students feel alienated and flock together instead of integrating themselves with local student body. Interaction is often limited to working in groups and very little time spent talking in class. Oftentimes, the students are afraid to speak out, afraid of their accent, or feeling “stupid”. They rush back to their dorm rooms and spend the rest of the day speaking in their native languages with their friends.
How can the universities help foreign students truly assimilate into the rest of the student body?
We believe that universities have a great power yet to be utilized. We propose to start integrating foreign students even before they step foot on U.S. soil. We believe that the students from the U.S. who are interested in making some money part time could be offered an ability to communicate with the potential students while being paid the same hourly wage they make working at cafeteria or library. The question is how to provide the parents and the universities with maximum level of effectiveness. It’s a very demanding task and we have the solution. We’ve tested it with our corporate clients all across the world who face very similar challenges. Large multinationals offer language training as a benefit, but yet many of those employees never improve their language skills. Here is how we approach providing accountability, teacher efficacy and transparency of the results.