The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Students globe-trot

De Anza College has the second largest population of international students among community colleges in the United States.

The Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees discussed an International Students Program report stating the education of international students is one of the most important issues on the national agenda, at their Aug. 30 meeting.

Students from approximately 100 countries, including 48 from Iran, with whom the United States does not have diplomatic relations, attended De Anza. The largest portion was from China (529 students), followed by Indonesia (456).

Most of De Anza College’s international students come from Asia, Marilyn Cheung, director of the

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International Program, said. “In the U.S. the majority of international students are from Asia. That’s because their interest is in quality education, which would lead to good jobs when the students return to their countries.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce ranks international education and training services as the

nation’s fifth largest export.

The international students’ population last fall was a combined 3,701 at De Anza and Foothill Colleges. They benefit the community by contributing to the economy at local, state and national levels through “expenditures on tuition, books and other fees,” Cheung said. Students from abroad add to intercultural understanding and overcoming stereotypes, and they are highly motivated and committed to success, so they can transfer to the most prestigious universities.

Cheung said 80 percent of the international students at De Anza transfer to universities. “Their scholastic achievement often spurs our domestic students toward higher achievement. They make smaller programs, that are important for our local students, viable to offer because they might otherwise be canceled due to small enrollments,” the report stated.

Such motivation makes international students not only committed to academic achievement, but active in campus life, she said.

“In recent years, international students held half of the elected and appointed Foothill and De Anza student government positions, and over the years, a number of student body presidents have been international students,” Cheung said.

De Anza is “now enrolling the sons and daughters of mothers and fathers who studied with us in the 1960s and 70s,” the report stated.

International students and are provided detailed orientation and counseling to help them adjust to a new country. Homeland security requires reports about each international student’s behavior and academic success.

“We cannot send our students around the world, but by bringing students here from many other countries we can give our local students the opportunity to meet students from around the world and learn about other cultures,” Foothill-De Anza Trustee Joan Barram said.

“We also think it is an important way to teach the rest of the world about America’s culture and values. International students return to their home countries with real knowledge about America, and they can influence others.” 

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