International students prepare for transfer


Yumeno Matsuo

Ufuk Baytekin, 20, mechanical engineering major, visits multiple booths at the International Student Transfer Fair on May 3.

Yumeno Matsuo

More than 250 people attended the International Student Transfer Fair, an event that provided international students the opportunity to speak face-to-face with university representatives, on May 3. The annual event has been organized by the International Student Program(ISP) for over 10 years. 

Lynn Ling, the ISP program coordinator and organizer of the fair, said that the event allows international students to ask school representatives the requirements for transfer and provides them with the chance to explore different schools.

“Some students may realize, ‘oh, wait, my major in this school has a lot of internships and support,’ so they probably will decide to transfer to that school instead of following their original plan,” Ling said. “(Events like this) will provide our students with more opportunities (to find schools) that best fit their academic goals.”

Rapeeporn Saekow, 20, computer science major, is an international student from Thailand. She said she never thought she would want to attend California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, but after interacting with their staff, she is now interested in applying.

Min-seo Kim, 19, computer science major, talks to an officer from one of her dream universities on May 3. (Yumeno Matsuo)

“The staff was really nice,” Saekow said. “I’m really interested in that university (now).” 

South Korean international student Min-seo Kim, 19, computer science major, said she wants to apply to all colleges in the University of California system because of the guaranteed admissions programs available to transfer students.

Despite these available programs, she said she also wants to apply to other out-of-state and private universities.

“I’m curious about requirements to transfer to Columbia University and University of South Carolina,” Kim said.

 Turkish international student Ufuk Baytekin, 20, mechanical engineering major, asked school representatives how he could improve his chances of getting into a school. He said they advised that aside from taking courses, he also needs to take part in campus life and show he’s an active member of society. 

“Things like joining clubs or (engaging in) community service will make it easier to get accepted,” Baytekin said.

Burmese international student Alex Moe, 18, biological science major, said that the event is a great opportunity to ask school representatives how to maximize chances of being able to transfer.

Alex Moe, 18, biological science major, talks to a school representative at the fair on May 3. (Yumeno Matsuo)

It is important for international students to complete the prerequisites, such as having high GPAs or participation in extracurricular activities and finish the general education courses,” Moe said.

For some international students, the fair carried more meaning because they could ask about scholarship programs. 

“The scholarship availability for international students is quite slim. So that’s one of the things that we have to consider asking them,” Moe said.

CSUs as well as some out-of-state and private universities provide scholarship opportunities for international students. 

“As I know, for example, Menlo College provided good scholarship opportunities a few years ago for international students,” Ling said. “Some of our students decided to transfer to Menlo College after they knew of this opportunity.”

Events like this fair are mutually beneficial: both help students learn how to transfer to four-year universities, and representatives from the 38 universities that attended helped recruit students to raise enrollment. Emily Stanton, the lead admissions officer at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, was one of the representatives that came to speak with students. 

“This is a great opportunity for us,” Stanton said. “We have a lot of international students that come from De Anza and from Foothill, so it’s great for us to be here and meet with them ahead of time.”