International students in US colleges are responsible for $30 billion of the country’s economy every year. They also prepare young Americans to work in a diverse culture. But the recent political climate change has made things uneasy for international students studying here. The fear has prevailed after Trump’s administration and a few other factors.
The future of foreign students currently studying in various colleges in the USA is also uncertain.
The importance of these students is clearly visible. That is why hundreds of US colleges have joined the #YouAreWelcomeHere video social media campaign. These colleges want to convey the message to International students that they are always welcome. US higher education needs to be both safe and open to the world.
Here are some big reasons:
Loss of $30 billion to US economy
Over 1 million international students contribute more than $30 billion every year to US economy. Every college wants to boost their numbers. But a lot of parents of international students have been scared because of alarming news headlines about violence and bias at US schools, others are worried about visa restrictions.
Just because of the political friction in US, the interest of international students has decreased to one-third of 2,104 prospective international students surveyed in February 2017. Since, the Trump has taken over, the number is continually on the declining curve.
The number of new enrolments also dipped before the election of Mr. Trump though. But the difference was of just 10,000 students in the fall of 2016. The counterargument that Trump government makes on this issue is that the outsiders are stealing the jobs of Americans.
One contributing factor can also be government scholarships for international students in Brazil and Saudi Arabia for students to go abroad. There is also an increase in opportunities in big countries such as India and strategies applied by nations like Canada, which markets itself as safe and welcoming. Countries like France, Germany, Italy, Australia, and Canada are taking advantage of this opportunity to lure foreign students in their colleges.
Alluring the students
Trump’s policies and almost anti-immigrant approach has already crushed dreams of many international students. But this is not what the schools and colleges in the United States want and thus they have been working double time to provide opportunities for international students to interact with them.
The US State Department continues to promote study in various countries through its Education USA offices. State Department and U.S. agencies are also working on taking action to address growing concerns about theft of intellectual property and threats to national security by individuals from certain countries. The United States has remained a “soft power” for hundreds of years in the realm of higher education. Though, this trend is changing very quickly, thanks to strict visa guidelines and requirements.
Chinese students are put through new screening guidelines. It would require annual renewal of visa. These security concerns are undoubtedly important but with the new immigration policies, it is a clear signal to international students that they are not welcome.
“The unsafe US”
Chinese parents say that they fear discrimination against their children since Trump’s election and Covid-19. The violent crimes against non-whites also disturb them. The recent media coverage of gun violence, they conclude that US is not safe.
Many students inquire if they can apply to the US, or Canada or any other countries at the same time. Still those students who get into top-ranked US universities and can afford tuition does not mind the concerns.
After all this, those students who have been negatively affected by violence in US urge people to see the bigger picture. Education in the US yet has its considerable share of merits.
Developing Nations are providing good education
Countries like India, China, Brazil have invested billions of dollars in the infrastructure of their education system. As a consequent, students are getting quality education at their home country at a fraction of cost what they would have to spend in a country like USA. This is also one of the major reasons, we’re witnessing low number of college applicants from these countries.