International Students

International Students Here to
Soak Up Culture, Language

By Yu Hsu

Imagine you don't speak English fluently. Plus you are facing culture shock from being in a foreign country. Now you have to pay ten times the per unit fees of average students. These problems are reasons most international student stay at GCC for more than two years.

For international students, college is a bridge for them to get into university. College tuition, compared to university tuition, is a much bigger expense for international students than for resident students. For each unit, they have to pay ten or more times the fees of residents or citizens. They would rather spend more than two years to finish their general requirements in college than spend more time and money in university.

College is different from high school, that's for sure. International students come from different cultures and study backgrounds. "International students should improve their English ability before they go to university," Dr. Mariah Ribeiro, a counselor of international students at GCC, said. College will be a good place for them to get used to the educational system of the U.S.

Colleges also have fewer classes than universities. International students have a hard time getting the classes they need. That's why they are having a hard time finishing in two years.

"Colleges have small classes for international students to study without pressure," Dr. Ribeiro said. You can study in a class of about 30 people in college. You get to know just about everyone in two years. International students will need this kind of educational system before they get into a university. Students can be closer to a professor and not have too much pressure from being in a huge class.

Another reason international students stay in college more than two years is the classes are easier than university classes. Failing a class in university and then paying high fees again to repeat a class will be a shock. International students will not only lose self-confidence, they will lose a lot of money.

Why can't we get out in two years? "Why should we get out in two years? We are not ready yet," Mei-Lin Chen, an international student from GCC, said. There are many problems for college students who have to stay more than two years to finish their goal, but an advantage for international students is all the money they will save.

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