Kent State University is known for its international student program, but recently, the international student enrollment has been dropping.
ESL Director and International Student Enrollment Expert Debbie Rozner said that the enrollment dropped by over two percent.
“I think the last I heard we’re under 10 percent now, but it’s a nationwide decline in international student enrollment.”
Rozner said that there are several reasons why the international student enrollment is not only dropping at Kent State, but at colleges and universities nationwide. She said that several countries, including Canada, Australia, and European countries are offering more study abroad programs.
“There’s increased competition now. Canada is a big player. Everybody’s in the game now.”
Along with increased competition, some international students at Kent State University have said that they do not feel as though the United States is safe.
“Don’t believe what the media tells you about us. It’s totally wrong. I can’t believe how wrong it is. They always link us to terrorism.”Sharifah AlNasser, Kent State University International Student
Kent State University Japanese Exchange student Manaka Kataoka said that she is afraid that another student will steal her cell phone.
“For example, if I put my phone in a restaurant with coffee, maybe someone will take this [my] phone.”
Stereotypes that some Americans have also led to a decrease in enrollment.
Kent State University International Student Sharifah AlNasser said that some Americans perceive international students from Western Asia as terrorists due to the way that they are depicted in the media.
“Don’t believe what the media tells you about us. It’s totally wrong. I can’t believe how wrong it is. They always link us to terrorism.”
Rozner explained another reason why the international student enrollment is dropping.
“The atmosphere, the political atmosphere, in the U.S. may play a small part. Recently, it’s more difficult for students to get visas.”
Kent’s decrease in enrollment resulted in less diversity and money for the college.
The University will work harder to recruit international students.
Mrs. Rozner said that there is still hope for the international student enrollment to increase at Kent State University.
“Kent State has seen a decline, but at 10 percent, it’s still a healthy percentage.”