Foreign students share college woes

By on February 22, 2006

Increasing diversity has recently become one of the important goals of Quinnipiac University. One of the steps taken to promote diversity is to publicize the institution outside America and recruit more international students.

While it may seem like the majority of the students at Quinnipiac are homogenous, according to Wenceslaus P’oryem, the Assistant Director of International Student Services, the university boasts approximately 127 international students.

“We have students from about thirty eight countries like China, Trinidad, Jamaica and many others,” P’oryem said. “One of the most common problems international students face is the cultural and educational adjustment because the university is not diverse enough.”

Samantha Levy, a biology major from St. Catherine, Jamaica, faced the same difficulty upon arriving at Quinnipiac. The university was suggested to her through her guidance counselor in Jamaica.

“I came here because it seemed like a close knit, family environment type of school,” Levy said. “It was a big cultural shock, though. Everyone was different and it was hard to relate to people. I found out people were racist and many treated me like I was inferior because I wasn’t American,” Levy said.

However, Sai Ahmed, an economics major from New Delhi, India, claims to have had the optimal university experience at Quinnipiac.

“It takes a little while to adapt wherever you move, but most students here are friendly,” Ahmed said. “I came in as a freshman and everybody was learning to adapt to a new environment, so I wasn’t alone and I settled in quite fast,” he added.

Most international students seem to be attracted to Quinnipiac’s small class-size and the academic programs.

“I like how you get to know the professors better because of smaller classes, and the business school is really good,” Ahmed said.

Qian Zeng, a physical therapy major from Shenyang, China, agrees.

“I learn better in classes because the class size is small,” Zeng said. “I was worried about fitting in because I heard that the school is not diverse, but I have made friends with all sorts of different people.”

The Office of International Student Services tries to cater to all the needs of international students. Most students depend on P’oryem for help with issues they face as international students.

“Some students are troubled by the immigration restrictions and the lack of diversity, but the majority seem content,” P’oryem said.


About Elham Shabahat