International Students and their Contribution to a University

Immigration is currently a highly debated topic and the United States of America is home to many immigrants. George Mason University and many other colleges and schools in the United States accept students from international countries and are in fact trying to promote their schools to prospective international students, but the question is why.

International students provide new and beneficial opportunities for themselves as well as the staff, faculty, and the entire student population as a whole. George Mason University is seen as a school that is greatly culturally diverse and part of the reason is because of the international student’s program. In an interview done by Nick Anderson, a reporter from The Washington Post, Angel Cabrera, the president of George Mason University, supports the idea that more international students would benefit the college as a whole. He states that “international students bring with them varied perspectives, cultural diversity and opportunities for global learning and connectedness.” The president also stated that the international student program would “boost economic activity.” This exhibits how George Mason and other schools across the country desire a higher population of international students. Anderson also includes that George Mason University hopes to increase its number of international students by 50 percent in five years.

So far the United states has been in an upward trend in international students from 2000.


Although one would expect the process to apply internationally to be more difficult compared to the admissions process of non international students because they live in another country, the process is actually almost identical. Except, of course, the ability to speak English.  Even though the admissions process is the same, there is one major difference and that is the rate of tuition.

Tuition Rate for International Students Tuition Rate for Non International Students
$28,622 $7,976

International Students pay the same tuition rate as out of state students. The tuition rate for out of state students is roughly around $28,000 and the tuition rate for an in state student is about $8,000.  That is about four times less than what international students pay to attend school. This raises the question of why does George Mason University and other colleges across the country aim to increase their international student enrollment. Is it really because it would increase cultural diversity or because the tuition rates for international students provide a large amount of funding for the school.

There is a multitude of reasons as to why George Mason University as well a other colleges accept international student and unfortunately funding is one of the more important reasons why however cultural diversity is another. Cultural diversity is an aspect that keeps society thriving. Many organizations such as schools and work places pride themselves on being culturally diverse and use it as one of their main selling points, colleges and universities included.

George Mason University is a school that celebrates cultural diversity. The university had a whole week that was dedicated to international countries and the students, International Week.

During International Week at George Mason, there were events all week that were held by student organizations represent countries all over the world. These events included different aspects and traditions from different countries. These events really helped students share their culture and represent their countries creating a sense of pride in the students.

Students at GMU gather to celebrate Sikh culture during international week.

The United States of America is not the only country that accepts international students, there are many countries in Europe and other continents that have international schools. The official website for George Mason University includes a page that is titled Office of the President which contains information regarding the university. A recent post from the presidential staff discussed how the university is becoming more global. The post discusses how the United States has attracted more international students than any other country, however, colleges in the U.S have a far less percentage of international students than many other countries.  This is a matter that George Mason University aims to improve.

The fact that international countries have a higher enrollment of international students than the United States raises the question of why many international students prefer to go elsewhere besides the United States. One of the most plausible reasons for this is security. The process for getting into the United States could be more difficult for them and recently this is the case for non students as well. Obtaining a visa has become difficult for many under new administration and if this continues the whole aspect of cultural diversity in the United States of America will be hindered.

Referring back to the admissions process for international students, the official web page for the admissions office at George Mason University showed that the process for applying as an international student was similar to that of a non international student. However, there was one small additional step to the process for international students. All international students who are planning to apply to George Mason University are required to verify that they are proficient in the English language. Other countries for example Germany, do not require that students can actually speak German. Instead the schools would try and accommodate English speaking students instead of the other way around. Schools in the United States, however require students to take a test to show that they are proficient and if the student is not proficient instead of rejecting their application, they place the student in a class, in addition the classes that the student is already taking, that will teach them how to become proficient in English. This could be another reason why prospective students prefer attending school in a country other than the United States. The United States tries to conform non native English speakers instead of providing accommodation like the schools in other countries. Although English is considered a universal language, this “special treatment” could lead to bigger gaps and more differences among nations.

In conclusion, schools such as George Mason University aim to increase the amount of international students not just for funding purposes, but also to create a more diverse atmosphere that will benefit all students in the long run.



Is Surveillance Really Harmful?

In the article “Where Data Sleeps”, the author Andrew Blum describes the remote locations for data centers and goes into detail regarding his visit to Google’s data center and the amount of privacy present there. He includes a comparison to Facebook’s data center to show how secretive Google really is. He states that Facebook’s data center is almost the polar opposite when compared to Google’s because Facebook’s in general, including the people that work there are far more open to giving a tour than those that work for Google (Blum 254). In another article titled “The Googlization of Us: Universal Surveillance and Infrastructural Imperialism” the author Siva Vaidhyanathan describes how Google has knowledge on everything and the term privacy is not a very strong one. He includes a conversation with Google’s vice president who stated that “privacy is just a word that we clumsily use to stand in for a wide array of values and practices that influence how we manage our reputations in various contexts” (Vaidhyanathan 87). Both of these articles show how Google depict how Google has power over all of us.

Nowadays there is a lot of conversation about how Google and other sources can track every move we make online and there is a debate on whether or not this changes the way we act and the items that we search. I personally think that people do not act differently and I certainly don’t try and hide what I search. I think there is so much data that is all just stored somewhere and higher officials do not actually look at all of it and if they did there is way too much information to place it to a single person. In my opinion, the main reason to look at the data would be if someone were to get into trouble. Although it can be creepy if advertisers seem to be able to read your mind, it does not really cause us harm. A major effect of us knowing that our online movements can be tracked is that people tend to think twice before posting something that they could regret. Although there is still a lot of information out there that probably should not be and people continue to post whatever they want, knowing that our data may not be as bad as it seems.

In class, we talked about whether there was a way to not be tracked at all and it was nearly impossible to come up with a way unless one completely cuts themselves off from society. If were absolutely afraid of being tracked, we could not have any form of technology or bank account and without these it would be impossible to have a steady job and I do not think giving up our lives is worth privacy. Another fact is that everyone is being tracked so we are not alone and this adds to the amount of data and the more amount of data the harder it is to track. Also, I personally believe that most people do not think about the fact that what they are doing online is traceable and if they do it is just a quick thought that somebody could probably find this if they wanted to and then they just go about their regular business because we simply cannot just press pause or stop on our lives.

Works Cited

Blum, Andrew. Tubes: Journey to the Center of the Internet. HarperCollins, 2012. Print.

Vaidhyanathan, Siva. The Googlization of Everything: (and Why We Should Worry. Berkeley: U of California, 2012. Print.

What Countries do International Students Come From?

The following page from the website Project Atlas shows the number of international students coming to the United States from many different countries. This website has a lot of charts that are very helpful and easy to understand. One chart shows the top ten countries from which the United States is receiving international students. Another chart shows the total number of international students from all places of origin by field of study. This is helpful in predicting what kind of jobs these international student will get after they graduate from college and how they will play a role in our society. This website page was last edited in the Fall of the year 2015 so it is a fairly recent source therefor it can be considered more credible and reliable. The website also has tabs that show the data for past years which can be useful for analyzing trends. I plan to use this data to see if colleges and universities use this information to attract a certain group of international students and what effects this has on the university overall.


Global Trends of International Students

The following web page is called Office of the President and it is a page sharing information from the president’s office at George Mason University (GMU). This article talks about how even though the United States of America has the largest amount of international students, the percentage of international students in the entire university student population is a lot lower than some other countries that have a lot less amount of international students than the United States. This page includes a chart of the number of international students in various countries and also the total percentage of international students attending the university. The page also discusses the effects of having a large number of international students at a school. According to the statement on the page, the countries that have schools that accept and have a lot of international students are considered to have stronger education and have benefits to the society as a whole. I plan to use this article to show why universities are trying to attract more international students.


Tuition Rates for International Students

The following website is called College Factual. It contains facts surrounding many different colleges. The page for George Mason University (GMU) shows the tuition rates for in state and out of state students. The tuition rates for international students is the same as the tuition rates for out of state students. In addition to just showing the different rates of tuition, the web page also shows the change in tuition rates over time. My article is on the experiences of international students and this information is very helpful and can be used as a source for my article because it shows the drastic difference in cost between what international and non-international students pay for college. This can also be helpful when analyzing why George Mason and colleges in general accept so many international students. For my article I could also analyze the trends of both the increasing number of international students as well as the increasing cost of tuition over time.

Why Accept International Students?

The following article from The Washington Post discusses the reasons why George Mason University (GMU) is looking for more international students. The article was written by a man named Nick Anderson who is a reporter in Washington, D.C. The article (written in 2014)discusses GMU’s goal to increase the amount of international students enrolled. This relates to my article because I am looking into why GMU and colleges accept international students in the first place. Although this article was written two years ago it is still relevant because the article says that GMU’s goal was to increase the enrollment of international students by 50 percent in five years. I hope to look into whether or not GMU is on track to accomplishing this goal, and if it is, what methods the school is doing to make it happen. The article then discusses some of the financial benefits of having more international students. I hope to do further research on this aspect as well.

Admissions Process for International Students

The following link describes the application process for international students who want to apply to George Mason University (GMU). The website is linked with the admissions office at GMU. In my article, I hope to discuss the experiences of international students and this website provides information on how international students apply to school and what requirements they need. They website also has tabs for non-international students, which can help compare the admissions process for international and non-international students. This can be useful in showing whether or not there are different standards for international students and whether or not they have a specific impact on the school. The website page also shows different upcoming events that international students can attend to learn more about the school. The page also provides information on student visas and health insurance plans for international students. There is also a tab that provides brief information regarding scholarships. Overall, the website page provides an overview of what international students are required to do before they are accepted.