International Education Week highlights economic importance of international students and exchange

Martin Gallegos
staff writer
If anyone knows about the grind of paying for college, it’s international students.
Ineligible for financial aid, they have to come up with the entire expense out of pocket. On top of that, the cost of attending Las Positas College is significantly higher for international students. The fortunate can just hit up their parents. Others have to work to save up enough money to move to the U.S. and pay the costs of higher education.
Perhaps LPC’s American-born students should be thankful their international counterparts make such a sacrifice. These 130 students are bringing much-needed extra money to the school, helping to fund classes for the entire college.
Sean Day works with international students on a daily basis as the International Admissions Specialist.  He is grateful for the many benefits these students bring to the campus.
“During these difficult times when classes are being cut, they are providing us the extra revenue to add classes,” Day said.
There is a standard enrollment fee (12 units each semester at $46 per unit) of $1,104 per year which is the same for both local and international students.  What most people do not know is that the international students also have to pay a tuition fee of $5,424 per year.
From South Korea to Turkey, there are 35 different countries represented here at LPC.  In order to pay for these extra fees, international students are very dependent on their parents or family members to help pay for the most part.
“We have many Chinese students here now, and as their economy has been growing, families are enjoying new income,” Day said.  “With the one-child policy in their country, often times their parents and grandparents put their funds together to help pay the fees.”
There are other international students who do not have this luxury and have to work for years, save their money, and come to the U.S. to study at an older age.
Even though the students do bring in extra money for the school, Day does not look at these students as strictly money makers.  He takes more joy from seeing the extra learning opportunities that the students bring to the campus.
“I am hopeful that the relationships they have made here will increase global understanding of the U.S. in their countries,” Day said.
So since this past week was International Education Week, be sure to thank an international student if you see one.  They might be the reason you got into that extra class that you needed this semester.

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