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Saturday, June 10, 2023

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International studies bring in students

As Houston is the fourth-largest city in the country and houses students from 126 different countries, it is not surprising that approximately 4,200 foreign students and faculty come to UH to take advantage of the higher education opportunities.
In the last year the UH international population has grown from almost three percent — most students coming from China, India and Vietnam. Anita Gaines, Director of International Student and Scholar Services Office said the international recognition of UH is what attracts students from different countries.

“The U.S. is one of the counties in the world that attracts international students,” Gaines said. “UH is known around the world.”

Engineering, Business and Natural Science and Mathematics are the most studied areas for these students.

The academic programs and diversity of UH are two things that attract international students to the university.

Drederik Rijkiens, a 25-year-old Dutch international student, came to UH to study Supply Chain and Logistics Technology.

Rijkiens said that he traveled to Houston to intern for SBM Atlantia —a member of the Dutch global group of companies selling systems and services to the offshore oil and gas industry — and enjoyed it so much he decided to pursue his graduate degree in Houston.

“It’s an international city with a broad range of people,” Rijkiens said. “The people here are really friendly.”

Swati Roy, a prospective graduate biochemistry student from India, transferred from Mercer University to research cancer, hoping to find a cure.

“UH is big and full of life and the research opportunities are better,” Roy said. “Houston is really happening.”

Roy says she enjoys the diversity of Houston and finding spots that remind her of home. However, the diversity is not just for Houston; UH is a melting pot in-and-of-itself.

“Our office takes great pride in helping international students at UH,” Gaines said. “ISSSO provides financial assistance, international advocates and counseling and advising relating to their legal status.”

Along with its role in accommodating students, ISSSO established the Delta Iota Chapter of Phi Beta Delta in 1998 to bridge cultures together, thereby allowing national and international students to be aware and learn about other cultures.

One event that PBD hosts every November is the International Education Week, which promotes awareness of the different world cultures on campus. For some, this week is a way to bring their home life to campus.

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