Category Archives: Greenhandshake Blog

International students wonder how President Trump policies will impact their lives

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International students, who have a sizeable presence at the Boston University, are concerned about the statements made by Donald trump on the campaign trail and wonder if they this rhetoric will translate to reality post the swearing in of the new president and how his policies will affect them.

These international students, represent a sizeable chunk of  the students on campus-in Fall 2015 they numbered 8452; approximately a quarter of the BU student body.

William Grimes, associate dean of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, said he expects the incoming president will bring in changes in rules on immigration that will definitely affect immigrants, but legal international students would not have anything to worry about.

However, he felt that the growing specter of xenophobia could be a matter of concern to such students and could prevent students from considering coming to the US for studies and also affect the trend of students coming to the country.     

Many students, Grimes felt,  might have concerns on how they would now be treated in the US and also that many of such students who harbor the hope of  living and working in the country after graduation would now have a rethink on their prospects.

In a placatory statement that aimed to assuage any concerns of international students Grimes also reiterated that the University will continue to ensure a safe and protected environment for everyone.

Alejandro Beristain, a senior in the College of Communication and secretary of the Mexican Students Association, felt that the recent election has changed many international students’ perception of the US as a place that thrives on equality and diversity .He said that Trump’s recent statements had given them a feeling that they were not appreciated or welcome, unlike earlier on.

Roshni Shukla, president of the BU International Society while agreeing that the election had caused unease and distress among international students urged them to remain positive. She reminded these students that they have entered the country legally on their F-1, J-1, or M-1 Visa and should not have any cause for concern and reaffirmed her strong belief that U.S. will still be a country of immigrants and one that still provides so many academic and economic opportunities.

Patricia Arribas, a junior in COM, and Julia Bighetto, a freshman in the College of General Studies and an international student from Brazil, were among the students who are now worried and apprehensive about the long term effect of Trump’s policies that will have a direct bearing on them. They feel that their status as international students would protect them to an extend but felt that this would not prevent growing discrimination.

They both agreed that BU was a wonderful and an amazing place to study they said they had already seen several reports of harassment towards immigrants and advised students that  while they shouldn’t be too worried they should at the same time remain cautious.

Tuan Nguyen – Social Media Assistant

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Places To Seek Help in A Campus

PierpontflagsWhen a person has decided to pursue studies in a college or university in the United States, the experience can be a truly pleasant one. This is mainly because of the many services offered to local and international students alike. There are several places to turn to for help or assistance in every university, whether one needs counseling services, legal assistance or just to polish one’s writing. Given below are eight places that one can turn to when for help, while studying in any university in the U.S.

The International Student Office

The International Student Office stands ready to students with all kinds of assistance, such as solving issues related to school, answer possible cultural questions and so on. Here one can also meet with fellow international students, who might also be of assistance, in answering any questions that one might have.

The Writing Center

A person might be very good at expressing himself/herself conversationally in English, but there are times when it is necessary to make sure that his/her skills in writing are indeed very good. The university writing center offers one-on-one tutoring, for international students as well as any person who requires additional help. Here even highly experienced writers can learn something.

Your Professors

One’s professors understand that most international students might have to face extra challenges, whether they are related to culture or language. Never feel shy to ask any questions or seek clarification about academic assignments, whenever needed. To ask questions is a normal thing at all American university.

Student Union

Studying abroad means also means the many friends one is going to make. Many students prefer to have international students as friends, but having local friends is more important while studying internationally. The Student Union is a good place to begin meeting other students as it is the social center in most campuses in the U.S. Then there are clubs that suits one’s interests and to come across like-minded people.

Career Services

To find a job while in the US for your studies, a student can check with the career services. They will of help in preparing resume, hone interview skills and even help in searching for jobs during CPT and OPT. If a resume has been made already, they can spruce it up, and guide one in finding positions that are worth applying for, and to offer excellent advice, when one starts on a career.

The Academic Adviser

While studying in a US university or college, an academic adviser will be assigned to a student, as a guide in all academic aspects. He/she will inform you of the courses to take, and help in fulfilling the many requirements of the course, and do much more. The adviser will be of help in planning one’s education, as also in the change to a potential career. Usually, there will be one or meetings scheduled every semester, but one can ask for extra appointments if necessary.

Counseling Center

Whenever one moves to a foreign country, it is only natural that one undergoes some culture shock. This can be a bit overwhelming or isolating, at times. This is where university counselors come in, to guide students with similar problems. By working around his/her own schedule, they will make a make a significant difference in the way students feel about differences in culture. So never hesitate to set up an appointment with them.

Legal Services

Hopefully, one will never have to visit the department of legal services while pursuing one’s studies. However, if a student comes across immigration or visa issues, he or she will need assistance from legal services department of the college or university. They can be of help in unraveling the rather confusing legal process and be at one’s side while working to settle the problem.  If the college doesn’t have a legal services department, then the international student advising office will be of help.

By taking advantage of these eight helpful resources, a student stands poised to experience a winning cultural transition, as well as college experience.

Marian Moore – Social Media Manager

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International Students, English Language Requirements

english-language-requirements-greenhandshakeInternational students pursuing their studies in the U.S, have some language requirements to get admission to a university, college, or school, not necessary for American citizens. To get such an admission, one has to be adept at the English language. Many colleges test the English language skills by requiring all foreign students to present test scores certain specified English language aptitude tests such as TOEFL or Test of English Language as a Foreign Language, or IELTS or the International English Language Testing System, the ACT-COMPASS test. These tests assess the level of international students in reading, writing, listening, and speaking English.

How to Prepare For These Tests?

First of all determine what test is required by the college or university, one is seeking admission to, as well as the course. Once it is determined, a visit to the website of the concerned test is necessary. There are several websites that offer online study guides that provide complete information as to the types of questions asked, the number of questions and how and where to take the required test. For instance, TOEFL provides an online test, and a candidate enters his/her answers to the questions into a computer. This test is termed TOEFL iBT. A conventional paper based test is also available, known as TOEFL PBT. The test guide available on the TOEFL website is constantly updated, and offers invaluable tips, on the ways to prepare for the exam.

After finding out what test is required for one to write, the next step is to find out where is the most convenient test center. Some tests are given only during certain times of the year, and so prepare accordingly. Universities and colleges in the US have deadlines for submitting applications for admission. So one should take particular care not to miss them, as one failed to take the required test, well ahead. It is better to take the test, at least one year in advance, if possible.

Actually such tests are meant for those who can speak English, and have already undergone some kind of training in speaking the English language. So, if a candidate cannot speak English fluently, it will be hard for him/her to attend these tests.

Applying to universities and universities in the U.S. can be very stressful, as the whole process includes a lot of test scores, transcripts and other documentation. By completing the whole process successfully, one is paving a good way, to a bright future for one.

Marian Moore – Social Media Manager

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Important Tips While Applying for An Internship in the U.S.

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A lot of international students studying in the U.S. get opportunities to obtain real-world work experience via CPT or OPT. Although these two options might have limitations, it is still a fine opportunity to add to one’s industry knowledge as well as build one’s Resume up. But, the procedure for applying for internships in the U.S. can be different from that of in other countries, and so can be rather intimidating. To make certain that one is not compelled to begin the process of internship application, without having any idea as to what to anticipate, here are some helpful tips:

Fierce Competition

There will be literally thousands of students who are seeking an internship. This signifies that it is necessary to compete with all the other applicants, to get the type of internship that one is looking for. So, it’s crucial to make the best efforts, to be precise and punctual, and do the necessary follow up, often.

Find Out And Apply Well in Advance

While planning for a summer internship, one should not wait till May or June to start searching, but begin months in advance. Most internship positions, particularly the really sought after ones will get filled up right early. Internship positions can be found in websites such as LinkedIn, Craigslist, or any other student job search sites, and when a suitable one is found, apply early.

Get Ready The Necessary Documents

Internships in general require the submission of certain documents such as a cover letter, job application to the company, and updated Resume. They might require other documents besides, such as a transcript or letters of reference, so get all these documents ready. If one doesn’t know how to write a cover letter, get help. If lacking in a letter of reference, one ask one’s professor for one. Unless all the documents the company asks for are presented, the application can be summarily rejected.

Through Editing is Important

Proofread as well as edit all the documents before submitting them. Edit them, asks a friend to edit it too, or contact the campus writing center. When a company gets a lot of applications for any position, they sift through all the initial applications and discard the ones with errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar or any other type of writing mistakes.

Say Thank You

If called for an interview as a part of the hiring process, follow it up by means of a thank you note, either by ordinary post or an email. Prior to leaving the interview, don’t forget to request the business cards of all persons one has spoken to, and follow up, by thanking them for their precious time.

Stay legal.

Before looking for an internship position in the US, the student should ensure that he/she is eligible to work legally while studying in the U.S. If unsure, or confused about the whole process of participating in CPT or OPT, seek the advice of international student advisor, in the campus.

Marian Moore – Social Media Manager

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