International enrollment falls nationwide
By Aydin Aladinov and Zunaira Khan - Staff Reporters
International student enrollment at Highline is down by 45 percent since the 2017-2018 school year.
One study said that International student enrollment in the United States is down by 2.7 percent since last March, and 6.6 percent since 2017.
According to quarterly data on student visa holders recently published by U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement, 32,000 fewer international students are studying in the Unit- ed States this year compared to last.
"Going into fall 2019, ISP had applicants from 20 different countries, but the students who obtained visas were from only 10 of those," said Eva Engelhard, International Student Programs manager.
"This can be attributed to political, economic, or other challenges that may be completely out of the applicants' control."
International enrollment is down for a number of reasons.
"The political tension, issues with securing visas, and the challenges that students face once they come here," said one professor.
However, International Student Programs recruiters are still encouraging students from overseas to come and study here at Highline.
"We continue to send our staff on international recruitment trips, primarily in Asia; ISP Adviser Nga Pham will be in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand later this quarter," said Engelhard.
Many international students who come to Highline don't have issues with the school it- self, but instead with America and how homesick they feel.
"It can get a little lonely at times, scrolling through Instagram and seeing all my peers spend time with their families," said one international student. "The current political tension doesn't help either for someone who looks and speaks differently than the average American."
A student at Highline had high hopes for working in America, but is still trying to find his dream job.
"Working part-time to earn enough to cover your personal expenses was marketed as a very possible option," said John Mulamba, a student at Highline. "It was only after I came here that I understood how difficult it is to get part-time work. I'm sure that the opportunities I dreamt of are out there, however I'm still struggling to find them."
Nonetheless, the ones who do come have positive things to say about Highline.
"The diversity of students at Highline makes me feel like I'm not alone here," said Ken Wan.
"I like how diverse Highline is compared to my old school back home," said Zain Rin, a second-year student from Indonesia.
"I like the nice teachers at Highline," said Eric Kiri. "I like the opportunities I get from attending Highline," said Kevin Patel, a second-year student from Malaysia.
"I like how my classes flow at Highline," said Cho Aroon, a second-year student from China.
International Student Programs officials are trying to make the students feel welcome at Highline.
"We strive to provide a platform for our students to share their authentic voices," said Hamilton Garvaundo, international engagement adviser.