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International Students at SCU Discussion

On Thursday, April 10th, the Global Engagement Office hosted a lunch to discuss international students at SCU.

As we anticipate SCU reaching 1,000 international students by next academic year, this served as an opportunity for GEO to share what is currently happening throughout the University and consider opportunities as part of the University's strategic priority for Global Understanding and Engagement.

Currently, SCU is ranked #28 in the nation for the number of international students that we receive.

The International Students at SCU lunch gathered over 40 individuals from across campus who regularly interact with or support international students. The group discussed an article published in February by The Chronical of Higher Education: International, "Campuses Focus More on Meeting International Students' Needs". 

Participants were then asked to reflect and respond to a set of discussion questions. See topics and common themes in responses below:

What are ways in which your area currently engages with international students at SCU?

Guests represented departments across campus that interact with international students in many ways, including:

  • Advising: academic, internships, career
  • Providing support: medical, psychological, spiritual
  • Hiring as student staff
  • Marketing efforts: email correspondence, phone calls, etc.

What structures/communication/collaboration/resources would you like to see the University develop to support work with international students? 

  • Orientation for incoming students to make them feel welcomed and aware of their resources
  • Cultural training for students, faculty, and staff
  • Coordination between undergraduate and graduate schools and across departments
  • Data regarding international students
  • Centralized resources for international students
  • ESL programming
  • International student representation in student government/groups (e.g., CF and ambassador programs)

What challenges and opportunities do you anticipate with growth of international students that may not exist now?


  • Infrastructure for support when campus is closed (e.g., holidays)
  • Not having the resources (financial or otherwise) to give the students an experience that is consistent with the mission of the University
  • Tracking/identifying students while they are here and also keeping contact info up-to-date once students leave the University
  • Support for English language
  • Desire to work in the US beyond graduation, especially for undergraduates


  • Culture sensitivity workshops for staff – audits on current policies/practices to see if they are internationally friendly
  • More courses geared toward international students


Thank you to all who attended the lunch and participated in the discussion! Moving forward, GEO plans to have more opportunities for engaging with SCU's growing international student population.



Posted on 4/23/2014

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