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Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

SF State popular choice among international students


San Francisco is diverse in art, religious beliefs, gender, cuisine and political beliefs. This diversity permeates throughout campus and within the programs and events offered to students, which allows them to discuss the differences in individuals.

According to College Factual, SF State has an overall high score when it comes to having a diverse campus and has an ethnic rating of 93 percent, compared to the 46 percent national average.

“SF State is a good campus for exchange students because so many cultures are coming together in one place,” said Jordan Wong, vice president of the International Education Exchange Council. “San Francisco is also a very welcoming and open-minded place with little-to-no discrimination.”

SF State is popular among exchange students, and College Factual ranks SF State as 123rd out of 1,300 colleges and universities by popularity. Some popular degrees with international students are business administration and management, basic developmental and remedial education.

“I think the most important difference relating to education is that here every class seems to be more practical than at my home university,” said journalism major Maria Puras. “Also, in Spain, the classes are all fixed except a few in the last two years, so the people who you are in a class with are always the same.”

Maria del Alferez Lopez, an international student from Spain, said the educational programs between San Francisco and Spain are different. “Here, everything is more practical and there are lots of different and diverse subjects you can take.”

SF State’s center for global engagement stated it educates approximately 1,800 international students each year from more than 100 countries.

“My favorite activities to do in San Francisco are visiting the city, discovering new places and going to the beach,” Puras said. “But I think the one that is my favorite and the one I have done more times is to chill in Mission Dolores Park, especially when it is sunny.”

International Students Inc. hosts an event every Thursday until the semester ends where international students can meet new people. The event helps build friendships, and local church members join in to talk to international students.

“San Francisco is a vibrant city that draws in people from around the world. While that is an allure for international students as well,” said Janelle Waldrep, study abroad advisor.

According to College Factual, it suggests that 7.6 percent of international students at SF State placed 158th in the best value for exchange students. China, India and Japan are the largest on-campus communities, with India being the most significant contributor to campus growth. Over the past five years, the number of accepted international students has increased by 2.4 percent since 2011.  

“The student organizations arranges opportunities for students to connect based upon shared interests in small groups to large group trips throughout California as well as local gatherings and end of the semester galas,” Waldrep said. “Exchange students have the opportunity to study in an exciting city while experiencing an American campus and engaging with local students through IEEC.”  

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  • L

    lance johnsonNov 27, 2018 at 10:34 am

    Congrats to SF State because being an international student away from home is difficult, compounded by our complex culture and language problems. Welcoming and assimilation assistance must come from numerous sources, including the White House, to aid these young people embarking on life’s journey. Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments, immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow students, and even informative books to extend a cultural helping hand.
    Something that might help anyone coming to the US is the award-winning worldwide book/ebook “What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” Used in foreign Fulbright student programs and endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it identifies how “foreigners” have become successful in the US, including students.
    It explains how to cope with a confusing new culture and friendship process, and daunting classroom differences. It explains how US businesses operate and how to get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to work with/for an American firm here or overseas.
    It also identifies the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.
    Good luck to all at SFS or wherever you study or wherever you come from, because that is the TRUE spirit of the American PEOPLE, not a few in government who shout the loudest! Supporters of int’l students must shout louder.

    • N

      Neal WongApr 10, 2024 at 8:43 am

      Ok, Lance Johnson.

  • A

    A.GoodmanNov 26, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    The question for the international students is if they are AWARE of their impacts locally on housing, transit, traffic, parking and costs for other students faculty staff and working families that are displaced by the growth impacts of the SFSU-CSU Masterplan 2035? International exchange is great so is a diverse staff, but the U.Corp has only one thing in mind and that is increased housing and tuition fees from international students vs. local provisions for affordable housing where SFSU has already had drastic impact on local housing stock, unaccounted for and education fees that have crept up steadily to increase fees for masterplanning efforts. Speak up now its only till the Dec 5th deadline for the SFSU-CSU Masterplan impact to write and speak up regarding the concerns that are co-impacts of an increased and open FTE enrollment process when housing, transit and impacts are not addressed in the long range planning besides expansionism that pushes out everyone else… Work within your existing boundaries, fix the transit that is unlinked to daly city bart, and build housing that is on the existing campus, and retain UPS for families and faculty housing. Don’t let them build up and spend more.

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SF State popular choice among international students