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.”