SEVERE WX : Red Flag Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

International student enrollment slows at SOU

International student enrollment is falling at American universities and it's costing the economy billions of dollars. NewsWatch 12 learned why this is happening and spoke with international students who explained why they still decided to study in the U.S.

Posted: Nov 25, 2019 8:48 AM
Updated: Nov 25, 2019 8:49 AM

ASHLAND, Ore. -- International student enrollment is falling at American universities and it's costing the economy billions of dollars. The number of international students at Southern Oregon University has plateaued during the past couple of years, too. Right now, less than five percent of SOU students are international. 

International enrollment is slowing down because it is more difficult for people to get U.S. student visas and tuition costs have skyrocketed, according to SOU diversity administrators. Additionally, many international parents are worried about safety at American universities due to recent gun violence. 

Many international students know about all of this, but said an education in America is worth it. 

Shirley Hu studies accounting at SOU and is originally from China.  She's been studying in the U.S. since high school and said going to school in a different country allows her to understand how different people think about the world. 

"When people stay in one place for a long time, they kind of forget how big the world is," said Hu. "Until you take an airplane and travel around, you won't see how big the world is and how different people can be."

American universities have a good reputation around the world, according to Suresh Appavoo, SOU's Senior Executive for Equity and Diversity. That's why many students still choose to study here. 

"One of the great things about getting a degree from the United States is that it still has a lot of cachet when students go back home," said Appavoo. "That's also one of the reasons students come to study here. They get kind of a boost when they go back home."

SOU is using new approaches to recruit international students. Recruiters are increasingly visiting community colleges along the West Coast to recruit these students. That's because many of them went to high school in the U.S. and already have a student visa to study in America. 

Basically, this means that SOU would be recruiting these international students as transfer students. The University said it's important to keep recruiting students who can bring different cultures to SOU. 

"One of the powerful impacts is that it makes us stop and think a little bit about how we do things," said Associate Provost Jody Waters. "It really enhances the learning experience for students and the faculty."

International students excited for Thanksgiving

NewsWatch 12 spoke with some international students and they said one of the best parts about studying abroad was learning about new traditions, such as Thanksgiving. That's what inspired Yan Gomberg, who is originally from Brazil, to pursue a degree in America. 

"I felt like I was in my bubble too much and I wasn't really getting out of my comfort zone," said Gomberg. "I just felt like pushing myself out of it and I felt like going abroad would be a good experience for me."

Gomberg said Brazil doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving and that's why he's looking forward to spending the holiday with friends this year.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 42436

Reported Deaths: 655
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9228160
Marion5858108
Washington579076
Umatilla335444
Clackamas313965
Lane239227
Malheur191738
Jackson16846
Deschutes113213
Yamhill99415
Linn81015
Polk65415
Jefferson6049
Morrow5456
Lincoln51713
Union4672
Benton4426
Klamath4113
Douglas3506
Wasco34715
Hood River2771
Josephine2673
Columbia2661
Coos2460
Clatsop2430
Baker1203
Crook1092
Tillamook700
Curry571
Wallowa442
Lake370
Harney230
Sherman190
Gilliam110
Grant110
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 910438

Reported Deaths: 17386
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3006147000
Riverside667321295
San Bernardino627741072
Orange587251447
San Diego54941870
Kern33881416
Fresno30858436
Sacramento25445484
Santa Clara24313388
Alameda23391461
San Joaquin21630489
Contra Costa18694242
Stanislaus17686397
Tulare17495286
Ventura14300164
Imperial12882336
San Francisco12152140
Monterey1139991
San Mateo11149159
Santa Barbara9814120
Merced9465155
Sonoma9402136
Kings824683
Solano738476
Marin7089128
Madera502074
Placer417857
San Luis Obispo414132
Yolo320759
Butte308752
Santa Cruz280225
Napa196215
Shasta188930
Sutter183712
San Benito144215
El Dorado13284
Yuba129310
Mendocino112921
Tehama8808
Lassen7661
Lake69515
Glenn6573
Nevada6168
Humboldt56710
Colusa5506
Calaveras34218
Amador33016
Tuolumne2714
Inyo22715
Siskiyou1930
Mono1802
Del Norte1781
Mariposa782
Plumas680
Modoc290
Trinity260
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 30°
Brookings
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 55°
Crater Lake
Clear
22° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 22°
Grants Pass
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 30°
Klamath Falls
Clear
22° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 22°
Cold morning, mild afternoon
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events