International Students

International Students and the "Storyteller-in-Chief"

Following is an article by Angel B. Perez, vice-president and dean of admission and financial aid at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. Perez offers an eloquent description of the experience of recruiting international students, where as "storyteller-in-chief" he translates the experience and values of an American education for students around the world. A must-read for all who are interested in or curious about why colleges value international diversity. This article originally appeared in The Times Higher Education in the United Kingdom.

I was in South Africa giving a college presentation to young women at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls when I asked if anyone in the audience had questions for me. "Before you came to Africa, Sir, did you believe there were wild animals roaming around in the streets?" asked an eager young woman. As the audience giggled, I laughed and replied, "No I did not, and for my safety, I'm glad to see my beliefs are confirmed."

She was half-kidding, of course, but her interest in the perception of Africa in other countries was genuine. What followed was a powerful conversation about perception versus truth, and how education transforms how we experience each other's cultures.

Jenny Rickard, Bryn Mawr College, Answers 5 Questions

Jenny Rickard, Chief Enrollment and Communications Officer at Bryn Mawr College, joins us this month to answer five questions about the private women's liberal arts college founded in 1885 "for the advanced education of females." Located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, just ten miles west of Philadelphia, the 135-acre campus hosts approximately 1300 undergraduate women.  

With an 8-to-1 student faculty ratio, Bryn Mawr offers 36 majors, 38 minors, 8 concentrations, and the opportunity for students to develop independent courses of study. But Bryn Mawr students can choose from among more than 5,000 course offerings because of the cooperative relationship the school has with neighboring Haverford College and its ties to Swarthmore College and University of Pennsylvania.

College Admission Is Going to China

Co-Author Robin Mamlet will embark on a speaking tour of China in June, addressing students and their families about applying to college in the United States. She'll be covering the basics -- testing, essays, and aid -- as well as the particulars required of international students, such as certification of finances and translation of documents in Shanghai, Nanjing, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. Stay tuned for pictures of her travels here later this month.  

College Admission on India Ink at The New York Times

Our primer on standardized testing for international students applying from India is up on the New York Times' blog India Ink. Thank you to Jacques Steinberg, education writer and author of The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College, who helms the New York Times' blog The Choice, for inviting us to explain the role testing plays in the admission decisions of American colleges and universities. And thank you to the experts who contributed to the feature: Jarrid Whitney, executive director of admissions and financial aid at the California Institute of Technology; Katharine Harrington, vice president for admissions and planning at the University of Southern California; Jenny Rickard, chief enrollment officer at Bryn Mawr College; Jim Montoya, vice president for higher education at the College Board; and Amin Gonzalez, associate director of admissions at Yale University and his colleagues Rebekah Westphal and Jean Lee.

Douglas Christiansen, Vanderbilt University

Our inaugural dean answering five questions for us in 2012 is Douglas Christiansen, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions, at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.  Founded in 1873, Vanderbilt is a private research university with an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students, including almost 6,800 undergraduates. Christiansen oversees the selection and enrollment of  each year's incoming freshman class -- about 1,600 students -- as well as the offices of Student Financial Aid and Honors Scholarships. Join him here to learn more about the kind of student that thrives at Vanderbilt, how the Admissions office makes decisions,  why he believes the school's two rounds of Early Decision are a good idea, and how the future is shaping up on the 330-acre campus, part of which is a registered National Historic Landmark.

The Global Worldview of College Campuses

A global worldview is an attribute that many students today seek when they look at colleges. Edward Fiske, author of The Fiske Guide to Colleges, in an article in the Huffington Post,  discusses the challenge of globalization and how American colleges are meeting it -- opening international outposts and admitting more students from abroad -- in this informative article  Globalization -- What It Means for Colleges and Students.