Arcadia University is well known for being a leader in study abroad and international exchange. In addition to facilitating American students’ goals of studying around the world, Arcadia also hosts incoming international students looking to further their education in the United States.
This summer, the Glenside campus welcomed visiting international students and faculty from China, India, and South Korea. Though these incoming groups represent a wide range of interests, their visits have been resoundingly successful. “The groups have been over the moon with the kind of facilities that their students would benefit from here,” remarked Jan Finn, Associate Dean for International Affairs. “Moreover, students have really enjoyed the opportunity to meet with professors and have conversations with these faculty members about their fields.”
In early July, a quiet Arcadia campus welcomed 18 visiting students and two faculty members from the prestigious Welham Boys’ School in the northern city of Dehradun India. The students ranged from seventh to 11th grades and most were in America for the first time. Coming from a school that has produced many influential politicians and notable alumni, students expressed interest in everything from business administration and law, to engineering and the sciences. Moreover, the boys were eager to become familiar with the higher education system in America and expressed interests in attending a university in the United States.
For five days in late July, 12 Chinese students and one school leader from Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics lived on campus and were introduced to school and life in America. In addition to attending economics and history lectures at Arcadia, the students toured some of Philadelphia’s historic locales and surrounding areas. Even the most routine of trips by American standards offered the students an opportunity to expand their knowledge. A trip to the King of Prussia Mall gave the students a chance to do some shopping and socialize off campus, while also enabling them to observe local businesses. They also visited Arcadia’s King of Prussia campus and met with Eric Goldstein, Director of the King of Prussia Business Improvement District.
These campus visitors are among the many Chinese students considering pursuing their studies in the United States. According to the 2011 Open Doors report on international education exchange, China was the top country of origin for international students studying in the United States. Its 158,000 scholars comprise 22 percent of total international student enrollment, and are followed closely by India’s 15 percent and South Korea’s 10 percent.
Other groups hailed from Daejeon University and Kyung Hee Medical School in South Korea, as well as Jiaozhou #1 Middle School in China. They were accommodated according to the goals of their journey, as some groups studied English language as well as American History and Culture. Other visitors included Chinese business professors, who were trained in business-related English language courses and observed teaching methods while visiting Philadelphia businesses. The Kyung Hee Medical School group featured three students who worked in local medical centers by morning, and were on campus learning English for medical communications by the afternoon.
By hosting international students on campus, Arcadia is able to further embrace their global identity. “We need to encourage our students to be thinking global all the time,” explained Finn. “It’s really great that 60 percent of our students do get international experience… but we also want them to have a more day-to-day global experience and continue the international dialogue while they’re here [in Glenside] too.”