From left, student Veronika Wagner from Germany; Roopa Rawjee, international student activity coordinator; student Asayo Mise from Japan; and student Stephanie Chu from England.
Northridge ranked 17th among hundreds of master's level universities in the United States during the 2000-2001 school year with a population of 1,081 international students on visas related to the campus, according to "Open Doors 2001," an annual national report on international education. Total Northridge enrollment then was 29,066.
Meanwhile, campus officials report that for the current 2001-2002 school year, Northridge's international student population increased 17 percent to 1,264 students during the fall semester, the largest population in memory. Student interest in the Northridge campus also has continued at high levels this spring.
"International students make a major contribution to this campus by the sharing of themselves and the sharing of their cultures," said Shirley Bowens, a Northridge international students advisor. "Learning the differences among different cultures enhances our lives, and I think it also makes us appreciate our own lives more."
The university's international students staff already has interviewed about 250 students who planned to begin their studies at Northridge this spring, most transferring from community colleges. Staff members held a late January orientation session expecting about 80 new students, but found themselves instead greeting about 130 participants.
While there was concern after the September terrorist attacks that the federal government might severely restrict future student visas, Bowens said that prospect has eased some in recent months, although government security checks are taking more time.
The extraordinarily diverse makeup of the international student population at Northridge is a good argument for continuing such interaction. This school year, international students at Northridge have come from nearly 100 different countries, including the largest concentrations from Asia, continuing the trend of past years.
For fall 2001, Japan was the leading contributor of international students to Northridge with 226 students, followed by Korea with 90, Taiwan with 72, China with 61 and India with 56. Those nations held the same rankings in Northridge's international student population during the prior school year.
"The location of the university has a lot to do with the reason why many Japanese students come to Northridge. The city of Los Angeles is known to virtually everybody in Japan, and going to school near the city may even have some sort of "brand"-ish meaning to some people," said Asayo Mise, a senior communication studies major from Japan.
"I heard about the university through a friend who graduated from Northridge," added Veronika Wagner, a freshman biology major from Germany who also is playing tennis here. Wagner cited the opportunity to play tennis, the university's location and its reputation as "a very international school" as her reasons for choosing Northridge.
Indeed, the international student community at Northridge has a lot of company. According to the latest "Open Doors" report, Los Angeles County has the most international students, 24,811, of any county in the nation, while California also is the leading state in hosting such students with 74,281 during 2000-2001.
As in past years, the academic interests of international students at Northridge focus heavily in the business and computer science/engineering fields. During fall 2001, 356 Northridge international students were studying business, followed by 141 in computer science and 101 in engineering.
The College of Arts, Media, and Communication also was well represented, with 65 international students studying radio-television-film/broadcasting, 49 students in music and another 49 in art, according to campus records. Nationally, business and engineering/computer science also were the top picks for international students.
Indeed, the "Open Doors 2001" report-published by the Institute of International Education with support from the U.S. State Department-found the number of international students attending U.S. colleges and universities during 2000-2001 increased 6.4 percent to a record 547,867 students, while California itself had a 12 percent increase.
|2000-01 Top Master's Level Universities|
Ranked by Size of International Student Enrollment
|1||CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College||New York||NY||3,135||15,730|
|2||San Francisco State University||San Francisco||CA||2,274||26,491|
|3||Hawaii Pacific University||Honolulu||HI||2,136||8,218|
|4||University of Texas at El Paso||El Paso||TX||1,838||15,224|
|5||Cal State Long Beach||Long Beach||CA||1,751||30,918|
|6||University of Bridgeport||Bridgeport||CT||1,629||2,973|
|7||University of Central Oklahoma||Edmond||OK||1,610||14,195|
|8||San Jose State University||San Jose||CA||1,471||26,000|
|9||National University||La Jolla||CA||1,400||16,462|
|10||CUNY City College||New York||NY||1,376||12,181|
|11||Cal State Fullerton||Fullerton||CA||1,269||27,167|
|12||Cal State Hayward||Hayward||CA||1,264||12,705|
|14||Eastern Michigan University||Ypsilanti||MI||1,210||23,181|
|15||University of Nevada, Las Vegas||Las Vegas||NV||1,181||22,342|
|16||Cal Poly Pomona||Pomona||CA||1,088||18,424|
|17||Cal State Northridge||Northridge||CA||1,081||29,066|
|18||N.Y. Institute of Technology Main Campus - Old Westbury||Old Westbury||NY||1,065||8,034|
|19||Oklahoma City University||Oklahoma City||OK||1,032||4041|
|Source: Open Doors 2001 report|
@csun | February 11, 2002 issue
Public Relations | University Advancement
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