United States: Not smooth sailing

EducationWorld January 2020 | International News

Almost a third of international students in the US have faced discrimination because of their nationality with Chinese students being particularly affected, according to a study. A survey of 1,921 overseas students and recent graduates reported that 38 percent found living away from home and family more challenging than they had expected, and 41 percent said they found it hard to form relationships with domestic students.

While the overwhelming majority of participants (91 percent) said they were satisfied with their study experience in the US and felt welcome in the country (79 percent), 31 percent said they had faced discrimination because of their nationality, rising to 40 percent among participants from China and 39 percent among those from other parts of east Asia and the Middle East and North Africa region.

The study, Are US Higher Education Institutions Meeting International Student Needs?, from World Education Services, an organisation that provides credential evaluations for international students planning to study or work in North America, suggests these higher figures could reflect that relations between the US and China and countries in the Middle East are “currently strained and have a history of conflict”.

The survey, published on November 20, was conducted in February and March 2019. The findings follow the release last month of preliminary figures from the US-based Institute of International Education that show that international enrolments in US colleges and universities have fallen by 0.9 percent this year, based on a survey of more than 500 institutions.

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