International student admittance 'extensive process' - WNEM TV 5

International student admittance 'extensive process'

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Jenna Briggs oversees the international student program at Saginaw Valley State University.

“They do play a big part in the culture, in the diversity on campus, and then in the Great Lakes Bay Region as a whole,” Briggs said.

She said students who come here to study from across the world benefit the campus and the entire community. 

"These students are getting to see how American students work and study and making those American friends and breaking down all of those barriers and stereotypes that each side might have," Briggs said.

There are more than 900 international students here at SVSU, making up almost 10 percent of the entire student body.

So how do these hundreds of students get the opportunity to come and study in Mid-Michigan?

The process looks like this:

  • First a student must be accepted into an institution.
  • After paying a fee, they submit a visa application with documents, including copies of a passport, transcripts and evidence of financial support to pay for tuition.
  • After another fee, they must complete an interview at the U.S. embassy in their home country.

“The visa officer will ask them questions ranging from why did you chose this institution? Why did you chose this major? Who's funding you? What are your plans after you graduate? What does your family do here? Do you own land, own a business?” Briggs said.

Briggs said it's an extensive process. But she said it’s worth it for both the international students who gain an education here and the U.S. students who gain a better understanding of other cultures.

“Students that are Christians, Muslims, Hindis, Jewish all interacting and having these great conversations and learning about each other and realizing that's not much different than what I do or what my family does,” Briggs said.

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