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New office helps assist a recent uptick in international students

2,470 international students currently attend Temple.

Temple has seen a spike in international student enrollment during the last five years. Due to this spike, the university created the Department of International Student Affairs to aid the foreign students seeking an American education.

The university has experienced an 89 percent increase in international students during the last five years. In 2011, there were 1,442 graduate and undergraduate international students. In Fall 2015, there were 2,740 international students overall, according to the Department of International Students, as of Fall 2015.

The jump stemmed from the fact that Temple began to create recruiting offices worldwide.

“We created a brand new office of international admissions,” said Vice Dean of International Students Brooke Walker. “We have a team of people who brand, market and recruit people abroad.”

Due to the rise in students, the university decided to create the new office to help students achieve optimal levels of academic success. International students face struggles like language barriers and differences in academic backgrounds, so the university decided a department was needed to assist the students.

“This new unit is dedicated to international student success,” Walker said. “We don’t want students to fall through the cracks. I want to work with advisers, with faculty and with different associations at Temple University so that our international students graduate in four or five years.”

The new office is located in the Division of Student Affairs at 1802 N. Broad St.

Previously, Walker helped Temple set up an international recruiting office in Beijing as assistant vice president for global partnerships and programs. The expansion of the university’s foreign offices helped with recruiting foreign students, which led to the jump in recent years, she said.

“Right now the international students have the second highest retention rate behind honors students,” Walker said.

Shagun Gupta, a junior business major from Mumbai, India, said she faced difficulties transitioning to school in America from India. One of her biggest struggles included English classes.

Gupta said she went to the Writing Center, which has tutors trained for people learning English as a second language, but she continued to struggle. She said she would have benefited from the Department of International Student Affairs.

“When I started realizing that what I said mattered in class, that I was just like everybody else in class, I started talking more and writing more and now I don’t struggle with it anymore,” Gupta said.

Walker said communication between her and international students is vital to helping them develop.

“I need to hear from students—why do they come here? What is Temple doing well? And, can we do more to help them succeed?” she said.

The main goal of the department is to make sure that all international students have the means to succeed and immerse themselves in the Temple community.

“We want the international students to be successful,” Walker said. “We want them to become a part of the fabric of Temple University.”

Jonathan Gilbert can be reached at jonathan.irwin.gilbert@temple.edu or on Twitter @@jonnygilbs96

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