International students flock to GCC

About 370 students from overseas have applied to enroll at Glendale Community College in the fall, making it the highest number of foreign applications ever.

College officials predict that up to 190 of those students could end up enrolling for the fall semester.

David Nelson, the director of international recruitment and outreach for the college, attributed the increase to steady coordination with overseas educators.

"Also being located in the greater Los Angeles area and having an ideal campus location and surroundings … helps attracts students," he said in an email.

Most of Glendale Community College's foreign students hail from Asia and the Pacific Rim. Home countries include Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan, but also Sweden, Armenia and Saudi Arabia.

Each year, more than 500 international students take classes at the college.

For the 2010-11 year, Glendale Community College was recognized as one of the top 40 associate degree institutions in the nation for hosting international students, according to a yearly report titled, "Open Doors," published by the Institute of International Education.

The trend, officials say, is beneficial for local students. They note that the more international students the college has, the more classes they can provide for local students.

"There's always this misperception that foreign students are taking the place of local students," said Trustee Vahe Peroomian. "Because of the higher fee, they actually open up more classes for higher populations."

Local students pay $46 per unit, whereas international students pay $187, in addition to the $46-per-unit enrollment fee.

International students must also enroll full-time, meaning they must take a minimum of 12 units each semester, which comes to $5,592 per year in non-resident tuition costs and enrollment fees, combined.

For local students who take 12-units per semester, the yearly enrollment fee comes to $1,104.

For every eight international students who attend Glendale Community College, Peroomian said, the college is able to offer one class with 40 spaces that would accommodate 32 local students.

But it's not just all about revenues.

"It's a great experience for our local students to meet students from other countries and possibly form friendships," Trustee President Ann Ransford said. "Sometimes, those friendships last a lifetime."


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.


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