Regarding the Monday Daily Trojan feature, “International Students: Living in Two Worlds,” I believe that it is time for the University to pay more attention to a quarter of the student body at one of the top schools for international students.
I am an alumnus living abroad, and have noted numerous disparities between USC’s advertisement of the international student experience and the reality.
One disparity seems to exist in the lack of scholarships offered to international students. Since 1995, there have been four Rhodes Scholars selected from USC. Two of them were international students. That is above the percentage of international students in the USC population, so international students have been carrying the school in this competition.
But a casual look at USC’s scholarship and financial aid page shows no information for Rhodes Scholar applicants from five of the top countries of origins, China, India, Canada, Germany and Hong Kong. There is no information on the Commonwealth Scholarship for Australian and Canadian Ph.D. applicants; the Chevening Scholarship for many, countries; and the prestigious Pierre Elliott Trudeau, National Sciences and Engineering Research Council and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council scholarships and grants for students from Canada either. Our common goal at USC is academics, but not everyone is given the same path to success.
Finally — and this should be obvious to the University — there should be an internationalization of the academic environment, apart from its people. This may not mean pushing for an international core curriculum, but I would like to see students try. But look at USC’s language offerings, which for a school that boasts one of the country’s largest international student populations, offers only 14 languages. There is no Cantonese offered for students wanting to learn more about Hong Kong. There is no Catalan for those inspired by the recent events in Spain. By contrast, UCLA offers language instruction in more than 49 languages, more than three times USC’s number.
In short, there is a lot of contradiction between the statistics and my experience.
Class of 2002