Students React to the Launch of the Study in the States Initiative
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created the Study in the States Initiative to streamline the international student visa process for foreign students seeking to study in the United States. In the week following the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s launch event in Madison, Wisconsin, we have been thrilled to already read reports of students and university staff speaking positively about this convenient ‘one-stop shop’ website in university and student-run publications from across the nation.
University of Southern California’s student paper, The Daily Trojan, University of Southern California report on attracting foreign students on the event. In that report Tony Tambascia, Executive Director for the Office of International Services said, “There are many ways that students learn about how to go about becoming an international student at an American university, but the fact that this new site was developed by the Department of Homeland Security makes it interesting since DHS oversees all the rules and regulations for international students and scholars in the U.S.”
International students at Michigan State University (MSU) agree. The State News The State news cites an international student who said that “he struggled to find information – spread across a number of websites – as a freshman, so having increased information from one central source will make a big difference.” The student believes this site will help draw more international students to the United States and “help international students to get to know the United States a little better and help students to integrate into the communities.”
In the article, the director of the MSU’s Office for International Students and Scholars stated that this Study in the States initiative is “merely the first step in making the U.S. more competitive in the international student market… [but that] the partnership between the universities and the government is what makes Study in the States a critical step forward.”
At the University of Minnesota, which has an enrollment of more than 5,000 international students, a current student from India working on his master’s degree in material science and engineering told The Minnesota Daily cites a current student from India that “having a more streamlined website would have been helpful when he applied for a visa more than four years ago.”
The Study in the States Initiative also benefits schools. Georgetown University’s The Hoya Georgetown University reported that the university’s Director of International Student and Scholar Services believes that the university “could benefit from the website's centralized source of information” as many universities face the challenge of making sure the necessary information “is up-to-date and reflects the latest thinking of the government.”
Other universities recognized the economic benefits of international students. University of Wisconsin-Madison article in the University of Wisconsin-Madison student newspaper reports that during her announcement, Secretary Napolitano “emphasized the importance of international students, stating that in the 2009-10 year alone, international students contributed more than $20 billion to the U.S. economy… [and] that in Wisconsin, nearly $217 million was contributed to the economy.”
It is the goal of the Study in the States Initiative to keep the material on the website fresh and relevant to address the needs of the international students who seek to study in the United States.