Improve resources for international students

ThursdayâÄôs article in the Minnesota Daily, âÄúU canâÄôt keep up with influx of intâÄôl students,âÄù drew attention to some of the challenges our campus faces in serving international undergraduate students.
Certainly, there are complex challenges anytime a population expands from a few hundred to more than 2,000 in four years. Now, there are too many international students backlogged for the non-native English composition class, and there are not enough advisers to serve the increasing amount of international students for walk-in hours.
Despite these obstacles, we should not lose sight of the significant reasons the University of Minnesota must rise to the challenge.
Quite simply, itâÄôs important to have international students on our campus. Classroom experiences and campus life are enhanced for all by bringing the world to Minnesota.
With the presence of international students, we provide the opportunity for American students to hear about a topic from a new point of view, have language partners who are native speakers and learn the geography of a new country. Having international students gives other students the opportunity to know more about the world outside of Minnesota and simultaneously the world that is already in Minnesota.
Domestic and international students together are gaining lifelong skills to work effectively across language and cultural differences.
American students are encouraged and supported in efforts to study outside of their home country for the experience and global competency such opportunities bring.
International students too are engaging in study abroad, and we are proud that they have chosen to do so in Minnesota. If we truly want to be a world-class institution, we need to seek out the best and brightest students, no matter where they live. This means we also need to provide the resources and support so that all students can succeed.
International students are here because they want a high-quality education that will allow them to return home, find jobs and contribute to their communities just like American students. They pay tuition just like American students. And they participate in campus and community activities just like American students.
International students should also be provided the same level of support and the same amount of resources, and we as an institution are working to make that a reality.
Units across campus have put a significant effort into creating a supportive environment for international students. Many colleges and departments have shown they are dedicated to creatively addressing the needs of all students.
We in International Student and Scholar Services have responded with enhanced orientations and new intercultural programming.
We continue to collaborate with our academic and student services colleagues to make concrete improvements in the educational experience for international undergraduates.  
These efforts are significant; however, the Daily article will likely serve as a call that we need to do more. We look forward to continued collaboration across the campus to address this important need and to ensure a successful experience for all students.