UPJ attracting more students from far away

Olivia Hutchinson, Editor-in-Chief

The number of international students has increased this year from 68 to 90 according to International Services Director Jennifer Kist.

Kist said the increase is due to UPJ’s international students recruitment plan.

“In addition to this plan, that has taken place over the past four years, the number has increased due to ‘word of mouth’,” said Kist.

“We have started to get applicants who’ve been recommended to apply through friends and family members who are current students and are satisfied with their experiences at Pitt-Johnstown.”

Freshman Min Deng, who is from China, chose to attend UPJ after learning she could transfer to Oakland after freshman year.

“I think UPJ should continue to increase the number of international students, because I know there are international students who want to go to UPJ, and they deserve the chance,” said Deng.

Kist said that UPJ’s international students represent 16 countries, though most are from China.

Kist said the increase in international students helps improve UPJ’s student life.

“A growing global society requires that students learn to interact with students from different cultures and be exposed to different languages,” said Kist. “These lessons will prepare Pitt-Johnstown graduates for a competitive workplace.

“There are personal benefits as well, such as lifelong friendships with students from afar.”

Deng said the most difficult factors to grow accustomed to are the language and culture shock.

Freshman Fengchen Bing said attending UPJ has its advantages.

“I have more opportunities to practice speaking English and listening skills here.”

Kist said international students come to the U.S. to pursue a higher education.

“Many governments are pushing to make secondary education universal, and more international students are seeking college degrees,” said Kist. “Some countries however, have too few high-quality institutions and don’t have enough colleges to meet their needs.”

Kist said economic improvements in other countries contributes as well.

“A rising middle class in many nations also means that families have more money to send their children overseas to study and, fortunately, the U.S. remains a top destination for international students.”