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    5 Ways to Support International Students

    By thebacboston
    Jul 23, '20 12:40 PM EST

    Did you know the number of international students in the United States was at its peak in the 2018-19 academic year with more than one million international students? The total number of international students, 1,095,299, makes up 5.5% of the total US student body.

    International students are a vital component of our society and, more important than ever before, they must be protected, appreciated, and welcomed. Here are five ways you can show your support to international students today:

    1. Vote
    For those who can, we must use our right to vote to support those who can't. Voting impacts major local and federal decisions including how our money is allocated, healthcare, taxes, jobs, safety, and so much more. By showing up to the polls, you're directly impacting the security and treatment of international students in America. If you aren't sure whether you're registered to vote, click here to get started!

    2. Advocate
    Advocate on behalf of international students everywhere by contacting local, state, and federal leaders. A great place to start is the NAFSA, the leading organization committed to international education and exchange, which offers wonderful advocacy tools and action steps such as email templates and easy to sign petitions that urge your lawmakers' support for international students. Click here to start advocating today!

    3. Hire International Students
    Due to the limitation of immigration status, hiring international students can provide major stability, opportunity, and support to their lives. In addition, international students are highly adaptable, determined, and bring new perspectives to organizations. By intentionally hiring international students, you're creating new opportunities and cultivating a place for international students to feel welcome and thrive.

    4. Listen
    Transitioning from one's home country to America can be daunting to say the least. One of the most impactful ways to show your support to international students is by simply listening. According to Higher Education Today, "Research shows that when students are exposed to individuals from other groups or those who are different from themselves, this can lead to cognitive growth and lower levels of prejudice." By listening to others and their stories, like international student Lily Chang, we begin to create a welcoming and safe space for international students to share their lives and we too can learn and grow from it.

    5. Donate
    Donating your time, support, and resources are all valuable ways that can impact international students. One way you can directly help is by donating to the IIE's Emergency Student Fund (ESF), which provides grants to international college students in the U.S. when natural disasters, war, or other crises threaten their education. Many face financial pressure to return home or drop out because their family circumstances have changed dramatically. IIE helps these students cover essential needs, including basic living expenses. Another way you can help is by becoming a BAC student sponsor, which helps our international students who are experiencing layoffs, caring for their children home from school, and lack internet access - all while still attending school full time.

    If you are a BAC international student seeking help, support, or advice, please know we are always here for you. We welcome and encourage you to contact our International Student Advisor, Maria Polyanskaya, at [email protected].


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The #BACbuzz blog will help to inform, educate, and share relevant and noteworthy architectural and design news happening within the Boston Architectural College and around the Boston community.

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