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Anyone familiar with international study programs knows there are many steps involved. From selecting a university with the right program, admission, and the traveling portion itself, universities are finding effective ways to support international students and welcome them into their campus communities. While several universities are offering international students scholarships, Concordia University, St. Paul is taking a different approach.
One of the most significant ways to support international students is during the admissions process. Concordia’s application is online with no application fee. Applicants can load materials directly into their application. As far as standardized tests are concerned, international students have always been test-optional and are able to decide whether or not to submit their SAT or ACT scores. The only required test is one that relates to language proficiency (IELTS, TOEFL, etc.) The Office of International Student Services knows that students are applying to many schools, so the staff aims to make admissions decisions quickly.
As tuition prices trend upward, international students are able to attend Concordia for the same tuition price as students from the United States. In addition, international students are eligible for the same Concordia merit and talent scholarships as any other CSP student.
“International students can be price sensitive since many have family members investing in their future so it’s great to offer an affordable and practical learning opportunity,” CSP Assistant Director for International Student Services Katie Jabri explained. “This gives international students the same opportunities as their future classmates, which is often not the case of international recruitment and partnerships.”
Past the admissions process, Concordia aims to guide its international students is through academic advising and support, immigration advising and support (including making resources like John Medeiros accessible on campus to present the most recent immigration information and to take student’s questions), document processing, and fostering relationships between the student, sponsor, and the university.
“Along with program, location, and safety, international students in the U.S. consistently cite affordability and career support as other important reasons they enroll and retain at their university,” Director for International Student Services Tiffanie Loeb Schneider noted.
The average GPA for CSP’s international students has consistently been above 3.0 and retention has consistently been above 90% since 2014.
“In the International Student Services office’s annual survey, most of the international students say they would recommend Concordia to a friend. This speaks to the positive experiences they are having here,” Loeb Schneider said.
Being a part of the community goes past admissions and attending classes. CSP offers a tight-knit community that surrounds academic life and personal life. Outside of class, the International Student Services Office has partnered with CSP’s Residence Life to promote intramural activities to get students involved on campus. The intramural soccer club boasted ten teams, two of those teams comprised of international students, that competed for the championships.
“Intramurals successfully bridge cultures, CSP groups, and people of all differences. It has been incredible and it’s only growing!” CSP Assistant Director of Residence Life Jake Wakem explained.
If you’re interested in becoming an international student at Concordia University, St. Paul, please visit the International Student Services website: https://www.csp.edu/student-life/student-services/international-student-services/ and contact Tiffanie Loeb Schneider, director of international student services, at firstname.lastname@example.org and Katie Jabri, assistant director of international student services at email@example.com.