69 International Students from 26 Countries Begin College Life at San Diego Mesa College

This week, 69 international students from Oman, Kazakhstan, Australia, Brazil, Korea and other countries across the globe are getting an introduction to college life, and daily life in the US and San Diego, at San Diego Mesa College.

Each year, Mesa College welcomes more than 100 international students representing dozens of countries. The student applicants find out about Mesa College through online searches, word of mouth and recommendations educational institutions in their home countries, and especially from family who live in San Diego and California. The spring semester count of international students increased 22 over last spring’s enrollment.

All incoming international students are required to attend a three-day orientation session. The orientation, held this week, acquaints students with required immigration assessments, academic requirements, application processing and registration. They are also given an introduction to daily life, and become acquainted with programs, services and resources at Mesa, one of San Diego and the nation’s largest community colleges.

This spring, Mesa admitted 69 students. Incoming students include a total of 22 students from two countries, 12 from Brazil and 10 from Korea, a full 31 percent of the incoming total international student cohort. The other students come from 24 countries, broken down as follows: Australia, 1; Belgium, 2; Britain, 1; Canada 1; China, 3; Finland, 1; France, 5; Germany, 2; Indonesia, 2; Israel, 1; Italy, 2; Japan, 2; Kazakhstan, 2; Kuwait, 1; Laos, 1; Mexico, 1; Oman, 1; Pakistan, 1; Philippines, 1; Poland, 1; Spain, 2; Sweden, 1; Taiwan, 5; Vietnam, 5.

“At first, the students are quiet and wide-eyed,” says International Student Admissions Supervisor Ivonne Alvarez, “but by the third day of orientation, they are confident and relaxed, comfortable among new friends, and eager to begin their studies.” The college has a dedicated counselor for international students, and an International Student Club to offer support and camaraderie.

Spring classes begin at Mesa College on January 26. For more information on the Mesa College program for International Students, call 619-388-2717. For general registration information, log on to www.sdmesa.edu.