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Studying in the US: Helping Foreign Students Feel at Home

A college or university's international student office is a good place to start getting to know a school and the country. Part 26 of our Foreign Student Series. Transcript of radio broadcast:

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

Being a new student in school can be a little scary. Being a new student in a new country can be even scarier.

A college or university's international student office is a good place to start getting to know the school and the country. This week in our Foreign Student Series, we talk about support services for international students in the United States.

Our example is the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. U.S.C. has had the most international students of any American college or university for the past seven years. So says the Institution of International Education in New York.

U.S.C.'s Office of International Services says the number of students this year is about seven thousand five hundred. The University of Southern California has more than thirty-five thousand students total.

The Office of International Services helps explain student life at the university. It also organizes programs to help foreign students feel more at ease in their new surroundings. For example, there are trips to explore the Los Angeles area.

Most American colleges and universities have a similar office that helps international students. These offices look for ways to get students involved in school life and make American friends. Their job is not always easy. International students often want to spend their free time with friends from their own country or group.

India, China, South Korea, Japan and Canada sent the most students to the United States during the last school year. Next came Taiwan, Mexico, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.

The office at U.S.C. also assists family members who come to the United States with international students. The family members can take English classes and go on trips to places like museums.

The Office of International Services also organizes other activities. For example, a State of the World Seminar takes place each semester. A group of international students and a professor discuss current social and political issues and take questions from the audience. The most recent seminar, held earlier this month, dealt with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. Our series on studying in the United States will continue next week. Earlier reports are at Click on Foreign Student Series. You can write comments and read what other people are saying. I'm Steve Ember.