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Now it has close to 3, What are the implications of such a shift? On the unseasonably warm late October weekend when the homecoming football game is played, the trees chinese changed to their fall colors and the central quad is alive. Students wearing orange Illinois gear crisscross it. Three young women who do not lack for pep pose for pictures, their arms arched into the shape of an I, an L, another L. One of those chinese slacklines that have become ubiquitous on college campuses is strung between two trees.

Couples snooze, families walk dogs, rides piggyback. A group of revelers, possibly students, possibly young alumni, traverse the quad with an air of purpose: one clutches a Bud Light in an orange cozy, while another announces to anyone within a foot radius that she really needs to dating. Outside the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign, miles of corn and soybean fields spread as far as the eye can see.

That's not an idle fact. Nationally, the of Chinese students in the U. There are more freshmen from China than there are, combined, from 48 of the 50 states, all Champaign for Illinois and California. What is the impact of such a shift? What happens when a classic American university in the heartland is better known in Beijing than in Boston, in Tianjin than in Tucson?

Some Champaign are easy to quantify: increased demand from international students who have needs that differ from those of their American peers at the writing center, the career services center, the counseling center, etc. But there are other changes that are more qualitative — namely, the implications of an increasingly international undergraduate population for the academic experience and the impact on student life.

With the increase of international undergraduate students across the nation, leaders of U. How much cross-pollination of perspectives is really happening at a place like Illinois? Is much happening by way of meaningful interactions between Chinese and American students or are members of both dating, by and large, indifferent?

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On homecoming weekend, CSSA sponsored a dance event in the student union in which snazzily dressed Chinese students danced the tango. Zhang, who earned her undergraduate degree at Tsinghua University, a top technical university in Beijing, is an example Champaign the type of Chinese student that American universities have long been accustomed to attracting: academically elite students studying at the graduate level. By contrast, Sun, chinese senior actuarial science and statistics major from the seaside city of Dalian who attended an English-language high school with a British Columbian curriculum, is part of the new -ish wave of Chinese students coming to the U.

Before coming to the United States, Chinese students may wonder what life here would be [like]. Reality may be different from Hollywood movies. I tell him about a conversation I had with the head of university housing and dining, Alma R. Sealine, in which dating told me that the chefs are trying to improve the ways they cook rice — six different types of it — in response to Chinese student comments.

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Please, white rice. I return to the point Sun started with about making Chinese or American friends: Is there a big gap between the two groups of students, I ask?

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She is joking, but the metaphor is not unapt. I know people who could manage it a little bit better. And also I see Americans who speak Mandarin trying to make Chinese friends. InUIUC created the position of director of international student integration. Nicole Tami, an anthropologist whose dissertation research focused on tourism in Kenya, took on the role. With the growth of international students at U. But while "integration" has become a buzzword of sorts, some academics and professionals in international education resist the term -- perhaps, I speculate in a conversation with Tami, because it seems too closely aligned with "assimilation" and that word's negative connotations.

I ask her how she defines the term. The other end of that, I might use a word like inclusion or engagement.

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Are they looking at this as an extended study abroad experience with the intention of going home and working back in South Korea or China or South Africa or Spain or what have you? Or are they looking to work in the United States?

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Now I would encourage our international students to get as involved as they can in the same way that I would encourage domestic students who are going to study abroad to get the most out of the experience. Tami teaches a course for American students who have returned from study abroad. Their most common regret, she says, is not stepping more out of their comfort zone; they wish, say, they had spoken Spanish or Italian more, interacted with the locals more, but it was hard.

They are meeting people from other provinces, they are meeting people that speak other Mandarin dialects. But for those international students who truly do want to reach beyond their comfort zone, is the promise of an American higher education falling short?

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After coming back from two experiences abroad herself — a summer in China and a semester in Paris — Lin began volunteering with an English conversation practice group known called English Corner, where she got to know more international students. That said, Lin continues, because the international students end up hanging out together, that creates the perception on the part of American students that international students are an exclusive group.

The domestic students I encountered in reporting this article ranged from being, like Lin, eager to foster connections with international students to being self-avowedly neutral on the topic. One said that international students just aren't involved in the activities she's a part of, including her sorority. Mostly what I hear is that people are genuinely nice and friendly, especially here in the campus community, or just sort of indifferent.

Bryan Endres, the interim associate provost of international affairs.

Then it looks like just another top-down administrative initiative. We need to encourage but not force and make sure that it really does happen at a genuine level through quality programs.

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Nancy A. Abelmann, the associate vice chancellor for research and the Harry E. Preble Professor of Anthropology, Asian American Studies, and East Asian Languages and Cultures is part of a research team that has interviewed dozens of domestic and international students at Illinois about their interactions with and perceptions of one another.

Abelmann says that compared to South Korean students formerly the biggest group of international students at IllinoisChinese students as a group seem to be less concerned about making American friends. Abelmann and her research team are playing with a new paradigm centered around the idea of civility.

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I think a lot of faculty feel like, 'Huh, when did this happen? And why did it happen and what is the university doing to worry about these students? Tami says a lot of the supports international students need are already in place at a large research university like Illinois.

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So I think that will continue to be a challenge. Those are not necessarily unique to international students. There are all kinds of initiatives happening on the sprawling and decentralized campus, in academic and non-academic units alike: workshops for support staff on intercultural communication, a one-credit applied communication course intended to help international students navigate the academic and social environment at UIUC, an enrichment academy in the business school that targets international students as well as first-generation students and members Champaign underrepresented minority groups for special events like an etiquette dinner.

The office of inclusion and intercultural relations sponsored an "intercultural dialogue series " focused on China this past fall. In the career services office, the visiting assistant director, Un Yeong Park, has created a certificate program for international students interested in pursuing a career in the U. A three-part video series for incoming international students, titled Journey to Illinoisis available online ; the dating office has also created chinese online glossary of common housing-related terms for international students. Last spring Fu taught a level course, an introduction to modern China.

Nearly four-fifths of students were from there. Fu is not the only one to note the ificance of this change as it relates to courses focused on Asia: Gary G. Fu says that he would like to see the university be more proactive in initiating campuswide conversations about the ways in which the growth of international undergraduate students has implications for curriculum and pedagogy. That, and the integration issue: "I see a lot of Chinese students just by themselves.

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But definitely something is a little bit different in the classroom. You have more language barriers to overcome so faculty need to be more patient with international students. Champaign are cultural issues. Probably the thing we are paying most attention to are academic integrity issues. The standards for plagiarism or collaboration on an asment may be different in other countries. We have put a lot of emphasis on needing to educate this influx of international students that academic integrity is very important here. How are international undergraduate students faring academically across the university?

For first-time, full-time freshmen starting inthe overall first-to-second-year retention rate was For students who entered in the fall ofthe overall six-year graduation rate was chinese And a demand on the part of American universities for the tuition dollars Chinese students bring.

Officials at UIUC say they do not work with commissioned recruiting agents. News and World Report. In absolute s, there are 1, fewer Illinois freshmen on campus now dating then. From these s one could conclude that international students are displacing students from Illinois, but it may be more Champaign than that.

Illinois, like many states in the Midwest and Northeast, is experiencing a decrease in the size of its local college-aged population. Admissions statistics provided by Tucker show that the percentage of Illinois first-time freshman applicants admitted has actually increased in recent years: from At the same time, with the growing interest from overseas, admissions have become more selective for domestic students from outside Illinois and international students alike: the acceptance rate for domestic non-Illinois residents dropped from Illinois does not collect data on the financial background of international students, who are ineligible for federal financial aid and therefore typically don't fill out the Free Application for Federal Dating Aid, or FAFSA; Tucker says that since all institutional need-based scholarships are pegged to the FAFSA, international students are not receiving any of that aid.

They could be eligible for some institutional merit scholarships, but Tucker says he is not aware of any scholarship programs targeting international students. An article last fall in the Champaign News-Gazette contrasted the increase in full fee-paying international chinese with the decline in the of African-American students, who make up just under 5 percent of all students on campus.

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