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The Ins & Outs on International Students

by: Charlie Fagan Bergen Community College has students from backgrounds that are not just exclusive to New Jersey or the greater tri-state area, but all over the globe. BCC’s International Student Center has many resources that assist students who are transferring to the institution from anywhere in the
world. International Student Counselor, Professor Amarado Codding, provided insight to what
BCC does to assist its international students from student aid, acclimating to cultural differences,
or finding a solution to a problem.

What is the process of gaining more international students? Is there a quota or a
recruitment process?

A: As an open-door institution, BCC is welcoming to any student who is willing to apply. In
order to attend BCC, they must provide documentation such as an F-1 Student Visa in order for
BCC to consider their eligibility for enrollment. Once they have acquired their documentation,
they will have to apply for a degree program. Then, proof of graduation and financial back up in
order to prove that they have the funds in order to attend. Once receiving an I-20 form and an
acceptance letter they will be permitted to proceed. BCC does recruit students, but not frequently
due to being a community college. They are limited in how much they can help international
students, because usually they have family members that are residing close by, or they already
have arrangements to reside with a family friend.

What are learning classes like for International Students? Are schedules and courses
personalized for their languages?

A: All courses that are available to domestic students are also available to international students.
When beginning to attend BCC, All students must first take a placement test. This also applies to
international students as they must take a proficiency test. The AccuPlacer Test for ESL is to
determine whether the student will be ready for college level courses. This test is taken based on
their country of origin. Based on the resulting level of ESL and if they are in need of support,
they have the option to go to the English Language Resource Center. There are required sections
for international students such as English Composition.

With there being a prominent amount of international students attending BCC, is this
accommodated with more international faculty? Professors?

A: As there are not many multilingual faculty members, BCC’s language barriers extend to
Turkish, Spanish, and Korean. Both Turkish and Spanish languages have designated counselors,
while Korean students have access to others who speak their language and reach out to faculty
members who have the background. For the students that do not speak a language that is offered
by BCC, they must become proficient in ESL by taking the English Language proficiency test.

Does BCC offer any clubs, programs or resources to acclimate to American customs
without losing their sense of self?

A: International students usually seek out others that are part of their own cultures and
nationality. They also use Student Life in order to find out if there are clubs and organizations
that would gravitate toward them and help them integrate and feel comfortable.

Does BCC offer to assist with funds for students who don’t have the budget to attend?
A: International students must provide proof of a sponsor or someone that is willing to support
them. They must also provide a bank statement of $22,000 in order to pay the tuition. The way
BCC accommodates this is by allowing international students to apply for scholarships, but not
until after the first semester, and allowing them to apply for jobs on campus such as working in
the computer labs, the tutoring center, the ESL center, the STEM program or the Office of
Specialized Services.

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