GCC Among Top 40 U.S. Colleges in International Student Enrollment

El Vaquero Staff Writer

Every year more than 500 adventurous students from 50 countries around the world leave their friends and families behind to pursue their educational goals at Glendale College.

Dr. Jewell Price, dean of student services, said she is proud of the success of international students in their academic pursuits at GCC and beyond.

One such success story is that of Demetrius Sinodinos, from Greece, who went on to earn his bachelor’s degree at UCLA. While in graduate school, Sinodinos interned in Washington D.C. with local congressman Adam Schiff.

He has now earned his master’s degree. This summer he
will teach political science
on campus.

Price also spoke of former students Henan Joof, from France, and Duke Mbroh, from Ghana. Joof, an economics and political science major and a recipient of the Men of Distinction Award 2004, has transferred to Cal State Northridge. Mbroh was offered a full scholarship in engineering at Cornell University.

Sinodinos and Joof were both ASGCC presidents.

“Glendale College has had a strong international students program for many, many years that started back in early 1960,” said Price. “The leadership of the college at that time…was to encourage our international students to come and study here…it’s like bringing the world here.”

On campus, international students become involved in various activities: student government, sports, music, dance, theater and other campus affairs.

“It’s a team effort,” said David J. Nelson, director of international recruitment and outreach for the international student program.
“There is a good deal of institutional support here at Glendale,” Nelson said. “The president’s office, the president’s cabinet, the board of trustees, all of them. The faculty has been very supportive of welcoming and servicing the international students at this college.”
“We welcome students to the college,” said Dr. Philip Kamara-Kay, an international students counselor. “We have an orientation meeting…to touch on the very fundamental things that they should be aware of.
To help them adjust to their new circumstances, Kamara-Kay said, international students are required to attend Self Development 103.
International students also must meet stringent requirements to maintain their F-1 (student) visas. “They are required to take 12 units per semester or they’ll be out of status,” said Nancy Weeks, program analyst.

“What I like about GCC is that they have kind people in the International Student Services,” said Ilsamaria Mojica, 20, a psychology major from Nicaragua and president of the International Students Club.

Recently, Hirono Enami, from Japan, an international relations major and a recipient of the Women of Distinction Award 2004, thanked the ASGCC’s finance committee for approving a $600-plus camcorder that the International Students Club now uses to record members American adventures.

Enami is an International Students Services Center staff, former president of the International Students Club and senator of ASGCC campus activities committee.

Enami is one of 204 students from Japan, which represents the largest number of international students on campus, followed by Korea, Taiwan and Sweden.

“We are maybe number 35 or 36 [nationwide in recruitment],” Nelson said. “Our goal is to reach 600 students.”
Besides welcoming the diversity the international students bring to campus, the college also welcomes the revenue they generate. The students bring about $2.3 million a year to the college. The tuition they pay ($166 per unit) comes directly to the college, unlike the revenue of resident students, which goes to the state.

Nelson said that reaching the 600 goal was made more difficult by 9/11. The Patriot Act measures enacted after the attack made it harder to obtain student visas.

But Nelson said that Glendale’s quality education, administrative support, campus diversity, along with the weather and proximity to Southern California attractions, make the college an attractive draw to foreign students.

“One thing that is inspirational to us in this program is the success of the students and the involvement of the students
in their education and activities
in the campus community,”
Price said.