GW opens up summer programs to international students

GW will sponsor the visas of non-degree international students to take courses on campus for the first time this summer, feeding more foreign students into the University to produce about $250,000 in revenue.

The programs for non-GW and high school students will increase the University’s name recognition, attracting more foreign students, Associate Provost for International Programs Donna Scarboro said.

“Word of mouth is very important, and we want these students to return home after an immersion in study and activity at GW and to tell all their friends and relatives that GW is a great place to study,” she said. “These young students may eventually apply for university admission at the undergraduate or graduate level, and they will be aware of GW and its many strengths.”

The program is designed to offer a preview of the University, while also supporting retention efforts by giving international students an early start on adapting to a new environment, Director of the Office of Summer Sessions Georgette Edmondson-Wright said.

“International students enrolled in summer study have historically been matriculated students. International Summer reaches a different audience – incoming and visiting international students,” she said.

It will include community-building activities and city tours similar to Colonial Inauguration to help immerse visiting foreign students, including a “mini-introduction” to advisers and programs, similar to Colonial Inauguration, Edmondson-Wright said.

Georgetown and Catholic universities have similar programs for non-degree international students.

The effort also aligns with the University’s plan to double its international student population over the next decade. About 8 percent of the undergraduate population is international, while about 15 percent of the graduate student body is.

As the University enrolled more foreign students, with the number of students from China increasing 455 percent over the last five years, their tuition dollars have also added to GW’s revenue stream.

GW took in about $110 million in tuition from international students last academic year, about $40 million more than Georgetown – the next highest D.C. school – according to a November study by NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

The three programs will offer different experiences. Students can choose between enrolling in existing summer classes and programs, exploring topics related to D.C. and strengthening their English.

The programs come out of the Innovation Task Force – the group of faculty and staffers that pitch money-generating or cost-cutting ideas every six months. By adding non-GW international students, the University expands the pool of students who pay more than $4,000 for a three-credit course, not including housing.

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