Western hosts 100-200 international and exchange students each year, on F-1 and J-1 visas. These students come from over 35 countries, contributing valuable and diverse perspectives to our campus and community. They also help financially support WWU as well as the local community.
International students at WWU pay non-resident tuition, and do not qualify for U.S. federal financial aid. They have very limited access to scholarships and are not generally authorized to work off campus. They do not have the safety network that domestic students have. Many families make huge sacrifices to fund their children’s education in the U.S. because they believe in our educational system.
Some of the issues that cause financial challenges include:
- currency devaluation in many countries, relative to the U.S. dollar
- parents losing employment and going through financial hardship
- natural catastrophe or economic crises back home
- loss of home-country government scholarship
- visas restrict international students from working off campus
COVID-19 pandemic expenses
- increased technology needs and costs to access virtual learning
- immigration uncertainties requiring unplanned travel arrangements
- increased cost of airfare, delays, cancellations, and testing/quarantine
Your gift will help support Western international students facing these challenges!
A support fund available to international students will be extremely helpful and meaningful as it provides students and their parents assurance that they will have support to accomplish their educational goal in the United States. Moreover, this fund will further reassure the international student community at that they are always cared about, and they are not alone.
-Truc Nguyen (Vietnam)
During the pandemic, students had to shift from in-person classes to online classes, which increased technology needs, and costs such as faster WI-FI and new computers. A lot of people would argue that international students should just head home if they can’t support themselves in the U.S. However, travel restrictions are keeping many students from going back home. Those who can return home face long flights risking health and safety. They later may not be able to return to the U.S. to complete their studies due to closed embassies and travel restrictions.
-Shao-Peng Yang (Taiwan)
Being in a foreign country is already hard as it is, but to have a pandemic on top of that raised my stress levels to the point that I packed my things and booked a last-minute flight back to my home country before air travel was banned. The ticket was much more expensive than it usually is. I also had to cancel the tickets I purchased earlier this year to return home for the summer. Additionally, I am wary of buying a ticket back to the US since the pandemic in the US isn’t getting any better at this point.
-Kayla Croney (Barbados)
I have lost my on-campus job that paid for my weekly groceries. International students are not allowed to work off campus to support themselves. Besides that, many international students who are supposed to continue studying next year are worried they may be evacuated to their home countries. They may need to reapply for their visas. Support funding would help cover application fees and other travel costs. These funds would help international students focus on their academic goals.
-Wendy Chew (Malaysia)
Thank you for your help supporting the educational and financial needs of our international students!
You can keep up with our latest news and events on our Facebook or on our Website.