AF students

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AF students - how to oSCHOOL BELL, Foreign Students in U.S....
how to oSCHOOL BELL, Foreign Students in U.S. Let Us See Ourselves w By Elmer Wells Education Editor 30 federal problem. the radical right con- Communism. what Washington, W. Building, Glenard Office (R). West First L. Wclln. HAT FOREIGN students think of us as a people Is always interesting. Their comments are usually candid, candid, and give us something to soul-search. The numbers of foreign students in the U.S. are increasing increasing year by year. This year, according to the Institute Institute of International Education, Education, "there are over 53,107 from 143 countries. They are e n r o lied in 1,666 U.S. colleges colleges and uni- v e r s 11 i e s. This is an inc inc r e a s e of over 10 per cent f r o m l a s t y e a r , most of it due to more s t u d e n t s from African WELLS and Asian countries. In many areas, such as Pasadena, the tuition cost of foreign suidcnt program at public schools is financed by local taxpayers. It is a sort of foreign relations at the local level. But not without compensations. Our students gain by their contacts with these foreign students. At Pasadena City College, for example, some 150 foreign foreign students from over 30 countries, have been enrolled . each year for the past five years. The local taxpayers in picking up the tab, aid our foreign relations. Generally, foreign students are very appreciative of the educational o p p o r t u n i t i e s given them by the people of the U.S., both in a financial sense and for the opportunity opportunity of attending U.S. Institutions. Institutions. Many foreign students, students, it should be noted, are financed by their own countries countries or pay their own way. But their comments, many times, are a sort of mirror which reflects us not as we sec ourselves but as we really really are. * SUCH A REFLECTION is currently being provided by the Institute of International Education. It is In a survey of 1,533 African students, of whom 1,010 answered questionnaires. questionnaires. The study was conducted for HE by the University University of Michigan International International Center. Its purpose was to find out what kinds of problems confront the new flood. ;"pf students from Africa. A composite African student student was arrived at, statistically. statistically. He; is male, single and 26. He is studying so- cial science and at the sophomore level. He is either from Nigeria or Kenya. His highest ambition is to earn his doctorate. But he Is realistic and expects to ret ret u r n home after receiving his master's. Of course these are only generalities. African s t u dents dents are also from other, countries, and they are studying o t h e r subjects, such as engineering, medicine medicine and so forth. After his Initial'problem of getting acquainted with American English slanguage and adjusting to our bland food, the African student found, with the exception of finances, discrimination his number one hurdle in this country. The most startling result of the survey, said the ILE I report, "was the evidence of friction between many African African students and American I Negroes." The Africans thought that American Negroes were unfriendly unfriendly and felt superior to them. One African student In a midwest school said: "Africans "Africans have been brought up in one culture, and American Negroes are victims of circumstances circumstances In another culture culture and don't know where they belong." While they met.with discrimination discrimination In all areas of the U.S., the rate of Incidents Incidents was higher in tha South, according to the African African students. The most frequent frequent source of discrimination discrimination was in restaurants. "Particularly disturbing to many Africans," said the report, report, "was t h e attitude of Americans who discriminate against American Negroes but not against Africans." ACCORDING TO a student student at a large eastern university university he was not served In a restaurant when he wore an American suit. He was served the next day when he appeared dressed in his native native costume. Friendly -Americans became became unfriendly when Africans Africans asked them to rent rooms. "They are more friendly when they know I am from Africa, but when you ask to rent a room,' they refuse. Then I know they do not have any genuine friendship." friendship." was the comment from another of'the Africans. White landlords were not responsible for all the discrimination discrimination In housing, although although the incidents were higher In the North than th« South, One African student in the South stated, "The college arranges, f o r - o f f - c rooms'in Negro areas. When we get there and the landlord landlord realizes we are Africans, Africans, he usually won't rent a room to us." ' Social discrimination was also reported by the Africans. Africans. One of the students reported reported that when he sat beside beside a white family in church they moved away from him.- On learning he was from Africa, the same family invited invited him to dinner. ."The image of America held by the African student," said the report, "is really image of the individual American. Asked what they like best about Americans, 38 per cent of the Africans cited 'friendliness' and 16 per cent mentioned our 'industriousness.'" 'industriousness.'" *· AFRICAN STUDENTS,, however, were not impressed by the political and spiritual values which the average American is proud of. The Africans thought the biggest shortcoming in Americans is lack of political and ideological ideological values. These were listed listed as racial · intolerance, political political apathy and intolerance of foreigners as,"the least- liked American characteristics." characteristics." Most of them reported they found racial'discrimina- tlon worse than they had expected. One srudent.criticize'd the United States.Informa- tion Agency saying. "I have found that the USIA propaganda propaganda is not true, such as their description of how conditions conditions In the South really arc." In spite of the shortcomings shortcomings the African students found in -the U.S., most of them, 79 per cent, reported they are "completely! 1 or "mostly" satisfied-with the education they are getting. . On the local scene, although although I doubt he.was questioned questioned in the survey, an African African student reports he is "impressed" by the standard of instruction at PCC. He is ·Eflong Qkon Andem from the Uys Providence in Eastern Eastern Nigeria. In a recent letter letter to the Pasadena Board Education, Andem .appealed to local citizens to help other other young men and women his primitive Ililio Tribe to be admitted to PCC. "American .educational system, system, I believe," he wrote, the best for my people and Is not only philosophically based on the democratic principles principles common to Nigeria and the U.S.A., but, is also practically · based on the needs of a growing nation is mine." ·

Clipped from
  1. Independent Star-News,
  2. 07 Jan 1962, Sun,
  3. Page 14

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