International Population Rises

International Population Rises

By Stephen Gawlik
Staff Writer

Spurred by a growth in overseas exchange and partnership programs, the international student and faculty population at Boston College has steadily increased in the last decade, and reached an all-time high during the 1999-2000 academic year.

A study released this spring by the Office of the Dean for Student Development found that Boston College this year welcomed 774 undergraduate and graduate students from abroad, as well as 58 faculty and research scholars. There were also 120 recent foreign graduates who remained in the US under sponsorship of the University so that they could receive field training. The total of 952 represents an increase of 22 percent over 1998 and 57 percent over a decade ago.

The visiting students and faculty hailed from 102 different countries, the most represented at BC in a given year, according to ODSD administrators. The largest groups came from China (70), South Korea (63) and Canada (48). Natives of India, Turkey, Japan, France and Indonesia also spent time at the University during the past year.

"In a relatively short time, Boston College has gone from being a 'Boston school' to a nationally recognized university," said Assistant Dean for Student Development Adrienne Nussbaum, who helped oversee the study. "Now we're going beyond that, and the evidence is apparent in the numbers of students and faculty who come to us from all over the world. They share so much with us - their customs, their traditions, their values, their views on life and people - and they enrich this community."

This evidence of growing international recognition of Boston College, administrators said, also suggests that the University is on its way to achieving one of the major goals outlined in the $260 million "Advancing the Legacy" initiative to support academic programs and resources. The 1996 initiative called for strengthening the University's global presence and imbuing the campus with a greater international influence to better prepare Boston College students for citizenship in an increasingly interdependent world.

Administrators say a major factor in the growing stream of foreign visitors to campus is the array of exchange programs and partnerships the University has established overseas, largely through the efforts of the Center for International Studies.

CIS Director Marian St. Onge said BC administers more than 60 international study programs located throughout the globe. St. Onge said that the University's growing academic stature and the "warm and friendly" atmosphere on campus have attracted an increasing number of foreign students and faculty who want to study or work in Boston.

"We've built a unique network of programs, and it's enabled us to host some fascinating people from a variety of fields," said St. Onge. "Whether they stay at BC for a year, a semester, or even for a couple of weeks, the connections we make through our international programs help us build even greater opportunities for BC."

The Carroll School of Management and the College of Arts and Sciences attracted the most undergraduates from abroad this year, enrolling 139 and 96 students, respectively. The five most popular disciplines among foreign students were finance, general management, economics, marketing and political science.

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (217 students) and Carroll Graduate School of Management (124 students) had the highest numbers of foreign graduate students, who came to BC primarily to study finance, management, economics, chemistry and political science.


Return to May 26 menu

Return to Chronicle home page