Since the 1980s, international students have played a role in building Tyler Junior College’s diversity.
“International students love the diversity that TJC brings,” said Carl Blundell, TJC student athlete from England.
Scholarships offered to international students consist of housing, a meal plan and books. Receiving a scholarship gives them an opportunity to be “part of a team, group, and gets them involved,” said Nidia Hassan, director of Admissions and Dual Credit.
There are about 20 international athletes that attend TJC on an athletic scholarship according to Justin Permenter, coordinator of international student admissions.
“There are also some international students that attend TJC on an academic scholarship, which gives some the advantage because they receive in-state tuition cost and don’t have to pay out-of-district fees,” Hassan said.
Although there has been an increase of international students this year over last year, “35 out of 58 of them are not here on a scholarship,” Permenter said.
International students try to do well athletically and academically, because this puts them in a position to receive a scholarship the following semester.
Having students from around the world benefits all students who attend TJC by connecting students from different countries and broadening horizons about cultures, traditions and religions, Hassan said.
Not only do international students get the benefit of having tuition and other expenses paid, they get the opportunity to experience life in a different country.
In contrast, scholarships can be taken away from international students for “disciplinary issues, legal trouble or not fulfilling academic responsibilities,” Permenter said.
However, to be able to enroll in TJC, international students have to go through specific procedures. The international students have to fill out admissions applications, submit immunization forms, copies of passports/visas and a TOEFL (test of English as a foreign language), which is a test to determine how well the student speaks and understands English.
Another document that the international students have to provide is an affidavit of their bank statement that shows their bank balance. This is to ensure that the student can pay for college if not offered a scholarship.
“Some international students work all summer to be able to pay for college,” Setchell said.
Though this may seem like a long process to some, this is a life-changing opportunity for others.