The Fort Steilacoom campus offers an international education program to students with student visas from around the world, and Pierce College Puyallup officials hope to open up the same opportunities to international students in fall quarter 2014.
“We’ve primarily been centered at Fort Steilacoom,” said Cindy MacKersie, SEVIS Cultural Programs manager, “but we want to have more of a presence, more international education opportunities at Puyallup.”
The program gives international students the opportunity to come to study at Pierce College.
“Some come just to study English, some to get the full two-year associate degree and some come to transfer to a four-year university,” MacKersie said.
According to MacKersie, to get the international program functioning at the Puyallup campus, they will start by getting a group of 15 international students per degree.
“We are primarily looking to recruit business and engineering students,” MacKersie said.
MacKersie hopes an international program will give more opportunities to Puyallup students.
“For students who might never travel abroad, they might meet a student from abroad,” MacKersie said.
MacKersie also said they plan to bring more activities to the Puyallup campus such as the Conversation Partners program at the Fort Steilacoom campus.
“We match a student from the area with an international student and they meet for one hour a week and have conversation,” MacKersie said. “They create a friendship they might not create on their own.”
More international exposure may also encourage current students to try many of the study abroad programs offered through Pierce College.
International students pay tuition according to the tuition chart, and their presence has no additional financial effect on current students.
Scholarships are available for international students already studying at Pierce College.
According to MacKersie, fall applicants for International Programs traditionally begin coming during June and July, but students who need English development will be encouraged to start during summer quarter at Fort Steilacoom.
“We don’t yet have an intensive English program designed for international students at Puyallup,” MacKersie said.
International students are housed through home stays, designated through host families who have applied to house an international student.
“There’s a lot of chances for opportunities,” MacKersie said.
The opening of the international door to the Puyallup campus would enhance Pierce’s activities and community for both international students and current students, MacKersie said.
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