International students deal with feelings of ostracism on campus

Walking around campus you may notice groups of foreign students on campus and wondered who they were. Those students are a part of ONCAMPUS SUNY, a subset group of ONCAMPUS and the Cambridge Educational Group.

ONCAMPUS teaches basic first-year or pre-university courses to international students who did not meet the academic requirements to enter their chosen universities directly. Participating schools are located in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the U.S., with students from Asia, Africa, and Europe. Since the spring semester of 2015 Morrisville State College is the only SUNY School under ONCAMPUS SUNY that houses all of the international students that come through the program in the New York State.

General studies student Kunjie Xi studying in the library before class. Photo by Dontel Rainey
General studies student Kunjie Xi studying in the library before class.
Photo by Dontel Rainey

The international students are generally housed separately. ONCAMPUS SUNY students are here to get an education just like all of the domestic students at MSC and once they get it they leave, just like their peers. After a year in the program, the international students are finished and have the option to leave or to stay at their ONCAMPUS school. Some leave and some stay. However, at MSC many of the students leave and few stay, for example for every ten international students, nine will transfer out and one will stay. The caused is rumored to be because they feel ostracized.
When housed, the students were originally placed with both domestic students and a fellow ONCAMPUS SUNY student who was for the most part from the same country. The goal was to integrate the students while they were here. The goal fell short because many students wanted to live with students in the program and did not interact with their domestic roommates or classmates. Some students claimed that they were mocked at times or even laughed at when they spoke because they either did not speak English at all or did not speak it well enough. Hao-Hsuan Ueng (How-Sh-Wen) a junior business administration student from Taiwan, was a part of the first ONCAMPUS group to come to MSC. He said that he never felt excluded but heard stories of other students feeling that they may be ostracized

“I know some of the kids felt left out because they never got to meet any other kids (domestic MSC students) but that was because the classes were so compact so we never had time to meet them,” said Ueng.This seems to be a common mindset amongst the international students,

This seems to be a common mindset amongst the international students, however, the Fall 2016 groups of students are somewhat more open minded, many claim they do not feel excluded at MSC.“I don’t feel ostracized or left but I think we should have more classes with them (MSC domestic students),” said Khaled El

“I don’t feel ostracized or left but I think we should have more classes with them (MSC domestic students),” said Khaled El Tarifi a freshman, business administration ONCAMPUS SUNY student who is from Jordan in the Middle East.According to El

According to El Tarifi, he does not feel left out but wishes to interact more with the domestic students here. One way he does that is with soccer. For Ta Yu Lou a junior, liberal arts math and science student from Taiwan, it’s the fitness center that allows him to interact more. “I think it is more about language,” said Lou in an interview. “If you’re willing to talk to people they are willing to talk to you but some of the international students are not good at English so people may think they don’t want to speak to each other but they want to stick together because they share a culture.”

“I think it is more about language,” said Lou in an interview. “If you’re willing to talk to people they are willing to talk to you but some of the international students are not good at English so people may think they don’t want to speak to each other but they want to stick together because they share a culture.” Lou continued to say that some of the international students have been to America before so they are willing to speak but the others that have not are more reserved at first.

Lou continued to say that some of the international students have been to America before so they are willing to speak but the others that have not are more reserved at first. “In

“In first-year experience, I meet more Morrisville students,” said Fuhao Taing a freshman, architecture ONCAMPUS SUNY student.

Taing says that at times he felt left out but he tries to interact with both the domestic students and his fellow ONCAMPUS students. The ONCAMPUS program experience will vary depending on the student. If they have been to other countries and have traveled before then they are more willing to interact with the domestic students. If they have never been to America or traveled then they may find it more difficult to adjust to the culture that surrounds their school.

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