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EDUCATION REPORT - Foreign Student Series #17: Support Services

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This is Gwen Outen with the VOA Special English Education Report.

This week in our Foreign Student Series, we examine support services for students who come to the United States to study. We will use a major university in the Midwest for our example.

More than three thousand foreign students attend the University of Wisconsin at its campus in Madison. Most are in graduate programs; twenty-eight percent are undergraduates.

Marilee Sushoreba is the programs coordinator for International Student Services. She says her office organizes a special meeting for new students from other countries at the beginning of each semester.

This meeting provides information about classes, social clubs and health services. It is also a chance to help students get to know the city of Madison and the University of Wisconsin.

Students can meet with an adviser anytime during the school year. The advisers try to help the students feel at ease at the university. They also explain the rules and laws that govern student life.

Workers in the International Student Services office organize a number of programs throughout the school year. These are meant to help foreign students feel more at home in the United States. For example, one program links foreign students with American students. The hope is that they can help each other and also learn about their different cultures.

Another program sends foreign students to speak in local schools and at meetings of community organizations. The students talk about their homeland and discuss other subjects.

Most American colleges and universities have a similar office to serve students from other nations. These offices can help guide students through the legal steps to come to the United States. Later, they can provide support to help the students become involved in school life and make American friends.

Yet that job is not always easy. Students from one country or group may want to spend most of their free time with each other. But Marilee Sushoreba at the University of Wisconsin says she tries to let students know they have someplace to go if they need help.

Internet users can learn more about American colleges and universities at educationusa.state.gov. Listen for part eighteen of our Foreign Student Series next week. Our reports are online at www.unsv.com.

This VOA Special English Education Report was written by Nancy Steinbach. I'm Gwen Outen.

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