November 13, 2000
The World finds a home at Emory
Note: This is the first in a series of articles
that will explore internationalism at Emory, particularly
the role of international students and scholars on campus. If you would like to comment on this subject,
please send an e-mail to Elizabeth Kurylo at email@example.com or call the Office of International Affairs
"More than 1,150 international students and scholars call Emory
home this year, coming from such faraway places as Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe
Continuing a trend of the past several years, the majority of internationals
are from Asia, with China, South Korea, India and Japan being the top
Right now, there are 731 international students and 421 international
scholars on campus, according to figures compiled by the office of International
Students and Scholars Programs (ISSP). Some are here on exchange programs,
others are seeking degrees. The number of scholars is likely to increase,
as some are short term and arrive at different times during the year.
The colleges freshman class has 50 international students from
28 countriesincluding Turkey, Libya and Perubut most internationals
are doing graduate-level work in scientific fields. In fact, the graduate
school draws the most international students, with 257 enrolled this year.
The business school ranks second with 153, and the college is third with
Chinese are the largest group of internationals at Emory, with 111 students
and 100 scholars. ISSP Director Lelia Crawford said it is not unusual
for research universities to have their largest group of international
students from China. Many of them are in the sciences, she
said. Science programs in China are very strong.
Emory has seen a steady increase of internationals on campus in the past
decade. The number of international students has doubled from 354 in 1990
to more than 700 today, and the number of scholars increased at a similar
rate during that period. Crawford said she expects that trend to continue
as the new research facilities on campus come online.
ISSP provides prearrival information to internationals and offers orientation
sessions once they get here. The sessions cover information about American
culture, the U.S. education system and basic living information, including
how to open a bank account, get a Social Security card and find a place
to live. ISSP also offers immigration counseling.
Stefan Pencea is a graduate student in physics. The native of Romania
has been here since August of 1996. He, his wife and daughter have had
a good experience, although the first year was rough, especially for his
wife, who stayed at home.
He said it was difficult to find affordable housing with his limited
stipend, especially after the University Apartments, which had been home
to many internationals, were torn down. Despite the problems, Emory has
been a good place for me and also for my family, Pencea said.
University Apartments Manager Kathy Clark said the old units, especially
the garden apartments, were truly a global village, and she
hopes the new UA complex will capture that feeling again when they are
completed by the summer of 2002.
Currently, 59 international scholars are here with two or more dependents,
according to ISSP. A support group for spouses of internationals meets
every Wednesday at the Emory Episcopal Center on Clifton Road. Former
School of Theology student Christina Dondero started the group four years
ago, partly because she grew up overseas and knows how hard it is to adjust
to a new culture.
She helps women enroll their children in school and find English classes.
She also advises them on inexpensive shopping and entertainment, because
many live frugally. The group also is a way for the women to make new
Their husbands are usually very, very busy with school, and the women can feel very isolated and lonely, Dondero said. Im interested in helping them have an easier transition. I want their experience here to be good.