I just read the editorials printed in the last edition and, as a result, I am here to write a “People’s voice” article, as my frustration and anger raised these past three weeks.
Oh, by the way I apologize for the possible grammatical mistakes I might have done writing these lines: I am a foreign student (I know, I know, no excuse!), but I try.
So, what can I say about Western… Well, let me say the good things first, and then, we shall see…
I think that WCU has the privilege to have very good teachers overall. Most of the time, they are available to help you if you have any kind of problems, they can understand the difficulties that you might have outside your classes, and they are happy if you succeed. They are (as far as I know!) competent and involved.
And I can tell you, that is not always the case everywhere (cf. some faculty in France).
The good point is also that I am one of the few who really likes the area. Coming from a city, it is a big change, but you cannot imagine how peaceful it is! Also, I know a lot of employees of WCU who are kind, do the best they can, love the students and are also devoted to Western.
Now, all of this is nice, kind, etc.
But let’s talk about what is wrong here, at least, concerning myself.
First, as you might have guessed, I am a French student enrolled at WCU. One of the (main) reason there are some international students here, is the cost. Indeed, when I transferred from France, WCU was almost the cheapest one (CofC is cheaper!), and the department I was applying to is pretty good.
The fact that it is one of the cheapest does not mean it is cheap. Around $5000 each semester (not including housing and food) is a huge amount of money. You wonder, therefore why I went here. Well, there is nothing to hide: here, compared to France and in my domain (CS), the salaries are better and the education in that field, more related to the real world.
Therefore, it was not an easy decision to come here. A lot of sacrifice and concessions had to be made. Finally, I am here. And what do I see? Well, despite the -at least- $5000 invested, I have to say very few are done for the International students. What if you don’t have the money to get a car? Or maybe you don’t want a car. Well, sometimes, and only because the international students insisted, we have a shuttle to Wal-Mart. What about Christmas break or Spring break? You are living in the dorm, well, you are kicked out!
International students are not, by definition, living in the States. Not every student can afford a round-trip ticket to see her/his family. Therefore, you have to find a place to stay, be lucky, and probably pay some kind of compensation. Great for $5000! And now, what about financial help, if something happened? Well, the only way to get some money is to work on campus if you can find a job. The maximum amount of work is 20 hours. No matter what. And that’s all! No financial aid. No fund. Nothing. International students are not allowed to work outside campus (federal law). You will tell me it is good for US citizens so they can have the job instead, I can understand that, but sometimes, nobody wants the job! Whatever…
What I am saying is that, for the price we pay, we should get more consideration and understand that not every international people that you can meet on campus has an easy life. And that, the University doesn’t care at all, as long as they get paid, as long as they get the rest of your meal card at the end of the semester, as long as there are only 1% of international people here. And, guarranteed effect, this number will dramatically decrease (especially after this May!).
But you know what, who cares. If you read until here, you are brave or you don’t have anything to do! I apologize for having wasted your time. Nothing will change (Oh, yes! There will be a new technology center, a new tribune for our football team, but no more Foreign language majors, no more Philosophy major, no more Math (!) major). The chancellor will maybe buy a new car… and I, … well, I don’t know…