Despite decline in international students, those here enjoy SBCC

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Despite decline in international students, those here enjoy SBCC

The Friendship Plaza at City College on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, in Santa Barbara, Calif.

The Friendship Plaza at City College on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Nate Stephenson

The Friendship Plaza at City College on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Nate Stephenson

Nate Stephenson

The Friendship Plaza at City College on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Valerie Van den Broek, Staff Writer

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City College has international students from all over the world and out of all the schools they could have choose from, they chose to come here.

Although its declining rates of international students, they still decide to attend City College.

The rate of international students attending City College went from approximately 1,200 in 2016 to less than 1,000 in 2018.

“The number of international students is going down,” said Carola Smith, the senior director of the international programs. “We have seen a decline there over the last three years.”

Nevertheless, a beach view and the number one ranking city college in the United States are a few of the highlights City College is known for. According to Smith, students look for schools that provide a “high-quality education,” which City College is known for.

Some international students attend City College because of its location, in between Los Angeles and San Francisco, which is very appealing for international students.

“I wanted to move to California because of Silicon Valley,” Nimrod Flaisher said, an international student from Israel. “I want to study computer science. I looked at colleges in California and SBCC had the highest ranking.”

According to Smith, City College has approximately 1,000 international students enrolled in classes. Not do only international students gain a lot from their studies at City College, but the college itself benefits from the international students.

“I think our international students contributed a lot and often times because they’re here as full-time students they help to enrich our student life,” Smith said. “Because they are here on campus and they have time to participate in extracurricular activities or to join clubs.”

City College is an attractive place for international students because of its small community and the vast opportunities it provides to students after their studies.

“I came to SBCC because it’s a small town and it reminds me of where I come from,” Illias Kyriakides said, an international student from Cyprus. “I am majoring in film, there is a close proximity to L.A. and film opportunities.”

According to Smith, another benefit of attending City College as an international student is that the tuition is fairly low compared to other 4-year universities.

The college also makes sure all international students are treated the same as national students and are offered the same classes.

“International students are really integrated in all of our classes, I think that is what international students prefer,” Smith said. “Rather than taking island classes where they are just with other international students.”

Smith said she was an international student herself at City College from 1988 to 1989 and believes that the College has a lot of benefits for students.

“What I oftentimes hear from students is that they gain or that they have a much more applied education,” Smith said. “What I think is somewhat unique for students from other countries is that here our faculty tend to have worked in their field, outside from teaching, so often they have an applied approach to teaching.”

Stella Sepassipour, an international student from Spain, said that going to City College changed her life.

“Santa Barbara is very similar to the mediterranean part of Spain, so it is familiar but at the same time different,” said Sepassipour. “I created a lot of friendships through SBCC, it taught me to be independent and it made me grow as a person too.”

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