Shoreline Rises into Top 20 U.S. Colleges Enrolling International Students

Shoreline Community College has joined the top 20 Associate’s colleges hosting international students in the United States.

In its Open Doors Report, released as part of global International Education Week celebrations, the Institute of International Education ranked Shoreline Community College number 19 in the U.S. on the list of Associate’s Colleges with the most international students.

Shoreline’s rise in the rankings comes amid overall drops in new enrollments by international students throughout the state and the nation. In this context, it has been increasingly difficult to attract new students. However, Shoreline has seen significantly lower declines in international enrollments compared to other similar institutions.

Shoreline’s International Education Department works hard to make sure international students have all the support they need to succeed in the U.S. education system. One recent graduate, Riadiania Marcelita from Indonesia, said, “the international student advisors worked with me from day one to plan my academic journey.” Riadiana is currently working at Adobe Systems in California.

International students also point to the excellence of our teaching faculty as another reason for the success. Kacem Saber Becis from Algeria noted, “the faculty are truly preparing me to be successful at a university.”

It is this support, and the student successes that it leads to, that attracts international students to Shoreline.

With just short of 1,000 international students from over 50 countries, Shoreline is one of five colleges in Washington State in the top 20 leading institutions, making ours one of the most competitive states in the country. In the past ten years, Shoreline has increased its international student population by around 30%, and moved from being ranked in the 30s to its current spot at 19.

The Open Doors Report has been published annually by the Institute of International Education since the 1948-49 academic year. Since 1972, they have partnered with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to produce the report. Open Doors contains data on international students in the U.S. as well as American students who study abroad in other countries.

How a Student from China Became a Volunteer at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle (and Why She Loves It!)

Yueheng Feng volunteers at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle

I’m Yueheng Feng, an international student from China studying at Shoreline Community College. Five months ago, when I just arrived in Seattle, I was excited and eager to try to adapt to this new environment as quickly as possible. I wanted to get involved not just on campus with different activities but also in the community to expand my social circles. Luckily, I learned about volunteering at the Pacific Science Center from our China Specialist, Ms. Linda Du. She told me about what it is like to volunteer there and encouraged me to apply for it. Of course I would try it because I have always loved exploring in the science centers and I enjoy the chance to help others.

Pacific Science Center in Seattle, WA Photo by Ron Clausen [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Very soon after submitting my application, I received an email for the volunteer interview. It was a group interview, which was not as intimidating as I thought. It was just an opportunity for us to meet the Volunteer Coordinators and get to know each other because we might volunteer together in the future. Some of the questions asked at the interview were difficult for me to understand in the beginning, but I tried my best to be brave in a group setting, shared my opinions and expressed myself in English. When I didn’t understand a question, I listened to others and then tried to figure out what the question was asking for. If I still couldn’t understand the question, I just asked the staff and they would ask me again in an easier way. I passed the interview and completed the New Volunteer Orientation in November! By now, I have volunteered as a Guest Ambassador for more than 20 hours. Because of a temporary change with this particular volunteer program, I just re-applied and became a Tinker Tank volunteer recently.

     Before I started volunteering at Pacific Science Center, some friends told me that it would not be easy to be a volunteer there. Even many university students and local high school students want to volunteer there, and I just started learning ESL at that time. I think being confident in myself is very important. I know this is out of my comfort zone and I still need to keep improving myself, but I know I can do this better and better!   

     The Pacific Science Center is located in Seattle Center next to the Space Needle. It takes me about one hour to get there by bus. Volunteers can get bus passes for commuting there. Whenever I’m not too busy with school, I sign up for volunteering shifts. Being a volunteer there is very interesting and fun. I like to engage with guests by asking them questions to start the interaction. There are also many free cookies, candies and chocolates for volunteers. I can also grab a hot beverage for free as another volunteer benefit. Of course the meaningful experience of being a volunteer is way beyond this. People at the Pacific Science Center are very friendly. Other staff and volunteers would help me when I don’t know the answers.

     The Pacific Science Center is a great place. If you want to be a volunteer, you should go there and try! I would regret if I didn’t sign up to be a volunteer there!

To learn more about different volunteer opportunities and apply online, just go to: www.pacificsciencecenter.org/volunteers/