Meaghan Murtagh, ASG’s secretary for advancement and alumni affairs, noticed a problematic divide between international and domestic students in one of her classes earlier this year.
“After talking to two international students in one of my classes about their concerns at Miami,” she said, “I thought that ASG as a community should talk to international students to hear what their needs are and how we can make their college experiences better.”
In an effort to start bridging the gap between domestic and international students, ASG will be holding its first international student concerns forum on Monday, Oct. 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the ASG senate chamber.
Murtagh, who works in close connection with the alumni office, also noticed that there was a low retention rate of international alumni giving back to Miami.
“I thought this might be a sign that international students don’t have as good of an experience as domestic students do,” she said.
The forum will be an open floor for international students to voice any concerns they have with life at Miami. ASG plans to use this information as a way to start reaching out to the international community.
“We really just want international students to have the chance to voice their concerns whether they be school concerns, social concerns, problems living on and off campus- any troubles they might have,” Murtagh said.
A common obstacle many international students often face is finding internships or careers in the United States.
Alfred Yang, a junior from Beijing China, believes this to be his biggest problem.
“I am trying to apply for internships, and getting sponsorship is something that worries me,” he said. “Employers would rather hire domestic students.”
Another objective of the forum is to encourage international students to start thinking about their involvement with ASG.
“ASG is supposed to represent the entire student body,” said Murtagh, “so we want international students to eventually feel comfortable joining ASG. We hope that having this forum in the senate chamber [will be] a good stepping stone to get them involved.”
There are currently only two international students representatives in ASG, sophomore Daljeet Singh and junior Darsh Parthasarthy.
There will be a booth outside the ASG office in Armstrong all day Monday to promote the event. Flyers will be handed out in Taiwanese, Mandarin and Swahili.