Visiting int’l students to arrive next year

Next year, Yale will strengthen its connections to international institutions with the launch of a new study abroad program that brings foreign students to Yale College.

At a faculty of Arts and Sciences meeting last Thursday, Yale College Dean Mary Miller announced the creation of the new Visiting International Student program. The University will bring 24 students from three of its partner institutions — including the National University of Singapore — to Yale College for one year. The students will live in residential colleges and “participate fully in the life of the campus,” Miller said in a written draft of the announcement.

Miller said that the program will allow Yale College to increase international students’ presence on campus and will help the University strengthen its relationships with the partner institutions involved. Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (known as Monterrey Tec, or ITESM) and the National University of Singapore have already agreed to participate, said Jane Edwards, Yale College associate dean and dean of international and professional experience. Edwards said the University has approached a third institution, but that it had not heard back from this possible final partner in the program at press time.

Edwards said the visiting students will bring a different perspective to Yale than that of degree-seeking international students.

“The program will add students who are actually part of another educational system in another country,” she said.

“There are things to be learned in both directions,” Edwards said.

Yale’s partner institutions will nominate somewhere between 12 and 20 students for the program, Edwards said, and Yale’s admissions office will then select eight students from each school.

Dean of Admissions Jeffrey Brenzel said the Admissions Office is just beginning to meet with the Office of International Affairs to discuss a selection process for the visiting students. But he said he is sure the Admissions Office will look for high academic performance, a strong English language ability and excellent recommendations from professors and deans.

“Of course, we are always looking for evidence of leadership and the desire to make a real contribution to the Yale community,” Brenzel said in an e-mail to the News on Monday.

Edwards said the program is part of a larger push to bring more international students to campus. She said it will allow Yale College to increase the number of international students without intensifying the already highly competitive admissions process.

Miller said in the announcement to faculty that the University will not have to shoulder financial burdens associated with the program, since visiting students do not receive financial aid from Yale. Both Monterrey Tec and the National University of Singapore have financial aid for their students, Edwards said, adding that she imagines they will provide financial aid for their visiting students while at Yale.

Edwards added that there are no immediate plans to increase the number of visiting students in the program after its first year. But, she said, that could change in the future.

“We think this is a good size for the program,” she said. “But if it turns out to be extraordinarily successful, there’s no structural reason why we wouldn’t increase the number of visiting students.”

Miller said the program aims to place two visiting students in each residential college — but space considerations might change this plan. She added that more students living in the residential colleges will mean less room for undergraduates in the colleges, and that Swing Space will be used to accommodate the overflow.

“We are going to make creative and constructive use of Swing Space next year,” she said.

Swing Space is currently occupied by residents of Ezra Stiles College while the college undergoes renovations.

Miller said the program will be suspended for a year during the construction of the new residential colleges in order to accommodate freshmen. During that year, Miller said, Yale will evaluate the program and make any necessary adjustments.

Correction: November 10, 2010

Due to editing errors, an earlier version of this mistakenly attributed the quotation “There are things to be learned in both directions” to Yale College Dean Mary Miller. The remark was, in fact, made by Jane Edwards, associate dean of Yale College and dean of international and professional experience.

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