Recently, the number of international students at the University of Oregon has increased. Megan Sullivan, who, an international student adviser at the international student affairs office, confirms that impression. She said in the recent 4 years, the number of international students who came to the University of Oregon had a big increase. In the International Students Affairs’ 2011-2012 Annual Profile, it said, “In fall 2011, 2016 international students enrolled at the University of Oregon. This is a 15.5% increase from the year before, and the largest ever international student enrollment at the University.”
The top three countries where International students come from are China, Republic of Korea, and Japan. In 2011, 955 Chinese students came to the University of Oregon. South Korea and Japan’s numbers were 205 and 127 respectively. Around 700 international students selected art and science majors at the University of Oregon, and there is not a specific number about how many students study in the Science Complex. Because the 2012-2013 Annual Profile is under processing, there are no official numbers to show how many international students enrolled; but Sullivan who showed an unofficial number of international students, which is 2484. Among the 2484 International students, there are about 114 students who study in Computer & Information Science, about 60 students who major in Biology, 26 students who study as a Chemistry major, around 29 students in Physics, and there are also 24 students in Environmental Science.
She said because the work of applications are still under processing, she cannot be sure how many international students are coming in next fall term. However, from the Admissions office reporting, the total number of applications is already more than last year. Sullivan thinks the university absolutely will have more international students coming in next year.
Q & A:
Why did you choose your major?
Zhang: Based on my observations, humans’ activities have had very negative impacts on the environment that not only humans but also other creatures and plants live. Humans started plundering everything on this planet and use them in a economical way, such as drilling oil out of ground, mining coal and killing animals for commercial purposes. All of these seem bothering me a lot, which triggers my motivation to study this major and use what I learned to do something good for this earth and for human race.
Liu: Both my parents are doctors, so with influence on my parents, I’m interested in Biology since middle high school. I guess everybody has curiosity about their lives, how the body functions, why it looks like this, etc.
Hong: To find a job in pharmaceutical field.
Which part/parts do you think is/are most important to study your major?
Zhang: Some field study, such as the subject “ Ecological Restoration” Put your hands on real problems and more practical research rather than some abstract and conceptual lectures.
Liu: I think this not only for my major, but only for anywhere else. As an international student, it is really hard to learn science major than others. When I just took upper level division biology class; I hardly can understand the lecture, probably less than 50%, so I have to record the lecture, and then go back to home and listen it again and again, and then go back to ask questions to professor.
Hong: The most important part to study in my major is to understand the concept fully and to connect all materials that we have learned together.
Do you like study in the UO Science complex? Why?
Zhang: So-so… feel creepy
Liu: Yes. I usually study in science library. It has sunshine getting in and has a small yard, where I like to take a break. More importantly, Its very convenient to borrow textbooks.
Hong: I like to study in the UO because I can be offered many different kinds of lab.
Which part you like best?
Zhang: I like the ceiling in the Willamette if you have to ask me to pick one. The steel made models on the ceiling looks creative.
I also like the Period Table demonstration thing that is right on the wall of the Klamath’s hallway.
Liu: I like the lobby of Willamette hall better, because they just add some tables and sofas over there.
Hong: I like to spend my time by doing the lab.
11:00 a.m., Klamath hall, Office 15B, Mark Carrie just came back to his office from his biology class. His office is very small, there are couple chairs on one side, and across the chairs is Carrie’s desk. There are a few science books on the desk, and in the corner of the office, there is a small bookshelf that has some books about science.
Mark Carrie is a professor in the department of Biology, and he has taught at the University of Oregon around 13 years. Each year, there are always some international students in his class.
English as a second language, that is the international students, Carrie thinks is around 15 per term, which is 5% of class, but it is maybe more than this number. He talks about the increase of international students in his class, but he is just not sure how much it is increasing for his class. Carrie is sitting in front of his desk, and looking at his computer. He says when the number of international students is increasing, at the same time the class size is also doubled. So, it may get higher, but not too much. He also says that International students study in the college just like a big club, 3 or 4 years ago, in his class, there were a lot of Russian students, and right now, the Chinese students are the majority of the international students.
As he talks about what are the most difficult things for the international students, he leans forward and puts his elbows on the desk and intertwines his fingers; he thinks they fall under the same range as the American students, but they face a more difficult task, and they know they are facing this problem. “They probably have on average a better study habit than American students, because they have to.”
Carrie changes positions and leans back in the chair. He also thinks understanding lectures in real time is also a challenge for them. “In the lecture class, we speak quickly, so unlike reading materials, you can use dictionary if you have to.” Carrie always does something for students who cannot follow the lecture. He says, “listening to someone speak is brutally difficult as a second language, so in order to make it a little more fair, I always record my lecture, and put it on my website.” As he says this, he picks up a small recorder and says he always tries to write down the details about his lecture, and also upload a reading version to his website.
When Carrie talks about his thoughts about how often the international students would like to go to his office hour, he says American students come more than international students to his office to ask questions. He encourages students to go to his office hour to ask questions, he very much likes to help them to solve the problem. “International students are more polite to faculty, and that is not necessary here.” He always tries to break this rule, if he was wrong just let him know, and he is not always right. “If I made a mistake grading your test, you cannot just accept that, you have to do something.”
Carrie takes a deep breath, and uses a few minutes to think, “International students are less willing to come to you with problems,” he says. He thinks Lab is not very difficult for the international students. The reason is there are always some introductions about the lab, and it can allow students to follow the introduction to do the lab step by step. He also says if some students do not understand the introduction of the lab, the GTFs can help them to find a way to solve the problem.
When he is talking about how he feels to work with international students who are GTFs, he ruffles his hair and says, “It is great.” He says international GTFs have broader experiences and they can provide someone who speaks languages that he doesn’t. He thinks international GTFs can help him to talk with international students. “Hard working students do great, it doesn’t matter what challenges they face. I think college is 99.9% motivation, and I would say I think motivation in general in international students is probably fractionally higher.”
Carrie, who is a professor of the University of Oregon, enjoys teaching at the university, and he says he likes to work with international students. He wants to get more international GTFs in the future, that includes “Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish”
Qian Zhang, a Chinese student at the University of Oregon, who is majoring in Environmental Science. This is her last year at university. As she says, as a science student, the library is her home. She does everything there, eats, sleeps, everything. She always spends more than 10 hours each day in the library.
March 13, 2013, Wednesday morning about 8:30, the weather is cloudy.
Around 8:50 a.m., Qian Zhang is going to her first class that day.
She is on her way to the Willamette Hall for physics class.
When her class is over at 9:50 a.m., she is on the way to her next class which is biology.
Around 12:00 noon, Panda Express is her lunch, and when she is eating, she is also looking at her notes from the class.
12:30 p.m., she goes to Lawrence Hall to visit her friend’s final project exhibition.
After she leaves the exhibition, around 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon, she goes to her major’s department to ask some questions about her class.
When she is on the way to the Science library, she meets her GTF for the biology’s lab, and she talks with him about her paper.
1:00 in the afternoon, only one hour before her next class, Zhang stays at the Science library to study.
Around 2:00 p.m., She goes to her organic chemistry class.
6:00 p.m., she goes to Lillis to meet her classmates, and get ready for their presentation.
7:00 p.m., in the Knight library, salad is her dinner, and during her dinner she always reads lectures on her computer.
Until 11:00 p.m., she is always doing her homework, reading books for her classes.
11:00 p.m., after she finishes her assignments, she starts to study for the GRE, because she is going to apply to a graduate school after she graduates from college.
Around 12:30 a.m., she finishes everything for the day, and goes back to her apartment. She says she might have to go to the library again later; because she has so much work to do.