77% of students “undeterred” by immigration policies in US

14 Jun 2024

A survey of international students in the US revealed that over two-thirds were entirely unaffected by the country's immigration policies, and nearly three-quarters experienced no issues with their visas.

The latest survey by Terra Dotta, which included 356 international students in the US, 77% of whom were undergraduates, explored various aspects of their study experiences in the country. While many responses reflected the general trends seen in recent studies, the students' perspectives on immigration stood out as notably different.

A mere 6% said their decision to study in the US was “negatively impacted”, whilst just 28% claimed to have had problems with their visa process. Approximately 19% of the survey respondents were from China and 17% were from India. However, a smaller percentage were from African countries, which have experienced the most issues with visa processes, including previous visa rejections, The Pie News reports.

More post-grad support needed?

Although there was a high satisfaction rate with post-graduation work opportunities, 42% of respondents requested more support in finding jobs in the US after graduation. Additionally, 28% indicated that support for students wishing to remain in the country post-graduation was an area needing improvement. Indeed, in order to enhance integration for international students on US campuses, 45% of respondents said cultural activities would be essential, a sentiment echoed by Terra Dotta’s CEO, Ben Psillas.  “International students are drawn to the US for a multitude of reasons and it’s imperative that universities provide support in the search and application process, during their time at the university, as well as post-graduation efforts,” he said. “By adding more cross-cultural activities, enhancing the post-graduation opportunities and addressing key challenges, institutions can help stand out among current and future international students.”

Cost pressures

Another survey carried out by GradRight last month revealed that cost was a major reason students didn’t choose certain institutions. Terra Dotta's survey found that this issue persists for students even after they enrol. Affordability and financial aid eligibility were identified by 68% of respondents as crucial factors in deciding whether they would continue their enrolment next year.

Furthermore, half of the respondents also indicated that satisfaction with their academic programs would be a key factor in their decision to continue their studies. Additionally, 42% of respondents cited family expectations as a significant influence on their choice to remain enrolled.

Cost and affordability would also significantly impact any decision for students considering transferring, with 63% indicating it would influence them. However, only 20% are unsure or actively thinking about transferring.

Additionally, safety was also a major concern for international students. Indeed, 49% of the respondents indicated that crime and personal safety were among their worries before beginning their studies in the US, surpassing any other concern by over 20%. However, once in the US, the apprehension about crime reduced, with only 31% listing it as a concern, while 45% stated they had no concerns at all.