Binghamton University was recently ranked third in the nation among colleges with the most “International Love” by Unigo.com.
“With 14.7% of its student body made up of international students, SUNY Binghamton brings a little taste of the rest of the world to upstate New York,” Unigo’s website reads.
One of the ways BU has increased its international student population is through the Academic Success Program (ASP), according to Unigo.
“The ASP gives students time to increase their proficiency in the English language before the start of regular classes, as well as acclimate to the campus and the culture of the US,” Unigo’s website says. “It is this kind of hands-on support — the kind that comes from the administration, not generated only by other students — that cements SUNY Binghamton’s spot on this list.”
Ellen H. Badger, director of International Student and Scholar Services, said BU is dedicated to integrating incoming international students, maintaining contact with them throughout their time at the University.
“The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) serves as the central reference point or hub for international students at Binghamton,” Badger wrote in an email. “We begin our contacts with students before they ever arrive on campus, and continue to work with them from orientation through graduation and beyond. But many offices and programs on campus contribute to the University’s goal of student success.”
In Unigo’s rankings, BU received a higher ranking than Ivy League schools Harvard, Columbia and Princeton. BU was beat out by Brandeis University and California Institute of Technology.
Badger said that all students should feel welcome on campus.
“I think that what may be important to our international students is knowing what I hope all of our students, domestic or international, know; that there are places on campus where they can find people who are friendly, who are interested in their well-being, and who want to be of help,” Badger said.
The ISSS hosts events such as international student coffee hours and programs like the English Conversation Pairs (ECP), which pairs up native English speakers with non-native speakers in order to create an experience where the non-native speaker improves their speaking capabilities while forming a friendship at the same time.
Tahmina Igamberdiev, a junior majoring in management, said programs like ECP are beneficial to international students.
“My cousin is an international student at Buffalo University,” Igamberdiev said. “It’s her first year and I see how much she struggles with the language barriers. Whenever we Skype it puts her at ease and I can only hope that my conversation pair will feel the same relief and hopefully there is a program like that at her university as well.”