Monday, December 22, 2014

Is America's Gun Violence Scaring Away International Students?
By Brittany Bivins

Secretary of State John Kerry is drawing both criticism and praise for statements he made in Tokyo this week, when he said international student enrollment in American universities is down among some countries, because of the United States' gun control laws.

"We had an interesting discussion about why fewer students are coming to, particularly from Japan, to study in the United States, and one of the responses I got from our officials from conversations with parents here, is that they're actually scared. They think they're not safe in the United States," said Kerry in a CNN interview on Monday.

It's a view that's drawing mixed reactions from international students at Troy University.

"It's a valid question, because it's a question about students safe and students' lives," said Anni Lai.

"Especially our parents, they are worried about it," said Shusunse He. "Some news reports, they're like some university, like gunshots and some people died or injured, and so they told me-stay away from guns."

However, Qi Han, a Troy University student from China who also received his undergraduate degree at the university, says America's gun laws didn't factor into his decision to study in the U.S.

"It's nothing to do with the gun laws. You know tragedy happens, even 9/11 happens, we still come here. A lot of people come here, and it's nothing to do with the gun control law at all," said Han.

This year, about 750,000 students are studying at American universities, including more than 1,000 at Troy University. That's up more than six percent from a year ago.