Campus housing for international students

Some international students  are rethinking the benefits of their required housing situation.

First-years Haoxiang Huang and Zhuonan Kong and sophomores Chen Ling and Chen Yang are all international students from China.

They are all residents of Marsh-Austin-Tupper, the required housing location for international students.


Yang, who lived in MAT last year, thinks too many international students live in the dorm and this makes it difficult to create domestic relationships.

“I think my roommate should be an international student like me, but for the whole community of people who live near me, I hope it will be American or other international students from other countries, so I can have more opportunity to interact with them,” she said. “Almost all American students I meet are very friendly, and very nice. They will introduce other friends they have to us.”

Huang said the majority of students living in MAT are Chinese exchange students.

“I think it’s maybe a 2:1 ratio, of internationals to Americans,” Huang said. “I prefer to be more social with Chinese students. Most of the domestic students are very nice and polite but there’s also maybe a gap.”

Yang and Kong said MAT is lacking diversity and assistance.

“Not many of us want to get involved in school activities,” Yang said. “It’s really hard to think about ideas and get people involved.”

When she lived in MAT, Yang said the kitchen was always ‘nasty’ and students thought Chinese residents were making the mess.

“They put a sign up with both English and Chinese saying that we had to clean it up,” she said.

Some students like Huang said they wish they could live in MAT for all four years.

Huang said relationships are more important than where he lives and the Global Gateway Program housing isn’t a problem.

But others like Kong can’t wait to get out.

Kong said he thinks the Global Gateway Program should provide more social opportunity.

“I think I have different values than some of them,” Kong said. “My neighbors always have parties and it annoys me a lot. I think the Global Gateway Program should have more activities, bring in another method of introduction to interest international students.”

Even so, having lived in MAT, these four students now like the Residence Hall.

“Our RA is pretty enthusiastic and sometimes we do a lot of activities as a floor like having pizza catered and watching movies,” Kong said.

Yang said in China, college students often share rooms with six or eight people so she enjoys having more personal space here.

“In China, after midnight you have to turn off your room light or else the school will cut your electricity, so I really like it here, it’s free,” she said.

The Global Gateway Program is a “dedicated facility for international students on the University campus,” that offers services to help students adjust to U.S. school life, according to the program’s website.

International students can live in Harris Millis or the Living/Learning Complex their first semester of sophomore year and can only spend a maximum of one year in all residence halls, Yang said.