International students stressed out by visa rule changes

The general population in the United States barely registers the ins and outs of visa rules and immigration regulations for students from overseas, but for international students themselves, keeping up with the fast-changing immigration landscape – particularly in recent years – is imperative.

US immigration rules and international student mobility are inextricably linked, but this is barely acknowledged by US policy-makers and often by universities themselves, says international education expert Rajika Bhandari, who herself arrived in the US as an international student and who went on to become immersed in virtually every aspect of policy and data on international students in the US as a senior researcher at the Institute of International Education (IIE) in New York.

“There are now a million international students in the US, but they are largely invisible, an unknown entity” within the country, she said in a wide-ranging interview, noting “a huge gap” in the conversation in the US between the policy perspective and what it is really like living as an international student in the US.

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