International students pay more for same degree

Illustration: Jeremy Holder - CU Sentry


CU Denver strives on its diversity and inclusion on campus. In fall 2016, there were more than 43 percent of undergraduate students of color and 57 percent of new first-year students of color.

With the Office of International Affairs, the International school of Beijing, and the multiple international student associations and clubs, CU Denver has always had an influx of international students and will continue to see an increase in that specific population.

Life can be a little more difficult, as international students are working, studying, and living in an entirely different place and culture and must learn the ways of the American lifestyle in order to fit in.

Illustration: Jeremy Holder – CU Sentry

Another obstacle these students face is housing. Living arrangements can be difficult to find, especially if the student has never lived alone or simply doesn’t know where to look. (While some international students live off campus, there are several who live right in downtown, either in the Auraria Student Lofts or other on campus housing.)

Doris Yu Song, a recent alumna who now attends the University of Sydney, spent two years at CU Denver and lived at ASL, where she paid $765 monthly plus other additional fees. “The infrastructure is good [and] convenient for students,” Yu Song said. “The room is kind of small and the rent is expensive.”

Although she was given several renting recommendations and wasn’t encouraged to live on campus, Yu Song liked the downtown Denver environment more than other locations. “It’s very close to campus,” Yu Song said. “When I went to Denver, I wasn’t familiar with this city, so I choose a student loft, which is safe and convenient.”

With the burden of tuition and rent, it quickly became very expensive. Then, Yu Song was told about medical insurance for international students that she was required to have. CU Denver students have the option to choose or waive their insurance plans, while international students don’t.

According to the CU Denver website, international students with F1, J1, or other valid visas are automatically enrolled for health insurance when they enroll in classes, which can be more than $1,000 per semester.

“Because the medicine fee is very high, they worry international students cannot afford the fee,” Yu Song said. “So, the medical insurance is necessary for international students.”

As expensive as CU Denver was, Yu Song was grateful for the help by the international admissions office, the academic advisors, and the opportunity to even attend an American university.

“I really enjoy the life of CU Denver,” Yu Song said. “I love the beautiful campus, academic atmosphere, professors, classmates, even the food in the Tivoli. I miss everything there.”

Dilkush Khan
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