Today I participated in a discussion organized for Lithuanian students and their representatives on the topic “Is university open to foreign studies”.
It was interesting to hear some ideas of what’s wrong (unequal treatment of exchange students, lack of study programs, lack of involvement with native students, speech barrier, racism, career prospects). Also some facts( i.e. more than 3/4 of foreign students come to my country for permanent studies, most of them are Belorussians.. (a lot probably studying in what was called “the only university in the world that is in exile”.. but there must be more!
I was mostly sitting and listening (as I know little about foreign students in my university and about the situation/need of change in general..).
I personally think there must be something we can do to make university open to foreign students. Not by changing curriculum, but by altering ourselves. Stereotypes, prejudices, close-mindedness, pessimism are the factors that we might have and be unaffected by, but they can affect foreigners!
Some say we have to wait 50 years and we won’t even talk about foreigners being pressured by the welcoming country, but look at lunar programs: they said we’ll be back soon..!!!