Are International Students Being Taken Advantage Of?

In China, I saw how important education is to families. Since most Chinese families have only one child, there are high expectations to succeed. Also, there is a well known cultural note where the Chinese often save money for their child. I am not familiar with the Korean culture, but from my Korean friends, I see that there is a strong emphasis on education. In addition, I have witnessed my personal friend from Europe and the difficulties he has had because he is not an America citizen.

Understanding the Chinese culture, Korean Culture, and talking with my friends, I have begun to see a new side to education. The business side.

As I go to class, I walk by a lot of students who speak Chinese. I barely understand them, but then two feet away, I hear a group of Korean students speaking with each other in their native language. New York University is well known for the diverse international presence in its student body, but do these students have the same opportunities as American students?

Apparently, most international students have to pay full price for their tuition. At New York University, that is a steep price. If an international student wants to become a doctor, he has a slim chance to attend medical school, since medical schools accept few international students. When students apply for internships or jobs in the work force, many have to look for an employer who is able to sponsor them for a visa. With no visa, they cannot work in America, thus they will have to return to their home country. Also, finding an internship is even harder, especially in New York City, since they are competing with students who are familiar with American culture and with the language and most NYC internships are unpaid. Moreover, most international students are not aware of the American culture for various reasons. They hold true to their personal culture, but in America, things do not work exactly the way things work in China, Korea, amongst other countries.

The chips are stacked against these students from the beginning. When most of our parents have come from abroad and fulfilled the American dream, these students arrive here with the same intention, but I believe they are taken advantage of. The schools understand that it will be tough for the students to find a job in any field, and if the students do not have a pro-career attitude and start to find work experience early, it will be a long uphill climb. With this being said, high ranked and middle-tiered colleges are able to get full-tuition from a student who, will in the end, not be able to properly utilize the degree that they earned.

All in all, this is the journey of life. People will go through these things where they will feel being taking advantage of. If nobody made any mistakes, life will not be enjoyable. All I am saying is that this is a growing trend and I hope that employers and universities help these students, instead of just taking their money.

Can Paid Internships Become A Reality?

Unpaid internships need to stop. People complain about the work conditions in China and other developing countries. Well, I have concerns regarding the work culture within New York City.

There are no unions for interns. Many interns get no pay, no stipend, and no reimbursement. Many companies have taken advantage of these students for a long time and the companies themselves are aware of it. There are some great bosses. I have had many of them, but I also have heard stories where the my friends were not so lucky.

Also, better ranked universities are preferred over other universities for these internships. Within the workforce, this is a well known fact, but I have met a student who recently transferred from a community college and he is more creative than I am. After visiting Philadelphia, I know people who barely have a high school diploma, yet they understand business better than people I have met in New York City.

Is it worth it? I have yet to find out. Most students in the fashion business have to deal with unpaid internships from the beginning of their career because that is how the fashion business works. Just starting out in the finance industry, expect to do at least one unpaid internship just to step into the industry and to make connections. In medicine, you better have volunteer hours on your resume or else employers will question you about your client-patient experience. In the tech industry, it will be advantageous to gain some experience to show that you are able to work within a team and show that you have communication skills.

All that I want is for some compensation. It should be tax-deductible and the American government should recognize this need. If you give companies an incentive, your giving the future workforce an opportunity to gain more skills to expand their human capital. How does that not make economical sense? Does it require companies to declare more employees on their taxes, so they are forced to pay more taxes to the government? Well, this needs to change.


Do Sanctions Work?

While reading the news recently, I have been seeing the word ‘sanction’ multiple times. While listening to the news on various channels, many report on countries that are being sanctioned in the world by international organizations or by various countries.  Pondering about what do sanction exactly do, I thought about the implications of a sanction. Some countries use sanctions as a way to punish another country to stop doing things that may be harmful to the world or to their own people. Of course, this is their opinion, but doesn’t the sanctions ultimately hurt the general base population more than the more privileged in the society.

One way to sanction a country is to stop its international trade and to stop its international transactions with its central banks, which both lead to a heavy impact on the economy of the country. Ultimately, it will leave less money in the peoples’ pockets as a whole, which means less money circulating in the economy, which leads to less economic growth. The consumption is lowered, investment will take a hit since their is no strong investment that will be profitable, and the government has a cut in funds since the tax revenue will decrease. My intuition states that if all these negative events occur simultaneously, won’t the people begin to revolt and question the government or the particular reason they are being sanctioned? With a riled population, the government may become afraid because their power will become undermined leading to a possible regime change. This will probably be the ultimate result that the countries or organizations enforcing the sanctions want.

There are some instances where I can understand why this process is effective, however, doesn’t it show that the country or organization that has the power to sanction, has too much power? If someone has enough influence to stop another country’s economy, basically it can control that country on the basis that money is the very important to any country’s existence. From another aspect, what if the government that the sanctioned country was voted by its people. Now after being voted by the people, a foreign country imposes sanctions. This seems to me that this does not give the general population of that country the proper rights as they deserve to elect their own officials who they feel represent them.

After learning more about what is happening in Syria and the sanctions that are being imposed on that country, a person who supported the opposition to the Syrian government stated that they general population want the sanctions because it will threaten the current government to clean up its act on its corrupt ways. He admitted that the Syrians are sacrificing today for a better tomorrow. But, how long will they be able to handle this and will their economy be hurt for sometime to come in the future? Will they be able to handle a new lifestyle after their is a regime change?

I hope that I at least brought another side to the impact of sanctions. If I made have stated something incorrectly, let me know, however, if you have an opinion, I would love to hear it.