Fresno State has a student body filled with different cultural backgrounds that echoes the ethnic diversity of the city itself. Among the approximately 20,000 students on campus, only a small fraction are international, and a large amount of them are from India.
Dmitri Rogulkin, a research analyst for Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning at Fresno State, said only 117 students are from out-of-state, while the total number of international students is 450.
Out of those 450 international students, an overwhelming majority are from India—a total of 167, with 117 being male and 50 being female. India is the only country to have more than 100 students, according to the 2009-2010 Data Book for Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning.
Beginning with 150 in fall 2005, the number of enrolled international students from India continued to increase each year. The number rose to 230 by fall 2008. This was an even larger majority, since there were only 334 total international students that year. Not until 2009 did the number of students from India actually decrease.
“For many years our two largest groups of [international] students came from India and Japan,” said Lucia Hammar, director of International Student Services and Programs.
“Recently, our Japanese students have dropped…so that leaves India alone at the top.”
More than half (56 percent) of students enrolled during the fall semester of 2009 actually live in Fresno, and 26 percent attend from other cities in the Central Valley.
What about the other 18 percent? Fifteen percent come from other cities in California outside of the Central Valley. Only one percent is from other states in the U.S. and only two percent from other countries.
Graduate student Amruta Tandel, 26, is part of the two percent and one of the 50 female international students from India.
“I came by myself,” she said. “I have no family here, just friends.” But she said that she keeps in contact with 20 to 25 other students from India on campus.
“My counselor in India introduced me to other students from India that were also going to Fresno State,” said Tandel.
ISSP is very helpful and a key resource for international students.
“It’s like the admissions office for international students,” said Tandel.
Hammar said it’s fun to have international students at Fresno State explain how classes are different from their country, and that it is not just the language that is different.
“Working at ISSP is a wonderful experience because it gives me a chance to meet interesting, bright young people from all over the world, and to learn about Fresno as seen through their eyes,” said Hammar.
Tandel said it was a long process to get to Fresno State, but worth it. She said she is happy with her decision to come and would recommend it to any student in India, or any other country.