Employment for International Students

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A Section devoted to employment opportunities for international students in the U.S. and abroad.

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Employment for International Students

  1. 1. Perspectives Dec. 03:Layout 1 2/7/10 10:58 PM Page 1 PERSPECTIVES 9 No satisfying jobs at home, international students say G December 03, 2009 Mount Holyoke News 52 of the 87 international students who filled out a Mount Holyoke News survey said that they wouldn’t find satisfying jobs at home. The survey asked foreign students to evaluate their chances of getting hired in their home countries. Although the majority, 52 of the respondents, said they were considering working at home after graduation, they expressed concern regarding the quality of the jobs they would find. Only 27 of the 87 re- spondents are confident that they will land the jobs they want. Are you considering working in your home country after graduat ion? “I feel slightly disconnected with the job market back home, and it would definitely take me a few jumps in order to get myself the position and company I want to work for.” Jarin Chu ’11 from Ta iwa n Major: a n t h r o p o lo g y a n d h i st o r y “I am afraid that because I will have only a B.A. I won’t be a com- petitive candidate for jobs back home. Another reason that might diminish my chances of getting hired is the fact that I have no big contacts or people to recommend me in Brazil.” Lilian Alves ’11 from B r a z i l Major: i n t e r n a t io n a l r e l a t i o n s “I was attracted to MHC because of the richness of a liberal arts education and, while I have relished my time here and benefited immensely from it, I probably wouldn’t be able to enter the field I am interested in back at home without work experience and my de- gree would not be fully valued since all of my peers are attending pro- fessional universities. So home in 2011, probably not, but once established in my field I’ll be heading back.” Alison Erlwanger ’11 from Z i m b a bwe Major: c h e m i st r y a n d a n t h r o p o l o g y How d o y ou eva lu at e y our ch an ces of “A big part of my coming to Mount Holyoke was the desire to pursue a career in my home country of Georgia, which will enable me to make a valuable and sustainable contribution get ting h ired in you r h ome cou n try ? to Georgia and its future.” Rusudan Kareli ’12 from G e o r g i a Major: e c o n o m i c s a n d F r e n c h “A s far as the social and professional structure is concerned, it’s very hard to break through the system. People follow a set pattern of procedures they have been following through years, there’s a lot of corruption, women are given a hard time etc. All these factors will lead to a difficult work environment for a person who is used to innovation and seeing her ideas put into practice.” Sidra Mahmood ’12 from Pa k i st a n Major: b i o l o g y a n d e c o n o m i c s “H opefully, by the time I graduate from MHC and possibly graduate school, my options for employment will open up. More importantly, I hope that environmental awareness in Jamaica increases enough for people to realize that we have to take ac- tion and make a change.” Bianca Young ’11 from Ja m a i c a Major: e nv i r o n me n t a l st u d ie s Looking for opportunities abroad BY CRYSTAL BOATENG ’10 So what are your plans after graduation? Have you found fresh ideas and enthusiasm to ex- STAFF WRITER a job yet? What about graduate school—are you applying now plore a new career path in a foreign country. For or later? Don’t we all wish we had clear-cut responses to each thirteen years now, Massachusetts Insti- of these questions? As the end of the first semester quickly approaches, many seniors are tute of Technology (MIT) has hosted bombarded with such interrogations from relatives at home and friends in school. the European Job Fair on their Some seniors may already know exactly where they are going and what they will be campus. Now in its 14th, year doing after they graduate in May, but many are still grappling with the idea of either the fair has grown to be taking some time off to work or going straight into a professional school. Students who one of the largest transat- spent a semester or two studying abroad may also be considering returning to the coun- lantic career fairs in the try where they studied. The idea of seeking opportunities abroad is becoming increas- U.S. The three-day event, ingly popular among recent undergraduates who leave the U.S. to teach, work or taking place in January, will volunteer in a foreign country. involve over a hundred interna- For those who studied abroad in a country with a foreign language, teaching English tional companies and non-govern- there may be one option to consider. Teaching assistantship programs are very common mental organizations ready to meet in many European and Asian countries. Most of these programs are organized by the and recruit students who are willing to Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE), the Japan Exchange Teaching pro- work overseas. Another option is gram (JET), the Fulbright Program as well as embassies or consulates of specific coun- the U.S. Department of State which tries. In order to participate in the teaching assistantship, programs you don’t need a also has Foreign Service Officers certificate or prior teaching experience. Though knowledge or fluency in the foreign lan- representing the government overseas in U.S. embassies, consulates and other diplo- guage may not be required, in most programs it is strongly recommended. The duties of matic missions. Lastly, volunteering with international non-governmental organizations a teaching assistant, as the title implies, usually entail assisting with teaching an English (NGOs) such as the Red Cross or governmental organizations like the Peace Corps may class or conducting English conversation classes in an elementary school, high school or also attract students hungry for opportunities abroad. at a university. The number of hours spent in the classroom is often minimal which gives Though work and volunteer opportunities abroad for recent graduates do exist, the one a chance to travel and explore the host country. However, if standing in front of a application process may not be easy. Getting a head start with consulting resources such class and teaching English is not your cup of tea, working for an international company as the on-campus Career Development Center (CDC) and the Center for Global Initiatives may be your best bet. (CGI) as well as conducting comprehensive online research may prove to be extremely International companies are often interested in recruiting recent graduates with helpful. Good luck and bon voyage!
  2. 2. Perspectives Dec. 03:Layout 1 2/7/10 10:58 PM Page 2 10 PERSPECTIVES Reverse remittances rise as money pours in from abroad G December 03, 2009 Mount Holyoke News BY TEMITOPE OJO ’10 Since their arrival in This year, the dynamics the recessive U.S. economy has become much more appar- ASST. PERSPECTIVES EDITOR the United States, many are rearranging. According to ent. immigrants have been a Nov. 16 Times article, Opinions have shown that these immigrants should able to send back money and gifts to relatives in their there has been a rise in return home if conditions do not improve in the States. But home countries. But this year, in the aftermath of the re- the amount of money many have found themselves in a metaphoric position be- cession, many have started asking for money from rela- wired by relatives of im- tween the devil and deep sea. Returning to their home tives at home. For these immigrants, the prospects of migrants from Mexico to countries is not an option because conditions there are wiring money back to families have grown slim. their loved ones in the worse than in the States. Also, the possibilities of reviving This rising trend is termed “reverse remittances.” Fol- States. Usually, the money the U.S. economy remain feasible within a relatively short lowing the months after the U.S. economy was declared to is not close to what the U.S. time span. The nagging question would be how long their be in a recession, international monetary bodies have ob- inhabitant had sent back home families at home can endure the sudden siphoning of served a fall in the remittances that millions of immi- in the past. With as low as $20 being wired back to a rel- money from their already lean accounts. grants send back to their home countries. More ative living in the U.S., the strain and The balancing act once more depends on the vital- surprising is the crawling rise of money being sent to the despera- ity of the U.S. economy. With a new administration immigrants from their home countries to assist them tion bent on straightening out the economy of the States with the dwindling economic conditions in the States. and reining it back on to its superpower track, the cen- In the past, total remittances sent from the U.S. ter might just hold for the States and several nations’ have been estimated in billions of dollars. This effect economies caught in the tides of the global recession. has also been noted in the GDP of immigrants’ home At present, several immigrants have returned home countries, as these monies have boosted the GDP of in the hopes that there might be temporary relief while their economies. In 2008, for instance, the World Bank they wait for the recession to fade, but for many an educa- estimated that about $338 billion worth of remittances tion and the wealth of opportunities and experiences in was sent from developed countries to developing coun- the U.S. society cannot be truncated. If the U.S. could live tries. Usually, immigrants in developed countries work through the 1920s recession, it could also stave off its cur- tirelessly all year round to support themselves, their im- rent recession and many immigrants would not mind mediate families in the States and those back at home. holding it out with the rest of the country till the economy Given the dire state of the economy in their home coun- revives. tries, they are considered the bread winners of their fam- ilies. Where identities merge Experiencing immi- gration through art When I think of immigration, I BY JOANNA ARCIERI ’10 often think of my family’s Italian- A&E EDITOR Immigrants and their lives never American identity. I am a third-gener- BY JING GAO ’13 ation Italian-American and named STAFF WRITER fail to fascinate artists. After all, step- after my great-grandmothers. My family has been known to travel to ping into a new country without Orien- Ellis Island, where my great-grandparents’ names are etched on the tation 101 certainly brings up various stories, especially when that American Immigrant Wall of Honor. Then I think about how, since I country is the United States. Familiar dynamics of culture clash, was a teenager, I have been experiencing my own identity crisis re- hardships of being an outsider, pursuit of a sense of belonging, and lated to my Italian-American identity. For me, that hyphen between multiple identity crises—constantly inspire novelists and film mak- Italian and American can be the most confusing hyphen used to define ers. myself. My question has been: how am I Italian, and how am I Ameri- Though history books offer standard documentation of immi- can? grants’ stories in the U.S., following the works of several writers I am not 100 percent Italian. Often, when people ask me about my and filmmakers offers one a view of the immigrants’ plight at close Italian Catholic upbringing, I surprise them with the information that quarters. Life has never been easy for immigrants, especially the I was raised Protestant. Because of this, my Italian-American identity semi-skilled or unskilled. In the novel, Under the Feet of Jesus, has not evolved solely from my relationship with my paternal grand- Helen Maria Viramontes describes the hardships of a Mexican im- parents (although they play a pivotal role) but often from my own cre- migrant family in the United States. The heroine Estrella has a bro- ations and, sometimes, exaggerations. Upon entering college, I took ken family, held together by a seventy-year-old man who replaces Italian; this was my attempt to connect to my heritage in a way I had her father. As the oldest child in the family at the age of thirteen, never been able to. I have come to cherish moments like Thanksgiving Estrella has to take up huge responsibilities—she shares her when we eat some of my great-grandmother’s famous recipes (stra- mother’s woes, takes care of her younger siblings and works in or- ciatella, anyone?), in addition to traditional American foods. I strive to chards picking grapes. More frustrations come as her lover falls know these things about my heritage and my identity because, more sick from pesticides. Estrella’s family is just one of hundreds of than anything, I am afraid of losing them. thousands of immigrant families who constantly suffer due to low Since Sept. 11, America has been experiencing what Samuel Hunt- wages, inadequate food supplies and health care, poor housing and ington calls a crisis of national identity in the book, Who Are We? The social instability. Challenges to America’s National Identity. America was founded in Even for those who have rather stable and affluent lives in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by predominantly white, America, one problem persists—cultural confrontation. In the film, British and Protestant settlers. From the Anglo-Protestant values, cul- The Treatment (Gua Sha), shot in St. Louis, Dennis, the son of a ture and institutions derived the American Creed, which are the gov- successful Chinese immigrant couple is treated with a traditional erning political principles of liberty, equality and democracy, said to Chinese medical treatment. This treatment, though painless and unify disparate immigrant ethnicities. The repression of blacks and effective, leaves marks that looks like those of a violent beating, natives and limits placed on new immigrants maintained America’s on the child’s body. The marks convince the authorities that Den- apparent homogeneity until World War II, when the idea of America nis is being abused by his parents. Complicated court hearings and as a multiethnic society (seen through images of men of various eth- useless explanations follow. The couple separates, the son left to nicities fighting and dying together) emerged. Since then and most the mother; the father, Datong Xu, loses his job, and the old significantly since 1965, America’s homogeneous culture has been grandpa returns to China. The family is broken into pieces. This scrutinized. The end of the Cold War left America without an enemy movie, amongst others, touches on the topic of immigrants’ inter- to define itself against—that is until Sept. 11. Waves of new immi- actions among themselves in search of cultural acceptance. grants from Third World countries have reopened—or perhaps awak- Though being a first generation immigrant is not easy, things ened—questions of the American identity and questions of who we do not necessarily look better for subsequent generations as they are becoming. deal with identity confusion. Trapped between their homeland’s My personal identity crisis is not as extreme as this national one heritage and a new nation’s expectations, second-generation im- but I see them as intrinsically connected. As America moves further migrants are often portrayed as continuing to struggle with cul- from its Anglo-Protestant roots and sees its power in the world dimin- tural identity. In Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel The Namesake, Gogol is ishing, certain people cling to the idea of America as a nation of immi- an “American Born Confusing Desi” who is facing the self-identity grants and as the champion of the American Creed. As I see my problem. It takes him a while, till his father’s sudden death, to Italian-American identity slip further away from me, I desperately try eventually feel comfortable about the heritages his parents have to learn more about my family heritage before it is too late. bestowed on him. Danny, in Don Lee’s short story Yellow, is a sec- My grandfather is nearly 92. I’ve noticed that as he has aged, he ond-generation son of a Korean immigrant family. In the book, he has become more Italian and less Italian-American. Although he was struggles to live as a white American. He rejects his Korean her- born in New York City and served in World War II, when he met my itages like his mother’s Korean food, the Korean language and sister-in-law this past September he asked her, “Are you American?” everything which he believes is not for white Americans. He talks about Italy and the time he lived there more than ever. He For many immigrants, these stories are real and reeling. speaks in Italian more frequently. His face lights up when my sisters Though the world gets smaller and society becomes more flexible, and I remind him that we all speak (very broken) Italian. And when the story of the immigrant carries a constant message of the com- presented with a bottle of wine labeled “Gravina,” his mother’s plexities of gaining a foothold in a new society. maiden name, he cradles it, like he is holding onto the very essence of who he is. Graphics Credit: Amazon.com

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