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### Peer Support for International Graduate Students Provided by Retirees Association

Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News

During the 2022–23 academic year, the United States welcomed 467,027 international graduate students, representing 21.3 percent of all international students. Among these, graduate learners accounted for 44 percent, as reported in the 2023 data from Open Doors.

International students in higher education encounter distinct challenges compared to their American counterparts, necessitating additional support to foster a sense of inclusion and value within their respective institutions.

To address this need, Wright State University in Ohio recruited six advanced-degree students to act as ambassadors, aiding their fellow international peers in acclimating to the university environment and navigating graduate education in the United States.

Identified Gap: While Wright State has historically provided resources for incoming undergraduate students from other countries, similar guidance has not been extended to graduate students.

At the national level, there has been a decline in graduate enrollment among domestic students, prompting institutions to seek strategies to increase their enrollment figures. Notably, international students constitute approximately half of Wright State’s 2,377 graduate student population, as highlighted by Shu Schiller, the interim dean of the college of graduate programs and honors studies.

In an effort to address these issues, the university conducted two surveys targeting graduate students in the fall of 2023 to identify key pain points in the student experience. The surveys encompassed feedback from both currently enrolled students and those who had taken a pause in their studies. The findings revealed that students expressed concerns regarding financial constraints, external obstacles, and mental health challenges as some of their primary worries.