WVU-P, OVU seeing increase in international students

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PARKERSBURG, WV - It's no secret immigration's been a hot topic in the U.S. this year.

Recently, President Trump decided to phase out a program that allowed undocumented immigrants, brought to the U.S. as children, to stay.

But local colleges say that's not affecting their international student numbers.

Our Briana Aldridge spoke with some directors of international programs and has the latest.

Both West Virginia University at Parkersburg and Ohio Valley University say that they have international students coming from all over the world, from places as far as Nigeria and South Korea.

Ohio Valley University’s International Experience Director says this year alone, it has had over twenty new international students enroll.

She says a lot of students come from countries where there are no college sport leagues, so coming to a diverse country with the ability to play sports in school is exciting for them.

Over in Parkersburg, an annual reception that is hosted at WVU-Parkersburg honored ten of its international students today.

They say its expecting three new international students next spring.

Jayson Kopeap, a WVU-P student from the island of Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific, says he's expected to graduate in December, and is planning his next steps.

"My goal is to finish from here. After that, you know, find a job, help people, start up a foundation, something like that. Then, help people back home and build up my character."

Kopeap also says that even though he hasn't visited his home country in over four years, the transition from his country to Parkersburg was easy because of all the friendly staff.

Staff at WVU-P and OVU say that part of their job is making sure students stay on top of their legal paperwork, and they will continue to invite bright students wanting to study in the United States.

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