SMC to offer winter classes for international students

Though the cutting of the winter session will keep most students off campus for more than a month, some 3,300 international students have the opportunity to enroll into winter courses offered by the AC College at Santa Monica College. But less than 600 of them will be guaranteed a seat.

Teresita Rodriguez, Vice President of Enrollment Development, says, “Our mission is to provide opportunities for international students studying in the United States, which is why the AC College has limited enrollment to the international students.”

A total of 20 classes will be taught on campus, with students able to take courses in math, English, English as a second language, communication, biology, psychology, and economics.

According to the SMC International Education’s newsletter, the special classes “are the same price as other SMC academic classes and are transferable to the UCs, Cal States, and other colleges and universities.”

Although winter intersession is not mandatory to international students, new ones whose winter will be their first term at SMC will have to be enrolled in at least four units in order to maintain their student visa status.

“The maximum that we have allowed in the past have been eight units. The last couple of terms, we have limited [the maximum] to five, and this winter we will go back to eight units because there is not going to be any competition with domestic students,” Rodriguez says.

Limited services will be available to the very few students present on campus, says Rodriguez.

There will be a small counselor offering at the international education center, and the bookstore will only be open to provide books to students enrolled. Additionally, the cafeteria will be remain closed.

The college’s annual contract with the Big Blue Bus allows its students to ride it for free in the winter as well, and students that are enrolled and paid for their insurance in the fall will also be covered during winter as they both go together, according to Rodriguez.

Like in the past years, enrolling in winter classes will not compromise time off as the term starts on Jan. 3, 2013 and leaves two weeks to international students who want to spend the holidays wandering around the city, or going back home to celebrate with their families.