FORT WORTH, Texas – Some foreign students who want a U.S. university degree have learned to cope with a new reality since Sept. 11, 2001: Without careful planning, they can miss semesters or even jeopardize their residency status.
Many international students and visiting scholars say added scrutiny because of their homelands – or even the courses they study – is the norm two years after terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Nationwide, delays in registering for classes are shorter this year than last year, according to the nonprofit National Association of Foreign Student Advisers: Association of International Educators, based in Washington, D.C.
The adjustment has been especially profound for students from Middle Eastern or Islamic countries, Muslim community leaders say.
“Why go through the agony?” asked Mohamed Elmougy, chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Fort Worth and Dallas.
“Unfortunately, when I talk to people from the Middle East right now, there is this fear of sending their kids here. They are always fearful of these stories of people being detained…”