InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is looking toward reaching out to more international students in spite of post-9/11 government regulations that have made it difficult for international students to enter the U.S.
"In some (universities) they have actually (seen) a decrease in attendance. People who have even been accepted couldn't get out of (their) country because of additional restrictions or requirements that the government has imposed on those who are coming in as international students,” Director of International Student Ministries Lisa Espineli-Chinn told Mission Network News.
Reports from The Chronicle of Higher Education in early September, confirm Espineli’s concerns. Students granted admission to U.S. graduate schools dropped by 18 percent from 2003 to 2004, according to the study.
Although international student graduate school attendance may be decreasing, IVCF’s international ministry still has it’s work cut out.
"When we think of 3,300 students that we were able to reach over the last year, that's a drop in the bucket when you think of it,” observed Espineli. “So, the field is still quite large and huge and there's a lot there to do. So, we're not experiencing a decrease in international student interest."
She added, "Internationals are interested in the activities that we offer. Spiritual hunger, in many places, is being pursued."
InterVarsity is on 564 U-S campuses, with 832 chapters, serving 33,000 students.