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Support for International Graduate Students
International students face challenges from the moment they receive an acceptance letter. Separation from family and loved ones and moving to a country with different cultures and laws can cause extra pressure. Moving to the US is also a big financial undertaking with visa costs (and compounded monetary and time commitment to get one), travel, and settling in the US (with rent, deposits, and move-in costs). These costs often accumulate to several thousand dollars without any advance payment for international students.
GSU-UE’s main priority is to secure a living wage for all graduate workers. This is especially important for international graduate students because, under student visa law, international graduate students are not allowed to work more than 20 hours a week.
Graduate worker unions at other U.S. universities havefought for and won payment of upfront visa and travel costs and advances on the first month’s salary. Union contracts typically cover issues of discrimination against international students, ensuring that department and university hiring policies are clear, open, fair, and communicated to all international graduate students. Unions typically win a grievance procedure for graduate workers. For international students, anenforceable, and protected grievance procedure is critical for us to bring forward cases of discrimination or unfair treatment.
Graduate Students United