Author Archives: brigittaszocs

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NAFSA [Association of International Educators] announces that in addition to the $24 billion, “Tuition and living expenses paid by international students also supported 313,000 jobs in 2012-2013, according to data from Open Doors and the Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics.”
“Each year, NAFSA produces a detailed regional, state-by-state, and congressional district analysis on the economic benefits of spending by international students and their dependents to the U.S. economy.
International students not only contribute economic value, they build bridges between the United States and other countries; bring global perspectives into U.S. classrooms and research labs; support U.S. innovation through science and engineering coursework, making it possible for U.S. colleges and universities to offer these courses to U.S. students; and support programming and services on campus for all students by paying out-of-state tuition, funded largely by non-U.S. sources.”
According to this data, for our region, the congressional district of Jackie Walorski, that impact is $51 million.

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Health: To Care or Not To Care

            I was ecstatic and smiling ear to ear after being accepted into the Graduate Program at Central European University in Budapest. I knew big changes were coming my way after finishing my Master’s Degree at Ball State University; moving from Muncie, Indiana to Budapest, Hungary! I couldn’t contain my excitement! Then I realized the tedious part, making sure all documents were in line.

As I reviewed the requirements for CEU, Health Insurance, was on the list. It stated that “In accordance with the Hungarian Law CEU requires that all enrolled students have adequate health insurance…failure to fulfill the requirements may result in the termination of enrollment.” TERMINATION? WHAT? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? Why is it required by law that students be enrolled in health insurance? Questions raced through my head and I couldn’t understand why it was necessary. This was very different than at Ball State; termination was for students who committed serious offenses not for health insurance? Why would they care if a student is covered by insurance?

I never heard of a university were health insurance was as important as the application. I needed to make sure that I was enrolled properly so I could stay on my educational path. Getting a full ride scholarship to an International University in Budapest was something I did not want to pass up. So I signed up for health care and made sure all the paperwork was in order.

Health insurance is confusing to most people; let alone in another country. Only months later did I realize the importance of health care for a foreign student. One morning, I woke with a sinus infection which is nothing unusual for me, but I did not plan for it. I did not know what to do so I asked my Hungarian friends “where do I go, what do I do?” It slipped my mind that as a student I was covered; I had health insurance. So what seemed like a complicated mess and time consuming endeavor in Indiana allowed me to have a simple visit to the doctor in Hungary. Within a few days, I was feeling better and amazed by how simple and effective my student insurance.

Thinking back to my initial moment of confusion on health insurance, this made sense. As a student, I was covered when situations like this occurred. As a student, you are covered, simple as that. No confusing mess, just covered. After experiencing the simplicity of the system, being a student in Hungary was easier, no more confusion, nervousness or being scared if I got sick.

As I write this, I realize the importance of health insurance. Students, whether in Indiana or Hungary, health care is important because no one can predict the future. With the new affordable coverage launching October 1st, now is the opportunity to become active in your health care coverage. If you don’t care about your health, who will?