During the beginning of the semester, 26-year-old Daehyan Kim’s future looked bleak. Like others, he was not able to get into the classes he needed due to the effects of the budget crisis.
Kim is an international student from Korea who transferred from Santa Monica College. As an international student, the CTVA major is required to be enrolled in 12 units to have his student visa renewed.
He was not and faced potential deportation.
“I was frustrated and worried about my status,” he said.
He added that he considered his situation an “emergency” and therefore reached out to university President Jolene Koester, the Pre-CTVA Undergraduate Adviser Kathleen McWilliams and those at the International & Exchange Student Center, but “no one tried to help.”
Adding to his stress is his father’s fast approaching retirement and his need to look for work on campus to help his mother, an elementary school teacher, and pay for his expenses in the states.
“I am going to try as much as I can to lessen their pressure to support me,” he said.
This is why Kim decided he needed to take action.
He began by recording a message about his situation at “Vent at the Tent,” an event that took place earlier in the semester to bring awareness to the effects of the budget cuts on students, staff and faculty. He said he wanted to bring attention to his situation.
He also attended both of The Presidents’ Town Hall Meetings, which served as an open forum for students to ask questions to their university presidents and comment on any concerns pertaining to the university. He was looking for an answer to the question: “What is going to happen to me?”
During both instances, he was directed to speak to someone at the International & Exchange Student Center, which he had already done.
At the second town hall meeting, he invited the Korean Broadcasting Company to attend the event. Kim’s goal was to shed light on the difficulties international students are facing by using his situation as an example of how the budget crisis has negatively affected students.
In the end, Kim received help from the International & Exchange Student Center. Although he was able to enroll in four classes, he said these are “not satisfying results” because he’s here to learn about film and did not get the classes he wanted.
“That’s what I am more pissed about,” said Kim. “No one seemed to know what would happen to me. They had no backup plan.”
Kim said he is aware that the crisis is not the university administration’s fault, but he wishes “they were more supportive of international students.”
As of now, Kim is working on getting himself familiarized with CSUN and getting involved in short film projects.
“I came to California because I want to learn about the film industry in the biggest market and that’s what I’m going to do,” he said.