UIS Employee Works Hard to Allow Foreign Students to Study in the US

Jun 28, 2019

Hello I’M Evan Klein  for the 2019 NPR Illinois PodCamp.

It’s exciting to have students from other countries on the local college campus. They add different perspectives in the classroom and bring different traditions to student life. Jolene Vollmer works with international students every day as the immigration specialist.

"Well I like to say that I hang out with international students every day but I actually do a lot more that does not sound as fun as that. So we do a lot of document processing. We handle all the F1 international students that are here to study at UIS.

 We help them with their VISA, to come to the US as well as their time here at the university and even after they graduate with employment authorization.”

Jolene understands what they are going through because she was once an international student as well.

"My clients are the students and I try to be very emphatic with them I have studied abroad in Austria myself so I know the experience and the hardships of leaving your home country.

I understand what a lot of what our international students are going through because of living in Austria and living in Germany so I try to be very emphatic with them and just really be an advocate for international students that are here."

She tries to help the international students deal with the unique challenges they may face.

“Well all international students follow the same admission process as a US student, the only difference comes when we have to make sure that they have proof of funding that they can afford to live in the USA and pay for their tuition and fees.”

Jolene Vollmer always was interested in the international community, but the path to her current job was not a straight line.

“There were a lot of events that led me to this job. I got a degree in foreign languages and foreign trade, but when I learned you could stay at a university if you got a job, I just stayed."

And for many of the international students she helps on a daily basis, her experience and knowledge is much appreciated. 

For NPR Illinois Podcamp I’m Evan Klein.

 

Evan Klein and Jolene Vollmer
Credit Chloe Bellot / NPR Illinois