Citizen, Immigrant, Visitor:(Un)certainties of the Non-Resident PhD Student

Join the Futures Initiative on Thursday, October 17, from 1pm to 2pm at The Graduate Center (Room 3317), for a event where FI Fellow Gustavo Jiménez, along with FI Fellows Siqi Tu and Sujung Kim, will lead an open discussion and resource-sharing opportunity with students, faculty, and administrators of the Graduate Center, CUNY who are reshaping the future of our university. Join FI, the DSC, the Office of Career Planning, and other centers and initiatives to discuss the particular challenges facing international students, share existing resources, and collectively imagine other ways to support the 25% of GC students who are not US citizens or permanent residents.

Efforts to reform higher education are not typically centered on international students. But with few tenure-track jobs that would allow international students move from “visitor” to “immigrant” and thus secure their legal status, how can international students be part of the structural changes of an educational system that is never their own? How can the university rethink the role of these graduate students? How can we better support this community?

The first part of this event will involve a guided discussion on the issues international students face, from student and work visas to the job market. The second part of this event will engage audience members in brainstorming resources and forms of support for international students in graduate school.

This event is part of the The University Worth Fighting For, a series of workshops that tie student-centered, engaged pedagogical practices to institutional change, race, equality, gender, and social justice.


Siqi Tu is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her work focuses on the areas of urban sociology, immigration, education, elites, and contemporary Chinese societies. Tu was born and raised in Shanghai, China and moved to New York City in 2012. She developed her interest in immigration and urban neighborhoods as a keen observer of diverse communities in different metropolitan areas. Her dissertation, “Destination Diploma: How Chinese Upper-Middle Class Families ‘Outsource’ Secondary Education to the United States”, investigates why and how Chinese upper-middle-class families make decisions to send their children to the United States to attend private high schools, some as young as 14 years of age, and it analyzes the actual lived experiences of the students of this “parachute-generation”. She teaches sociology at Brooklyn College from 2014 and is currently an FI Graduate Fellow.

Sujung Kim is the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow for the CUNY Humanities Alliance (2018-2020), and is based in the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center. In this role, she designs and conducts qualitative research to understand the communities served by the Humanities Alliance and contributes these insights and strategic thinking to program development. Dr. Kim is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research addresses the critical pedagogy of higher education and community colleges for the public good and educating students as critical public intellectuals. Her research and teaching interests are located at the intersection of class, race, citizenship, power, and subjectivity, and how these intersecting conditions affect vulnerable college students’ sense of institutional and social belonging.

Gustavo Jiménez is a PhD candidate in Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures at The Graduate Center, CUNY. His doctoral work is on the significance of Latin America in the formation of modern Basque literature identity in the context of contemporary debates in World Literature.


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309