International students with startups face visa difficulties

Capital News Service
LANSING—International students face daunting challenges starting a business. But as more and more international students enroll at Michigan universities, more and more keep trying to open businesses in the state. And the Small Business Association encourages their idea. For example, Grand Valley State University has 400, Western Michigan University has more than 1,800, and Michigan State University has more than 7,000 international students. Yue Dai, one of the founders of Mr. Pot, a Chinese hot pot restaurant in East Lansing, says a simple idea made him want to start the business: “When I open up ‘Student Info’ and I see the price of my tuition, I feel ashamed to be the person that only knows to ask for money from my family.”
“I want to use what I’ve learned, to earn my own living,” Dai said.

Meridian Township makes continuous efforts to keep a culturally diverse community

By Kelsey Banas
The Meridian Times

Meridian Township is riding a wave of international diversity by encouraging and taking advantage of this big magnet for international talent called Michigan State University. Meridian Township benefits from connections with Michigan State University where international students are renting apartments and purchasing homes. According to the Office for International Students and Scholars, there were 7,161 international students in fall 2013. That was an increase of 8.5 percent from the year before. “We like to think that by providing a welcoming atmosphere and providing a high quality of life in Meridian we will keep our international population here,” said Julie Brixie, Meridian Township treasurer.

EU membership will elude Turkey, Michigan Turks say

Capital News Service
LANSING — Turks in Michigan say they’re not hopeful about the success of an initiative by the new government of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to accelerate negotiations to win European Union membership for Turkey. In the second cabinet meeting after Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s election as president, “the focus and primary agenda was the European Union,” said Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc.
Arinc outlined a three-step plan to begin this year as “a new but scheduled course of action” to be carried out within five years. The strategy aims at preparing Turkey for EU membership by 2019. But the new government is “trying to cover up their failed Middle East policy” with the new EU initiative, said Timur Kocaoglu, an international relations professor and the associate director of the Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at Michigan State University. Kocaoglu said he did not think anybody would take the three-stage plan seriously.