What should have been a carefree summer of working and playing in San Francisco was cut unexpectedly short for 36 unlucky French students.
The exchange students were enrolled at Dominican University through a partnership the school signed in 2008 with SUPINFO, a major French university with campuses and university partnerships all over the world.
SUPINFO got a San Francisco campus and an accredited management school as a partner. Dominican, in turn, gained an international platform and welcome revenue from the partnership, as well as the benefit to its American students of a more international and diverse student body.
Evidently, SUPINFO failed to pay Dominican $450,000 it owed for the program partnership, and it unilaterally and suddenly decided to cancel the internship requirement for the 36 undergraduate students enrolled in the Business Application Development program. As a result, Dominican, at the counsel of an immigration lawyer it consulted, believed it had no choice but to terminate the visas of 36 students who had completed their coursework, but who had expected to be able to remain legally in the U.S. through November. Another 190 SUPINFO students studying at Dominican were unaffected since their programs weren’t yet complete.
Just like that, the students were informed that whatever summer dreams they may have had, they must go directly home; they could not pass go, they could not collect whatever dollars they’d hoped to earn as summer interns lest they violate their immigration status and end up on the wrong side of the Department of Homeland Security.
Talk about a lesson in hard knocks.