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The number of international graduate students enrolling in American universities appears to have rebounded slightly this fall following three years of decline. … Specialists blamed the sudden drop in interest among international students in attending American graduate programs after the 2001-02 school year on a range of factors, from visa delays to anti-Americanism to sharper competition from universities in other countries.
Associated Press, Nov. 7

Here are some of the specially tailored graduate-level courses that helped lure foreign students back to American institutions.

BUS 3055
The Principles of Attractions Management:
Students will acquire skills and knowledge essential to the running of a fully competitive, modern-day theme park – the kind that foreign corporations increasingly consider jewels in their crown. Emphasis is placed on maximizing profits via the conversion of first-aid stations into gift shops and Fuji kiosks, and the discontinuance of outmoded nonessentials like basic lavatory maintenance. The course explores the exciting horizontal integration that's emerging between top-of-the-line attractions and traditional county fairs; enrollees will learn why the average Midwestern family will not recognize a Tilt-a-Whirl if you paint it battleship gray and redub it "The Annihilator." The course has been completely retrofitted to the post-Sept. 11 landscape, showing how the uncertain travel habits of our dear overseas friends can be employed as a rationale for terminating 30-year management professionals and bringing them back on as uninsured nog vendors just in time for the Christmas rush.

Prerequisites: ECO 1011; GRE general test; a minimum of 36 hours spent trading Mulan pins on eBay.

PSI 3250
Our Hemorrhoidal Borders II: V's-a-Visa:
This political-science course examines the rampant hysteria that's currently crippling America's travel economy and system of higher education. A basic introduction to the history and importance of the visa leads to an in-depth examination of translation errors and printing snafus that now routinely deny entry to peace-loving visitors, especially ones who happen to travel with the collected works of Cat Stevens on their person. Past student Bunny Rafsanjani went on to score a mass-market publication contract for her 2003 thesis, "A Paper About Papers." Course made possible by a kind donation from Visa.

Prerequisites: A valid visa.

USA 3001
Intro to American Studies:
International students may think they've learned all they need to know about the crazy, decadent and godforsaken U.S. from exported reruns of Melrose Place, but one hour under the tutelage of revered professor Wilton F. Wayne reveals that there's more, much more. From the fetid KFC value meals that pollute our bodies to the only mildly redeeming amateur ballets that we've swiped lock, stock and barrel from our European superiors, this three-credit mea culpa offers a sweeping overview of the sick, twisted parody we Yankees call a culture. Living and studying among the despised, enrollees will find every day a lab day, every trip to the outrageously overpriced laundromat a field experiment in deviant sociology. The unique "inside looking in" perspective the course offers makes it preferable to ones conducted on foreign soil, which relegate students to hating their cowboy brethren from afar. As an added amenity, the "Angry Internationals" support group meets mere steps from Old Navy.

Prerequisites: GRE subject test in either Rhetoric or Old-Time Radio; massive chip on shoulder.

FRE 3600
Advanced French:
Master the language that's all but supplanted English as the standard by which civilized people meet, do business and seduce each other's spouses. Students who have completed undergraduate training in intermediate French will enjoy the opportunity to hone their facility with more complicated phrases, including, "I seek the Pink Panther," "We cannot support this illegal invasion" and "There's a flaky pastry in it for you if you please stop rioting." No "freedom" spoken here – just pure, mellifluous Romance language that rolls trippingly off the tongue and onto an eye-enchanting résumé. French-born students can use the course as credit toward our offered M.A. in Reflexive Irrelevance.

Prerequisites: Intermediate French; two-pack-a-day Gitanes habit.

ENG 4210
Creative Writing III:
Cry of the Outsider: This course, specifically designed to stimulate the creative expression of international students, celebrates the emerging voice as it poses questions of eternal yet unique import, from "Who am I and where do I come from?" to "How come everybody laughs when I offer to cook perogies?" Via the authorship of daily journal entries, original poetry, autobiographical short stories and other lofty self-indulgences, the student will discover exactly what precious gift he or she has to offer our alien society – and how far the ethnic angle can go in short-circuiting the ensuing charges of plagiarism.

Prerequisites: ENG 2010: "Our Friend the Infinitive"; whiny blog.

EDU 4022
The Failure of Non-American Universities:
The worst-kept secret in academia is also the cornerstone of a teaching degree that's without peer anywhere else on the globe. Honest Injun! Students will receive a stem-to-stern education in the utter unsuitability of institutions located outside the North American continent, and why those Canadian schools are looking pretty skeevy too, eh? The curriculum, jointly approved by the American Association of University Professors and Pat Buchanan, spills the beans about the bitter accreditation battles that are currently rocking several banana republics, and substandard laboratory conditions that have more than a few Australian health-sciences programs pleading for the intervention of Jergens. In recognition of the public-service aspect of such information, the "course" is offered at a waived tuition, in the form of weekly informational mailers you will receive just for having expressed interest in our programs and facilities. To discontinue the mailings, visit our campus in person and enroll in either Law or Nuclear Medicine.

Prerequisites: Find enclosed mirror; position under chin; breathe.

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