City prepares for foreign students

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - International students are already trickling into the Grand Strand for the summer season, and more outreach programs are waiting for them when they arrive.

"From the North Carolina border to Georgetown County, we'll take in 4,000 international students," said Myrtle Beach Police Officer Pete Woods.

Woods is one of the police officers who spearheaded the city's outreach program to J-1 Visa students. The program is in its third year; it started after a foreign student worker was mugged walking home from Broadway at the Beach.

"Everyone will successfully return home," Woods said, "and realize this is the greatest country in the world."

J-1 Visa students were thrust into the public spotlight in June of 2013, when dozens of Irish students were forced to leave their hotel because they were living in cramped conditions.

"Because of our outreach program, students can't be warehoused 9 or 10 to a room," said Woods.

Wood called the attention drawn toward overcrowding a little victory in the program's history.

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