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International Editions

  1. Aug 1, 2009 #1
    Well, I am an international student, and so natcherly I'd like to get my hands on some international edition books, because I simply cannot afford to buy $50 books plus $25 shipping (and $50 is cheap for a textbook too!). Really, $50 to $100 is roughly my entire book budget for a semester, and ofcourse I need several books per semester. If I can't get a copy at a bookstore or 2nd hand, I try abebooks or alibris, but, and here's my problem and the point of this long-winded thread: first-world students buy all the international editions!

    Yeah, you all know what I'm talking about. Those international editions are meant for, well,...International Students! We simply cannot afford to pay what Americans pay for their books. America is by far the richest nation on Earth. My family is in the middle class of my country, but in America we would be considered lower class, or lower middle class at best. I think it extremely unfair that American students, who can buy American edition books, second hand even, at a price that would seem cheap to them, but instead they buy international edition books, which they find extraordinarily cheap, but for someone like me, I still find the international edition (IE) books quite expensive. As a result, abebooks and alibris never stock IE books, since they've all been bought by Americans!

    I hope you can see things as I experince them. I know most people will take this as a personal attack, because that's just the way people are. But I hope you see how frustrating and difficult it is for international students like myself.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2009 #2


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    "International edition" doesn't mean an edition sold in the US for international students, it means an edition to be sold outside of North America (in most cases).
  4. Aug 1, 2009 #3
    Because a lot of us Murkans are poor college students too.
  5. Aug 1, 2009 #4
    Yes cristo, but you can find international editions online, on sites like alibris.com and abebooks.com. Which is what I'm complaining about if you read my OP.
    And there is no comparison between poor american college students and poor international students. Like I explained in my post, if you want a competition for who's poorer, I think we win that hands down.
  6. Aug 1, 2009 #5
    gspeechc, I'm not saying anything about a competition. But I'm not sure you're entirely familiar with the situation of some students here - I know of some people who have to work two part time jobs and take a full class load. They can't buy all their textbooks, so they rent textbooks, and if they can't rent a textbook, they have to buy - guess what? The international edition.

    The body of American college students is not entirely made up of trust-fund kids. I'm, luckily, in the upper half of the scale when it comes to students' tuition situations, and STILL have to work pretty hard to cover my tuition. Some of my fellow college students have parents who are less rich.
  7. Aug 1, 2009 #6
    And guess what? International students aren't allowed to attent American universities unless they can prove they can pay their way.

    Nope, I think American college students would win the competition if there was one. Which there isn't.
  8. Aug 1, 2009 #7
    An Amazon seller tried to send me one, but I returned it because of its poor quality (he never advertised it as a lower quality international edition). When he did not refund my money, Amazon came through for me.

    The international edition was printed on newsprint and was more than twice as thick as the real book. I would rather pay a little bit extra for a book that was not six inches thick and looked like a poorly Xeroxed textbook.

    But it is a free market. These sellers who make "international" editions for third world countries sell them there. Sometimes they end up being shipped to countries where they are not intended to be retailed. Our marketplace is global, and as the French say, c'est la vie. If an American student is willing to put up with the low quality of the international editions, and they can find one to save a few dollars, then what is the use of complaining. Despite what the textbook publishers might want one to believe, it is not illegal.
  9. Aug 1, 2009 #8
    International students aren't allowed to attend American universities unless they can prove they can pay their way all by themselves or with outside grants, I mean.
  10. Aug 1, 2009 #9
    Is that a problem? Working on a student visa outside of a university or related field is not permitted, so it makes sense that someone who wants a student visa should have enough money to pay for tuition and living expenses. If someone who applies for a student visa does not have the financial means to pay for their education, then that would make the State department suspicious that they might have some motive other than education, such as illegal immigration.
  11. Aug 1, 2009 #10
    Yeah, I get your perspective perfectly -- you think that you are entitled to something and other people with equal need are not. That's just egocentric.
  12. Aug 1, 2009 #11
    Not to offend, vociferous, but that wasn't the context of that post.
  13. Aug 1, 2009 #12
    As in - I never said it was a problem; I was just explaining the fact to gspeechc to help him understand that frankly, he doesn't seem to understand the textbook issue.
  14. Aug 2, 2009 #13


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    I was surprised to find that my university bookshop in England was selling Indian edition copies of the widely used book "Principles of Mathematical Analysis" for 40 pounds each, which they probably bought in bulk from an Indian seller at it's actual price of 150 rupees (approximately 2 pounds). It also said inside the cover specifically that it is not to be sold outside India and few other Asian countries. Obviously they are making a huge profit from this.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  15. Aug 2, 2009 #14
    OP should show some respect for his host nation instead of complaining.
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