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International College Students Add to Culture and Economy

More students than ever are studying abroad, according to a recent report by the Institute for International Education. So, what does it mean to American colleges hosting international students? Students from around the world not only enrich the culture on campuses, they also enrich the local economy.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators estimates that foreign students and their families contributed nearly $20.23 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2010-11 academic year. NAFSA's annual Economic Impact Statements estimates the amount of money foreign students bring to the United States to support their education, not including any multiplier effect.

A snapshot of the benefit to your state can be found here.

International students add to the local economies of campus communities by spending money on rent, transportation, and other living expenses. By paying out-of-state tuition, funded largely by non-U.S. sources, NAFSA adds, these students offer welcome financial support to the overall programs and services on American campuses. The NAFSA report notes that international students also pump up the demand for courses in the sciences and engineering, which makes it possible for U.S. colleges and universities to offer those courses to U.S. students. Their global perspective also builds bridges of understanding among college students and their communities, the report says.
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The NAFSA figure of economic impact is based on tuition figures from Wintergreen Orchard House, enrollment figures from the Institute of International Education's Open Doors 2011 report, living expenses calculated from Wintergreen Orchard House figures, and analysis of the data by Jason Baumgartner at Indiana University - Bloomington's Office of International Services.

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