A record number of countries are represented by international students at Midwestern State University this fall, according to Director of International Services Dr. Randy Glean. Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, China, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Nigeria are among the 51 countries that approximately 453 MSU students call home.
Last fall, Glean and Dr. Keith Lamb, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, traveled to China to recruit students. That trip is representative of the broad outreach that Lamb says is crucial in bringing a diverse, global atmosphere to the university. Lamb said that it also was important in creating an international community, with students learning to interact with those from other countries, especially those from countries with strong economies that they may end up working with in the professional world. This fall, 24 students are from China. That number is expected to rise next fall.
“A robust higher education in the United States involves introducing students to the world. This is accomplished through study abroad opportunities and diverse international populations on our campuses,” Lamb said. “We are striving to add diversity to our international student population, as the diverse representation of cultures on our campus is important to our domestic and international students’ worldview development.”
The Caribbean nations of Antigua and Barbuda have 49 students at MSU, the highest number out of the 51 foreign countries. Grenada is second with 45 students. Nigeria has 41 students and 40 students are from Dominica.
“This is the most varied, expansive and diverse number of countries we’ve had represented,” Glean said. His goal is to have one international student in 10 on the MSU campus. The figures are now at one in 12.
The international student population figure does not include more than 200 students who may be foreign-born or who have attended foreign schools, but through marriage or other circumstances are now U.S. citizens.
Glean said that a concentrated outreach to Asia will continue. He plans a trip to South Korea soon.