University News

International Student Enrollment Reaches All Time High

Published: February 12, 2019 | Author: Savannah Byers | Category: Academics

SUU International students posed in front of housingFall 2018 semester marked an all-time high for Southern Utah University’s international student enrollment and that trend continues with 573 international students currently enrolled at SUU, representing 62 countries and territories.

This jump in enrollment creates a positive impact on Cedar City’s economic situation with SUU currently ranking fourth in the state for international student economic value. SUU’s international population contributes approximately $17.3 million to the U.S. economy and supports roughly 106 jobs according to NAFSA, the Association of International Educators.

Students come to SUU from many places abroad including China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Côte D’Ivoire, Italy, and many others. Fall 2017 to Fall 2018 semesters had an 83% retention rate for SUU’s international students. As part of their international services, SUU sends some professors to work with students in their select home countries before they make the move to Cedar City.

“It was a great opportunity for me to meet some SUU professors. It provided me a chance to get to know SUU.” said 21-year-old SUU senior Zhao Zhe (Jimmy) from Wuhan, China.

“SUU is fortunate to have such a diverse international student population. When students from elsewhere interact with American students in the classroom or in extracurricular activities, everyone benefits from the sharing of different perspectives,” said Kurt Harris, director of SUU Learning Abroad.

chart comparing 10-year SUU international student enrollment numbersSUU works hard to support and grow its international student population. This year SUU facilitated 35 shopping trips, 13 cultural showcases, 6 outdoor excursions, and 14 internationally themed celebrations.

In addition to the positive economic impact, international students also bring invaluable academic and cultural diversity to both the SUU campus and the Cedar City community. New perspectives add to the classroom environment in a way only possible with international students.

The international students have prompted many on-campus organizations, such as the International Student Ambassadors (ISA), and events including the cultural showcases and international food fairs.

“ISA impacts international students and helps them truly call SUU home,” said Jamie Orton, director of International Student and Scholar Services. “Involvement with our prestigious organization provides life-changing opportunities for members, international students, and SUU as a whole.”

“Collaborating with those from other countries who have a different culture, upbringing, and outlook than your own, provides an enriching outlook on life and current events that we may have never considered,” said Meagan Beesley, international affairs business manager.

“When students and community members are able to discuss and understand experiences with those from other countries we all become better global citizens and one step closer to bridging the world together.” Beesley continued.

For more information on SUU’s international student services, visit their website.

Tags: Student International

Contact Information:

Rachelle Hughes, assistant director of public relations
435-586-5400
rachellehughes@suu.edu