SMSU welcomes increased number of international students

Wyatt Albers, Staff Writer

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Every year, hundreds of international students from across the globe enroll in U.S. schools in the hopes of receiving an American secondary education. At Southwest Minnesota State University this year, the International Student Services (ISS) office is seeing higher then usual numbers of international students that have chosen to not just apply, but attend the university.

”We had to work hard when it came to registration,” Michael Kurowski, Coordinator of International Student Services said.

The ISS is in charge of handling the admission of prospective international students from around the globe. The ISS specifically contacts students and makes sure that they fill out the I-20 form along with making arrangements for travel to the United States as well as keeping the administration updated on international student numbers by a weekly basis.

Although the number of international students has increased, staff and administration have banded together to ensure that all students, domestic and international are placed in their proper math and English classes.

“That was my biggest concern all along,” said Kurowski,”that whether it be [domestic] or international that you can get into your math or English classes and stay with your plan. Thankfully, we were able to do that.”

Currently, the ISS office is working diligently to assist international students that are new to campus to adapt to not only college life but living in a new country.

The Master of Business Administration program, which is a graduate program that works with Taiwanese graduate students seeking a business administration degree, has also seen an increase of students. This is their largest group of students since the start of the program four years ago.

“We have had a lot more inquiries in recent years at the graduate level [for incoming international students],” Director of the School of Graduate Studies CoriAnn Dahlager said.

For several years, students were able to be accepted to SMSU but were not able to cross international borders due to various issues including visas, war and natural disasters. In recent years, the Office of Graduate Studies has noticed that students have once again been able to travel to the United States for schooling, leading to the increased enrollment and attendance of students at the graduate level.

It is the hope of both ISS and the MBA program that the numbers of international students will continue to remain high in the upcoming years as the demographics of SMSU get more diverse.

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