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International Students Contribute To Local, National Economy

Ballantine Hall Map

Photo: Jacob Kriese/Courtesy of Indiana University

Students walk through Ballantine Hall.

International students continue to enroll at Indiana University in large numbers. According to a report released last week by the Institute of International Education, IU saw a nearly 10.5 percent increase in its number of international students for the 2011-2012 academic year with more than 6,100 students.

University Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret says the increase in non-domestic students reflects the nation’s top rate education system.

“These current students are going to live in a world where work is increasingly global and international and so you need to know how to work with people from different countries across the world,” he says.

Based on the new data in the Open Doors report, international students contribute more than $20 billion to the U.S. economy in tuition, fees and living expenses. Specifically at IU, that number is more than $20 million.

IU Sophomore Bing Wu, who is from China, says the more than $30,000 he pays in out of state tuition each year is too much to spend for a public university education.

“I think everything is like not that different from China and getting a degree here and a degree in China doesn’t make a lot difference, so I don’t think I don’t think it’s worth for me,” he says. “But my parents just told me to study here. It’s not my decision.”

Instead, as an interior design major, Wu says he thinks it would have been more worthwhile to spend money on a small private university.

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