A growing number of students from other countries are finding Missouri an attractive place to get college degrees. The Institute for International Education has counted more than 17,300 students from other countries in Missouri’s forty colleges and universities in the most recent academic year, 2012-2013. 

About one-third of those students come from China with students from India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Japan making up the rest of the top five countries represented. Spokesman Britta Wright with Study Missouri, the consortium of those universities, says many of those students are drawn here because Missouri is safe. “It’s not like a New York City or a Los Angeles where you’re always hearing about high crime rates and things like that.  We offer a good environment for students,” she says.

Wright, the Director of International Student Services at Columbia College, says the improving international economy is one reason behind the growth in numbers of international students.  She says many families want their children to learn English. And she says it’s considered prestigious for a student to come here to study English or get a degree.

AUDIO: Wright interview 12:46