According to the Associated Press, more than 16,000 students are studying in Missouri Universities. That is a 6% increase from last year.
It really is an international campus here at HLGU. More than 90 international students from 27 different countries attend classes here this fall. A couple international students spoke on why they chose to study at Hannibal LaGrange University.
More international students--like Alicia Arroyo, Mario Ferrero, and Micael Scaramelli are making their way to Hannibal LaGrange University.
"The guy who bring me here, he studied here in the same college. He told me about everything here, he knew people here from the town so it made me more secure to come here because I will know different people who can help me," Scaramelli said.
"Back in 2010, my parents knew about one of my neighbors that he actually came to the States to study and I was interested and asked questions and they offered me this opportunity," said Ferrero.
"The biggest reason why I wanted to come to the States is because I wanted to play golf and be able to get an education degree at the same time," Arroyo said.
Arroyo, Ferrero and Scaramelli are among more than 90 international students already enrolled at HLGU, and another 16 are set to arrive in the spring semester.
Brian Lehenbauer is HLGU's Director of English as a second Language. He said in addition to the culture international students add to the university, the economics also play a role because they pay tuition the day they arrive.
"It is another advantage because it provides that funding up front, it's something you don't have to worry about and with the economy the way it is, you get into different flows with government funding and stuff, so yeah there is a slight advantage to that," Lehenbauer said.
But Lehenbauer also says he's seeing a change in where international students are coming from.
We are seeing a difference in where we're getting applications. When we first started, Europe was much more stronger in our application. There economy's have slowed down there so we're getting a lot more applications now from South America and Asia," he said.
Arroyo said having so many different people from different cultures adds to the experience.
"I think it's great because there's a really strong international community of international students here and we'll feel like a family. And it's great to have people from your same country because it always helps make you feel at home," she said.
According to Lehenbauer, almost every international student is on some sort of institutional scholarship.
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