PURDUE UNIVERSITY (WLFI) - The number of international students in colleges around the nation counts into the hundreds of thousands. The money they put into the economy is into the billions. International students put $22.7 billion into the U.S. economy this year.
In a new study by the Institute of International Education Purdue University is ranked second among public colleges with the highest number of international students with 8,563. The school is ranked first for the most international undergraduates. There are 4,406 international undergraduates on campus.
"I've been at Purdue since 1993, and there has never been a year that we haven't seen an increase in applications for admissions into Purdue from international students," Purdue University Dean of International Programs Michael Brzezinski said.
In a city that houses a campus with some of the most international students it means some of that $22.7 billion goes right back into the local economy. Brzezinski said most of the money is spent in the form of tuition. After that, money is spent on making a life the international students are comfortable with in West Lafayette.
"Students who come here typically have the financial wherewithal to not only pay for education, but some will buy cars," Brzezinski said. "Some families, not all, but a few, will buy homes."
Purdue administrators said the international community helps give the locals different options when it comes to food and shopping. Owners at The Olive House Mediterranean Grill in West Lafayette said the international community is the business' lifeline.
"It is very important," The Olive House Mediterranean Grill Manager Maria Munoz said. "We have international customers over here all the time. It's awesome for us."
"You have a lot of fast food restaurants [like] Indian, Thai, Chinese, Egyptian, Lebanese, and Mediterranean," Brzezinski said. "I think they really do add to the flavor of the community."
Brzezinski said about 70 percent of the international population at Purdue is from China, India, or South Korea. Recruiters at Purdue have a goal of 9,000 international students on campus. They said it will make a perfect mix of diversity.
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