According to a recent report conducted by the Institute of International Education the number of international students in Missouri grew by more than 18 percent in the 2009 – 2010 school year. The report affirmed there are about 13, 360 international students currently studying within the state. This growth rate far surpassed the national trend (only 3 percent) and as a result Missouri is now ranked 16th in the nation in the ability to attract international students. A news release from the Missouri Department of Higher Education suggests the growth in Missouri is due to a collaboration effort in marketing the state abroad. The top university destinations for international students in Missouri are the University of Missouri- Columbia, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri State University, Washington University, and Missouri University of Science and Technology.
The state offers a variety of universities and colleges to choose from; there are 67 higher education institutions located in Missouri including thirteen public universities, thirty-nine private 4-year institutions, and thirteen community colleges. University of Missouri (Columbia campus) has a significant international student population which makes up about 28.2% of the total student body. Both the University of Missouri and Washington University (St. Louis) have international students from about 115 different countries. Aside from the large number of prestigious universities students are able to choose from, the cities themselves also make this Midwestern state attractive to potential students.
These universities are located in Missouri’s top populated metropolitan areas. St. Louis is home to the Missouri Botanical Garden, Edison Theater, Saint Louis Zoo, and several eclectic and historic neighborhoods. Columbia also offers students a good time at the Déjà Vu Comedy Club, The Blue Note, Historic Missouri Theater, and Club Tonic. Kansas City has the KC Fountains, the Country Club Plaza, the Kansas City Zoo, and many other attractions. In conclusion, the sudden increase of international students in Missouri might be due to the recent marketing efforts by the state, but perhaps everyone just started realizing how great their options are (both school and city wise) in the great state of Missouri.