For Release:
February 22, 2010

Contact: Kathy Love — 573.522.1463

Jefferson City — More than 200 college students from 54 countries will visit the Missouri Capitol Wednesday. They will observe legislative sessions, visit with lawmakers representing the districts where they study, and hear speakers from the departments of higher education and economic development.

International Education Day is being organized by Study Missouri Consortium, a group of 25 Missouri colleges and universities organized to showcase and encourage cultural exchange and study abroad opportunities.

The students who will visit the Capitol are among 11,285 international students attending college in Missouri. According to a survey conducted by Study Missouri, students from other countries are attracted to Missouri by the state’s friendly atmosphere, safe environment and low cost of living.

Missouri students who study abroad will also take part in International Education Day. Heather MacCleoud, research associate for the Missouri Department of Higher Education, said her experience studying in other countries gave her a broader perspective on world events. “Being comfortable in other cultures is also a huge asset in today’s global economy,” MacCleoud said.

Missouri is 17th in the nation in the number of international students studying here, and they contribute an estimated $270.9 million to the state economy each year.