International students and their families contributed more than $21.8 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2011–2012 academic year, according to a new NAFSA report released yesterday. California, New York, and Texas welcomed the largest numbers of international students, and those and other states across the country saw substantial benefits from spending by these students and their families on living expenses, tuition, and fees.
The compelling, real-life stories about the positive impact international students make on our campuses and communities often come from the experiences of international educators who work with them every day. Today we have a post about international students in Pennsylvania from Jennifer Figueroa, director of International Student Services for Bucknell University, in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. If you would like to share your own story, visit the Share Your Story page on Connecting Our World.
Bicycling to Sustainability
By: Jennifer Figueroa
Somehow, I am lucky enough to have a really unique job. I work in higher education, specifically with students that come to study in the United States from all over the world. I travel vicariously through them, and occasionally travel for real when the opportunity presents itself. I’ve mentored, supported, and advised students from far-flung places, nations, and cultures including the Ukraine, Brazil, Rwanda, Honduras, China, Nepal, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Macedonia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, The Netherlands, Madagascar, Yemen, and Tibet. What is the best part of it all? Getting to know them as individuals and seeing the influence they bring to our campus. Each student brings a vibrant and unique perspective to campus, lending new ideas and concepts to classroom discussions and enriching campus programs through cultural experiences.