CSU–Pueblo releases study on impact of international students

Besides bringing cultural and intellectual diversity to the Colorado State University-Pueblo campus and community, international students have an economic impact in excess of $3.5 million on the local economy, according to a recent study released by the Hasan School of Business (HSB). The research concluded that students from beyond the United States borders bring approximately $3.5 million, or $25,000 per student per academic year, to the local economy. In comparison, domestic students spend about $12,000, on average.

The study, supervised by HSB faculty member Kevin Duncan, was based on a survey of international students during the fall of 2008 and conducted at the request of the Center for International Programs (CIP) by HSB undergraduate students Samuel Seckar, (senior, Pueblo), Christine Salazar, (junior, Pueblo) and exchange students Tobias Westram (Germany) and Daniela Martini (Italy).

The economic impact of the international students also can be viewed in terms of jobs and local taxes. For example, the local spending of these students supports about 54 jobs in Pueblo, including 30 jobs at the University. This spending also generates approximately $127,000 in local tax revenue ($53,000 in city and county sales tax and about $74,000 in local property tax). Or, each international student adds approximately $900 to local tax revenue each academic year.

“The group of students who worked on this are from Germany, Italy, and the United States, so it was truly an international collaboration,” he said. “The students learned technical skills and gained practical experience that will be useful in their job search after graduation, but also had the cultural experience of working in a diverse group. These are the kinds of experiences that make CSU-Pueblo unique.”

For the Fall 2008 semester, 141 international students were enrolled, with significant numbers from Nepal (25), Turkey (20), Germany (19), Korea, (17), and India (9). In the last five years, the international population has ranged in size from 76 (Spring 2005) to 172 (Fall 2006). Typically, more 40 different countries are represented in any given semester.

History of International Attendance
International students began enrolling at CSU-Pueblo in 1939. Attendance by this population has been continuous since then, although numbers and demographics have varied. The office has been called many things over the years, including International Student Services, Multicultural Development, and now the Center for International Programs (CIP). The mission of the
department remains to promote international education by attracting foreign students to campus, and to promote the study abroad program in other states or countries by domestic students. The CIP exchanges partnerships with multiple countries and various schools overseas. Just last year, the National Student Exchange program was re-initiated on the CSU-Pueblo and is active as a CIP program.

In the 1980s, the campus welcomed many from Middle Eastern countries. The late 80s and early 90s saw large groups from Nigeria, Venezuela, Pakistan, and Lebanon. The onset of active overseas recruitment brought visitors from Europe in the 1990s for the first time in the University's history. This was followed by the arrival of many students from the Pacific Rim, for the same reason.

In 2005, the campus opened its own English as a Second Language program, the English Language Institute (ELI). The ELI operates under the Continuing Education umbrella, and works closely with the Center for International Programs office.

The community can meet many of the University’s international students at the 70th Annual Food and Cultural Extravaganza, which will begin at 5 p.m. on April 11 in the OUC Ballroom. The Colorado International Student Association, the University's international student club, will sponsor the event.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.