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Student Life, USF World

USF international student population is on the rise

The number of international students at the University of South Florida has increased at an unprecedented pace in the past year, enrollment statistics show.

Over the past six years, records show that USF has been a home away from home for more than 1,000 international students from more than 100 different countries such as China, India and Saudi Arabia.

Data shows that as far back as 2006, USF’s student body has only consisted of approximately 1,300 to 1,400 international students, however, the Department of International Services’ annual enrollment charts show a considerable increase in the number of international students from 2010 to 2011 from 1,465 to 1,745, the highest on record

Glen Besterfield, executive director of INTO USF, cites his office’s intensive international recruiting for the rise.

INTO USF heavily recruits in countries such as Brazil, Peru, China, Qatar, Italy and many more. Besterfield even recently returned from a trip to Russia.

“The draw is natural,” Besterfield said. “Here you have a great university in the United States that is trying to get their brand into the worldwide market place so naturally people will want to come.”

Despite the fact that USF has been making noticeable strides in attracting international students to its various campuses there are critics who still believe the university has a long way to go.

In a 2010-2011 world university rankings analysis conducted by Times Higher Education in partnership with Thomson Reuters, USF ranked regionally in the 301-350 category and received an international outlook score -which was determined by staff, students and research- of a mere 15 out of 100 points.

Outside sources are not the only ones who think that USF has a long way to go when it comes to its international outlook.

Students like 21-year-old Nigerian student, Murewa Olubela, believes departments like INTO USF are not the reason why students are being attracted to the university.

“USF didn’t do any outreach for me,” Olubela said. “I get emails from International Services to do things since I’m here but I don’t know if they reach their target audience. For international students peer recommendations go a long way and I think a reason for the increase is because of that.”

Although there are differing opinions on the reason behind the increase, one thing that cannot be denied is that there has been an increase and USF is definitely trying to hold on to its international students.

“We are beginning an initiative called the BUDI program,” said Aaron Holland, graduate advisor at the Office of Multicultural Affairs, “in which we reach out to international students who are trying to acclimate to the culture here at USF and in the states.”

“We are becoming a great national institution,” Besterfield said. “Next year I wouldn’t be surprised if the number goes over 1900.”


12 Responses to “USF international student population is on the rise”

  1. Good Job Nat

    Posted by Gracia Callwood | November 18, 2011, 3:08 pm
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  2. Great Job Nat!

    Posted by Shaun Callwood | November 18, 2011, 4:07 pm
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  3. Hey Nat, and to think you didn’t want to study journalism so you can mamage The VI StandPoint. Huh. Love it… and you make me proud as a Peacock.

    Posted by Uncle Eltie | November 18, 2011, 4:41 pm
    Reply to this comment
  4. This article was wonderfully written! Hats off to the writer!

    Posted by Tash | November 18, 2011, 5:19 pm
    Reply to this comment
  5. This is Fab!!

    Posted by Monnica | November 18, 2011, 6:05 pm
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  6. Nice

    Posted by shenel freeman | November 19, 2011, 10:34 am
    Reply to this comment
  7. Very nice Nat

    Posted by Yvonne | November 19, 2011, 3:08 pm
    Reply to this comment
  8. I like it

    Posted by Lorrily | November 19, 2011, 10:22 pm
    Reply to this comment
  9. Very nice, Natty-Watty – I mean Nathalia. I see that Uncle Eltie’s Papparazzi blood has manifested itself wonderfully in your veins!

    Posted by Z. McLean | November 20, 2011, 12:31 pm
    Reply to this comment
  10. You inspire, great work

    Posted by writtenlyric | November 20, 2011, 1:07 pm
    Reply to this comment
  11. good Job Nat…..

    Posted by Dorolyn | November 20, 2011, 5:41 pm
    Reply to this comment

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