Thursday, July 18, 2013

International Students Brought $462 Million Into Western Pennsylvania During 2011-12 School Year, Report Says; GlobalPittsburgh Enhances Recruitment Efforts

International students brought $461.6 million into the Western Pennsylvania economy during the 2011-12 academic year in tuition, housing, food, shopping and other expenditures, creating thousands of jobs in the region and making education one of the region's biggest exports, according to a new report by NAFSA, an organization representing international educators.

International students at a
at GlobalPittsburgh activity.
Across the state of Pennsylvania, international students were responsible for $1.1 billion in economic stimulus, and for sustaining nearly 5,700 jobs in higher education and another 12,000 jobs indirectly related to higher education through their spending during the school year, NAFSA reported. In total, international students brought $21.8 billion into the U.S. economy during the 2011-12 school year.

"International students not only contribute economic value, they build bridges between the United States and other countries; bring global perspectives into U.S. classrooms and research labs; support U.S. innovation through science and engineering coursework, making it possible for U.S. colleges and universities to offer these courses to U.S. students; and support programming and services on campus for all students by paying out-of-state tuition, funded largely by non-U.S. sources," NAFSA said in issuing its report.

NAFSA reported the economic impact of international students by dividing data into U.S. Congressional Districts. The Western Pennsylvania region includes Congressional Districts 3, 5, 9, 12, 14 and 18. For more details, see the NAFSA map at

The new report confirms the importance -- and the economic value -- of attracting more international students to the Pittsburgh region, which is the goal of one of GlobalPittsburgh's core programs, the Study Pittsburgh initiative.

"This report confirms once again the motivation behind our efforts at GlobalPittsburgh to bring more international students to the Pittsburgh region, and then to engage them in activities and help them feel welcome so that they will have a positive experience," said Thomas Buell, Jr., Director of the Study Pittsburgh initiative, which represents a growing consortium of colleges, universities and English Language programs in the region called the GlobalPittsburgh Education Partnership (GPEP).

GlobalPittsburgh augments the international recruiting efforts of local educational institutions by:
 Providing a conduit for prospective applicants to ensure delivery and full review of applications.
 Ensuring that applications are complete.
 Directing applicants to information about visa and documentation requirements.
 Providing welcoming activities and networking opportunities for students after they have enrolled.

The Study Pittsburgh initiative provides information and publicity materials to selected advising centers and counseling offices around the world using GlobalPittsburgh’s strong relationships with government agencies and diplomatic channels. These channels include:
 EducationUSA, a U.S. State Department program designed to attract international students to the United States through a network of more than 400 advising centers in 170 countries around the world providing information and assistance to prospective students.
 Trade offices of U.S. Commerce Department and Pennsylvania Department of Economic & Community Development, which are committed to increasing international student enrollment in the United States.
 Education agencies and recruiters in targeted countries around the world.
 U.S. Embassies & Consulates around the world.
 Foreign Embassies & Consulates in the United States.

In the coming year, Study Pittsburgh will undertake numerous activities, including:
 Expanding the Study Pittsburgh website (
 Conducting a social network advertising campaign to increase traffic to website and Facebook fan page to promote Study Pittsburgh initiative and connect with an important demographic around the world.
 Connecting international students from GPEP members institutions with area corporations for internships and Optional Practical Training (OPT) opportunities.

RELATED STORY - GlobalPittsburgh Promotes Pittsburgh Universities at EducationUSA International Forum in Washington, DC

To view the full NAFSA report, go to

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