The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse for its impressive international student recruiting and programs. The department has given UW-L the 2009 U.S. Department of Commerce Export Award, citing the university for being a national leader in developing international education programming and international student recruitment, along with study abroad and international exchanges. It is one of three awards given nationally.
In the past decade, UW-L has strategically increased international student enrollment to create a more global campus and community. In 2002, international student enrollment was 129. During the 2009 fall semester, UW-L enrolled 437 international students from 45 countries. International student enrollment is targeted to grow to 667 by 2012.
UW-La Crosse currently has the largest international student program among the UW System’s 11 comprehensive campuses and the fourth largest program among all state colleges. Ahead of UW-L are the UW doctoral campuses at Madison and Milwaukee and Marquette University.
Jay Lokken, director of the UW-L?International Education program, says it’s important for colleges to have global connections. “To be competitive in today’s global environment, a university must be internationally focused,” says Lokken. “For graduates to be successful in the current economy and world scene, students must have global competencies. This prestigious award recognizes UW-L’s ever-growing commitment to global education.”
The growth has impacted the La Crosse economy too. In 2008-09, UW-L’s international students contributed just over $7.7 million to the local economy according to NAFSA:?The Association of International Educators. That’s the largest impact of any college in western Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District.
“Through its contacts and recruiting efforts, UW-L has been able to attract outstanding international students to campus,” notes Lokken. “Students are attracted to the?La Crosse community and specifically to the outstanding academic programs on campus. Our consistent high rankings from U.S.News and World Report have enhanced UW-L’s global reputation, making it a first choice for many students from around the world.”
More students are studying overseas too. In 2008-09, more than 510 students studied abroad, adding an additional international component to the university’s global atmosphere.
For more information about UW-La Crosse’s International Education program, visit: International Education.