|300 students and representatives from Missouri colleges and universities visited the Capitol for International Education Day. File photo|
As part of an effort to showcase and encourage cultural exchange and study abroad opportunities, the Study Missouri Consortium hosted more than 300 students from 61 countries during International Education Day at the state Capitol on April 30.
Thirteen Saint Louis University students traveled to Jefferson City with a counselor from the Office of International Services to take part the event. Attendees not only got to sit in on a legislative session, they also had the opportunity to meet with Missouri lawmakers, including State Representative Kimberly Gardner, a SLU alumna.
The event also helped promote how valuable international students are to Missouri. They represent a growing source of economic development for the state. In 2011-2012, the net economic contribution of foreign students totaled $417 million.
According to statistics from the Institute of International Education, there are more than 16,000 foreign students in the state of Missouri. This international representation places Missouri 13th in the country.