PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – “Mississippi: Where Learning and Hospitality Meet.” That’s the pitch of a consortium of 16 colleges and prep schools promoting Mississippi as a destination for international students. However, to those in other countries, the map of the US has two coasts and not much in between.

The state is 42nd among 50 states in numbers of international students and to increase chances of success, StudyMississippi was formed.

It’s modeled after StudyIowa, which hosts foreign high school counselors for the past nine years. Virtual education fairs linked to a half dozen colleges have been introduced to Brazil, Chile and Vietnam, organized by the federal Commerce Department.

Why recruit students from abroad? First of all, they bring diversity to campuses as well as extra tuition revenue. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, even in a fledgling effort like Mississippi, foreign students and their families have contributed $42.3 million to the local economy. Recruiting foreign students is a good investment.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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