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International students contribute more than $6.3 million to local economy

December 4, 2013

EAU CLAIRE — International students studying at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire contribute more than $6.3 million annually to the local economy, according to a recently released report by NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

UW-Eau Claire is among the top two master's-level public institutions in Wisconsin in terms of dollars added to the local economy by their international students, according to the NAFSA report.

The report is based on the tuition and fees paid by UW-Eau Claire's 274 foreign students, as well as their living expenses and spending by the students' dependents.

"Our international students' economic contributions go far beyond tuition and fees," said Dr. Karl Markgraf, director of the Center for International Education at UW-Eau Claire. "These students are spending money on housing, food, cell phone contracts, travel, entertainment and other activities that support businesses throughout the Chippewa Valley and Wisconsin. The economic impact they have on our campus, community and state is significant."

In addition to having a significant economic impact, the international students also bring important global perspectives to the campus and community, Markgraf said.

While the university continues to attract students from a variety of regions around the world, Brazil is the single-fastest growing sector of UW-Eau Claire's international population, Markgraf said. The university also is working on new efforts in Russia, a region that is starting to send more students to study in the United States, he said.

"Our international students share with the campus and community their knowledge, beliefs, culture, experiences and values," Markgraf said of the value of having students on campus from many different regions in the world. "They promote global awareness in ways that make our campus and community more dynamic and more interesting places to live, study and work."

The world into which UW-Eau Claire students will graduate will require them to be globally confident and competent, Markgraf said. Providing opportunities to study and live with internationally diverse students is one important way all UW-Eau Claire students can develop the global skills they will need to succeed in their future careers and lives, he said.

"By all measures, our international students are having a significant, positive impact on our campus and Eau Claire communities," Markgraf said.

For more information about the NAFSA report or UW-Eau Claire's international programs, contact Dr. Karl Markgraf at




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