MSUB and MUS Receive Boost for International Education and Collaboration

MSUB Campus and Students MONTANA - In the entire state of Montana in 2020 there were 1,410 international students studying at colleges and universities and they contributed over $44 million to our state economy. International education plays an important role in Montana’s economy and is a top ten export state-wide. Montana, however, ranks number 48 in the U.S. in the number of international students.

With the importance of international students in focus, Study Montana, a consortium of universities and colleges in Montana, has been awarded a grant from the Montana Department of Commerce, supported by the International Trade Office's ExportMontana. Funding will be used to increase the number of international students in Montana. Grant funds will be used to update the Study Montana website by increasing its visibility in multiple world regions. The funds will also support Study Montana’s participation at national conferences.

Study Montana is a state-wide consortium of colleges and universities with interests in international student recruitment and internationalization in general. Study Montana also serves to connect Montanans to the world by bringing cultural diversity to our communities and enhancing Montana’s position in the global economy.

MSU Billings Executive Director of International Studies Dr. Paul Milan Foster, is the chair of Study Montana, which brings together international studies experts from across the state including MSU in Bozeman, UM in Missoula, Montana Technological University in Butte, but also Dawson Community College in Glendive, Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell and all points in between. MSU Billings has the fourth largest international student enrollment in the state, after Bozeman, Missoula and Butte.

 “I am pleased that Study Montana and MSUB are at the center of this state-wide effort. This important grant validates our consortium’s nearly decade-long effort to spearhead internationalization on our campuses. One of the reasons I took on this Study Montana challenge is to showcase MSUB’s considerable strengths and opportunities in this and other areas, given the fact that Billings is the premier business and culture location in the state,” shares Foster.

“International students create jobs, drive research, enrich our classrooms yet the US risks falling behind Australia, China, Canada and other countries that have recently become more attractive to international students. This is a worrying trend and this grant will help Montana to further develop our collaboration and seek state-wide solutions to this issue,” Foster noted. “Just look at Billings, for example, 8 percent of the ‘best and the brightest’ 40 under 40 young leaders recognized by The Billings Gazette in February 2020 were at one time international students in Billings. Our community and others across the state are known for our welcoming atmosphere and support for those who choose to make Montana their place of study or their home – these are certainly Montana values to be proud of.”

Tags: Export Montana and Office of Tourism and Business Development