Msu Oiss Essay Contest House


International Essay Contest

The presence of international students at Michigan State University provides us with extraordinary opportunities to learn first hand about other cultures. MSU is deeply committed to building international understanding through education and is proud to host students from all over the world.

The goal of MSU's International Student Essay Contest is to build greater cross-cultural understanding and to learn from the experiences of international students. Living outside one's own culture can trigger a complex range of feelings that lead to powerful insights. This essay contest is an opportunity for international students to reflect on their experiences and share their stories as international students at MSU.

First Prize: $1,000
Second Prize: $500
Third Prize: $250


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About us

Statistical report 2008

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to present you with this year’s statistical report on international students and scholars at Michigan State University. The Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) is responsible for serving MSU’s international community and prepares this comprehensive report annually. Included with the statistics is a list of the some of the activities that OISS has engaged in over the past year.

  • OISS hosted a reception with President Lou Anna K. Simon and distinguished members of the community of East Lansing to honor the presence of international students at MSU.

  • This year marks the sixth year for the International Student Essay Contest. This contest enabled international students to write about their experiences on our campus and in our community. Please click here to read the winning essays.

  • Community Volunteers for International Programs (CVIP) collaborated with the MSU Union to present the annual Global Festival. This tradition brings more than 4,000 members of the community of Greater Lansing into contact with MSU international students in a "visit the world in a day" cultural program.

  • The weekly Coffee Hour continues to be a popular tradition for gathering, conversation, and the opportunity to make friends from around the world.

All these activities and many more, we believe, have helped in making MSU a welcoming and comfortable place for international students to pursue their academic goals. It is a privilege for our staff to serve the international community. In the links that follow, you will find a wealth of statistical information on the international student and scholar population at MSU.

Below are some general observations about this year’s data:

Enrollment numbers

  • The fall 2008 total of 4,509 international students is the highest in MSU’s history. The increase of 640 students over fall 2007 is growth of 16.5 % over last year’s record. The trend of strong growth in MSU’s international enrollments over the past three years is welcome news following the slight decrease in fall 2005.
  • International freshman increased by 34% from fall 2007. This is extraordinary growth of 67.5% from fall 2006.
  • International graduate student enrollments increased by 89 students over fall 2007, representing an increase of 5.2% from fall 2006.

Sending Countries

  • Asia sends the most international students to MSU. With 1,291 students this year, China becomes the country sending the most international students to MSU. This is followed by Korea (951), India (404), Taiwan (248), and Canada (136).
  • Most of the strong increase in international undergraduates came from China and Korea. Undergraduate enrollments from China increased by 183% over fall 2007.
  • Enrollments from five countries, China, Korea, India, Taiwan and Japan, make up 67.8% of the total international student enrollment.
  • The number of sending countries increased from 131 in 2007 to 133 in fall 2008.
  • International students comprise 9.7% of MSU’s total enrollment in fall 2008.

Hosting colleges

  • The Colleges of Business (860), Natural Science (602), Engineering (575), Agriculture and Natural Resources (417), and Social Science (406) enrolled the largest numbers of international students during the 2007-08 academic year.

Visiting scholars

  • In addition to the record high number of international students, a total of 1019 international scholars were on campus this past year to teach and/or conduct research.

Local economic impact

  • According to the Institute of International Education’s formula, the total of international students and scholars at MSU contributed close to $100 million to the local economy.

International Students

By Country, Gender, and Level (PDF)*

By Regional Trend (PDF)*
By Country of Origin - Africa (PDF)*
By Country of Origin - Asia (PDF)*
By Country of Origin - Europe (PDF)*
By Country of Origin - Latin America (PDF)*
By Country of Origin - Middle East (PDF)*
By Country of Origin - North America (PDF)*
By Country of Origin - Oceania (PDF)*

By College/Enrollment Trend (PDF)*
By Major and Level of Study (PDF)*
By Fall Semester Enrollment (PDF)*

Sponsored Students

By Country (PDF)*

International Scholars

By Country (PDF)*



Source: MSU Office of the Registrar, IIE 2008 Open Doors Report

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