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WSU Sees Large Increase In International Students

International Admissions

University Center for International Education | Photo by Christian Peters | The Wright State Guardian

Wright State University’s (WSU) international student numbers significantly increased during the fall 2021 semester after a steady decline. 

Student enrollment rates

Student enrollment at WSU has declined overall according to public records with a small overall increase during the fall 2021 semester. Public records show that the largest increase in enrollment comes from new international students. 

There were 856 total new international students between both Dayton and Lake campuses during the fall 2021 semester. This is the largest number of new international students in a single semester since spring 2018.

International student enrollment factors

Many embassies in different countries have closed due to the ongoing pandemic according to Michelle Streeter-Ferrari, Director of the University Center for International Education (UCIE), which affects what countries these students can go to.

Streeter explains that WSU has recruiters living in India that have helped students apply for school after the country shut down due to complications from the COVID-19 Delta variant. This led to a 700% increase in graduate applications from Indian students according to Streeter. 

“Ultimately, word-of-mouth is the best recruiter,” Streeter said. 

Streeter touched on some factors that led to a national decline in international students before the fall of 2021. Streeter said the old U.S. administration was a considerable factor that led to a national decline in international student enrollment. Many international students had waited to apply for school in the U.S. in 2021 after the results of the 2020 election, according to Streeter. 

Why international students choose WSU

There are multiple student organizations of different cultural backgrounds that international students are encouraged to participate in. One of the most active organizations is the Indian Student Association (ISA).

Sri Lakshmikanth Dammu, president of ISA, states that this organization, along with the UCIE, encourages Indian students and other international students to become involved on campus. This organization has seen an increase in students according to Dammu.

“We collaborate with UCIE to remove [home-sickness],” Dammu said.

International students choose WSU over other U.S. universities because of this active involvement in their lives according to Dammu.

The UCIE and the ISA work to have a space for these students to meet and be able to interact with one another.