International students explore state capitol


Niamh Quinn

The House of Representatvies in session at the Capitol in Jefferson City, MO. on Wednesday, April 2, 2014.

On Wednesday, April 2, students from the International English Program (IEP) and the International Club from Missouri Southern State University traveled to the state capitol in Jefferson City for the annual International Education Day.

The day was intended to give students a chance to network with other international and study-abroad students while learning more about the legislative process of the United States. The morning consisted of watching the House of Representatives in action and exploring the Senate Galleries.

During lunch the group heard from several influential members of the state, who talked about the importance of international students to the state. One of these included Sen. David Pierce (R-Warrensburg). He said there are over 17,000 students studying in Missouri and said international students “provide so much to our country, so much to our institution and [that they] are a valuable asset.”

The speakers talked about the several reasons why studying in Missouri is attractive to international students, including the excellent academic programs, the friendly atmosphere, the spacious campuses, the safe environment, the low cost of living and finally the diversity Missouri has to offer.

Brian Crouse, vice president of education programs, commented on the impact exchange students have had on the economy of the country as well as the state.

He said 564,766 international students studying in the US since fall of 2005 have had an economic impact of $13,491 billion, with $452 million dollars going toward the Missouri economy each year.

Arsène Rouby, an international student from Orléans, France, who is studying at Missouri Southern, said he loves being an international student. He said he has met so many people from different cultures and has learned many different perspectives.

In the afternoon, students toured the capitol building and visited the offices of state senators and representatives as well as the Missouri State Museum.