The University of Hawaiʻi and its partners will shine a spotlight on the thousands of students from beyond the United States who study at its universities, colleges, preparatory and English language schools with Study Hawaiʻi Day at the Capitol: Celebrating International Students and Education on Thursday, February 13, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. The day-long event, being organized by the Study Hawaiʻi Educational Consortium, the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) and campuses around Hawaiʻi, will welcome international students, legislators and other state leaders, as well as the education community to the Capitol for an information expo and networking throughout the day.

Organizers hope to provide attendees a comprehensive look at the distinct academic programs and extracurricular opportunities for international students. University of Hawaiʻi campuses and representatives of schools and colleges throughout Oʻahu, Maui, Kauaʻi and the Big Island will be on hand, staffing an information fair on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Capitol Building.

International students, who make positive contributions to the state’s diverse culture, also have a strong impact on Hawaiʻi’s economy—an estimated $109 million last year, according to the Institute of International Education calculations. That is near the economic boost that the state enjoys each year from film and television productions, according to DBEDT. “The benefits of our international student population go well beyond the economic activity generated each year,” said Dennis Ling, administrator of DBEDT’s business development and support division. “Those students often become part of the Hawaiʻi workforce, contributing to the number of well-educated, highly skilled professionals available to employers and businesses.”

The number of international students in Hawaiʻi ticked up slightly this school year to nearly 4,500, according to the annual Open Doors report compiled by Institute of International Education. Most of the international college students studying in Hawaiʻi come from Japan, South Korea, China, Norway and Taiwan.

“Hawaiʻi has long been known for its physical beauty and great weather, but it deserves to be known for the academic quality of its universities, colleges and schools,” said Hawaiʻi Community College Assistant Professor Sherri Leibert Fujita, president of the Study Hawaiʻi board. “Our campuses offer experiences and degree programs that in many cases simply can’t be duplicated on the mainland or in other places.”

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