CU Denver concerned about enrollment for international students

CU Denver works to recruit international students

DENVER -- In his nearly three years in Colorado, CU Denver student Abdul Al Majadiah has made friends from around the world.

He came to Denver from Saudi Arabia to study urban planning on the Denver campus, where about 8 percent of the students come from abroad.

Most international students at CU Denver come from China, Saudi Arabia and India.

"It's been a good experience to get another experience from a different place than your place and from a different perspective," he said.

But rhetoric from Washington and restrictions on travel may be scaring away some students.

The school has seen a slight drop of global students.

"The perception is America doesn't want us," said John Sunnygard, Director of International Affairs for CU Denver.

One of the reasons why Sunnygard recently went on a trip to Saudi Arabia and Qatar was to let future students know they're welcome. 

"One of the things that we want to do is make sure that they know from the very highest levels of the institution that we are welcoming their students here, just like we've done in the past," said Sunnygard.  "Ninety percent of the international students who come here come by word of mouth, which means our reputation has to be very strong."

CU Denver is also facing competition from Canada and Australia, which some students perceive to be more friendly.

International students play a big role in our economy, bringing in an estimated $378.3 million in contributions, according to CU Denver.

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