MPOWER supports international students because it’s good business sense—but also because we believe that supporting international students is good for our country and our world. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. While in school, international students help grow the U.S. economy.
International students do their part to help our economy by spurring increased employment at U.S. universities and by increasing demand for local services such as food and lodging. In fact, the International Association of Educators found that international students pumped $39 billion into the U.S. economy during the 2017-2018 academic year and supported more than 455,000 jobs.
2. After graduating, international students turbocharge the U.S. economy.
International students who stay in the U.S. after graduating become talented professionals and entrepreneurs. According to a recent study by the National Foundation for American Policy, 23 percent of Silicon Valley start-ups valued over $1 billion were founded or co-founded by immigrants who came to the U.S. as international students.
3. Graduates who return to their home countries start businesses and lift millions out of poverty.
Stanford Professor Gi-Wook Shin has demonstrated the importance of U.S.-educated Taiwanese, Chinese, Koreans, and Indians in creating their nation’s high-tech economies. India’s two best-known IT entrepreneurs—Ratan Tata, founder of the Tata Group, and Azim Premji, founder of Wipro and considered the “godfather” of the Indian IT industry–were both educated in the U.S. (Cornell/Harvard Business School and Stanford, respectively); today, India’s IT industry employs 15 million people and contributes $133 billion to India’s economy.
4. International students can be powerful “brand ambassadors” for the U.S. in an era of rising international tension and declining trust in U.S. global leadership.
In a Foreign Policy survey of Chinese students in the U.S., 60 percent said studying here made them more favorably disposed to the U.S., while only 24 percent felt more negatively towards the U.S.
5. Americans who interact with international students are more culturally competent, open-minded, and compassionate.
International students bring the world to U.S. campuses. They don’t just learn about U.S. culture; they also share their cultures with American students. A peer-reviewed article in the Journal of International Students found that American students who reported substantial interactions with international students on their campus were significantly more likely to challenge their own political beliefs and to improve their opinions of other races, religions, or cultures than their less interactive peers.
We’re committed to removing financial barriers so that the world’s best and brightest —regardless of income, family background, or gender—can bring their unique perspective to U.S. campuses, enrich local students’ worldviews, and gain new perspectives and technical expertise themselves. After graduation, we hope these students will serve as powerful cross-cultural bridge builders and drivers of economic growth at home and abroad.
In the next few months, we’ll be expanding our scholarship programs in concert with local partners, revamping our career assistance programs, creating a new social impact advisory panel, and rolling out a comprehensive social impact framework to measure and drive continuous improvement in our outcomes.
If you’re interested in joining us on this journey, please visit our Social Impact Page. We’d love to have you advise and assist us as we grow and improve!