MSU ranks 9th nationally in international student population

Minnesota State ranks ninth internationally in the international student population for 2021-2022 academic year, according to the annual “Open Doors Report” published by the Institute of International Education.

According to Dean Anne Dahlman, who was also an international student in the U.S., the achievement speaks a lot about the programs and type of education at MSU.

“(It) means that we have been successful in attracting global talent to our university. And that means that we are offering a world-class education that is attractive to the smartest and the most capable of young people in the world,” said Dahlman. 

International students are recruited to the university with the help of the Kearney International Center staff, who travel around the world and introduce MSU to schools and parents.

“Our main focus in terms of recruitment is retention. We want to make sure that the student who has come here from far away that we provide the support so that they can graduate,” Dahlman said.

Moreover, Dahlman states that the international student population grows at MSU because of recommendations of prior students who had a good college experience.

“So someone taps them on the shoulders and says: ‘Have you heard about Mankato? They have amazing programs. They have lots of other international students. It’s a very warm community, you will feel at home and have great career opportunities afterward.’ We are recommended by others and so that’s why they come,” said Dahlman.

MSU provides new international students with support in academic and personal routines to help them succeed in college and feel at home. According to Dahlman, Kearney International Center is the home base for international students where they can receive support.

“Each international student has their immigration advisor, they have staff providing support in terms of referring them to financial support, we have some emergency assistance for students,” Dahlman said. “We also have staff that works with student organizations and peer mentors that help other international students. When students don’t know where to go, always go to KIC and sign up for their newsletters.”

According to Dahlman, the plan for MSU in terms of the international student population is to recruit students from every country in the world. 

“The university is committed to welcoming more and more international students here. We have plans to go to different locations in the world. Right now we have 97 countries but we don’t put any limits on the number of how many countries we have. We would like to have students from every country in the world, which is about 200,” said Dahlman.

Header photo: Recently, MSU was ranked ninth in international student population. Dean Anne Dahlman said the goal is to eventually recruit students from every country in the world to attend the university. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)

Write to Amalia Sharaf at

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