MSU Mankato Increases International Student Enrollment

With 1,177 international students enrolled in the fall of 2024, Minnesota State rose to the No. 8 spot on the annual Open Doors Report released by the Institute of International Education.

According to Provost and Dean of Global Education Anne Dahlman, “Having students from over 100 countries in classes, on campus, in clubs — it’s a great benefit, to be teaching everyone about how to work with people from other cultures. Also our international students are amazing students.”

MSU President Edward Inch expressed pride and gratitude at the news.

“We’re proud of our No. 8 national ranking and that international students are choosing Minnesota State Mankato to pursue their higher education goals,” Inch said in a university news release.

International students come to MSU Mankato for a wide variety of reasons according to Dahlman.

“They come here because of our great academics. An American education is the number one sought after education in the world, and to be able to get it here in Mankato, we have some great programs. The second reason is because someone tapped on the shoulder. They would not know Mankato in the many parts of the country, but they do know people who are here,” said Dahlman.

The reasons for choosing Minnesota State according to international students were also varied.

Majd Alharbi said he was looking for a small town in a place she had never been to.

“I was looking for a state I had never been to, hence Minnesota and I was looking for a smaller town so I chose Mankato,” said Alharbi.

Timi Olufemi said it was the assistance she received when she applied to MSU Mankato that brought her here.

“I did apply to a lot of other colleges but then they were very prompt in responding, so for me that was a good thing. Their prompt response in giving me an application and how they tailored it through for me,” said Olufemi.

Olufemi and Alharbi both had things they enjoyed about Mankato that have kept them here.

For Alharbi it was campus engagement and the numerous sporting events that are regularly held here.

“Going to sports events every single weekend is something I’ve really enjoyed,” said Alharbi.

Olufemi said it was the community she was able to find here through the Family Friendship program, which she spoke highly of.

“I like the school, I like the community, I like the faculty. You can always go somewhere and there will be somebody to help you. And then you have this fantastic program called the Family Friendship program. This is my first time in the United States. I don’t have any family here and I was able to get connected through the school to families from here, from Minnesota who have been a lot of help and helped me settle in,” said Olufemi.

Write to Jeremy Redlien at

Header Photo: Students visit the Kearney International Center in the CSU. (Alexis Darkow/The Reporter)

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