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Foreign Students Boost Spokane Economy

The numbers of foreign student attending colleges and universities in Spokane has increased 81 percent since 1990, making international education another growth aspect of Spokane’s service sector economy.

A report by the city’s Department of International Development says international students attending institutions of higher education in the Spokane area contribute about $24 million annually to the local economy.

The city estimates that 1,333 students from 69 countries will spend an average of $18,000 this year on tuition, housing and discretionary purchases.

“More than half of the full-time enrolled students purchase a new car during their time in Spokane,” a news release from the city says.

Japanese students, many of whom attend the Mukogawa-Ft. Wright Institute, make up the largest group of area international students. Taiwan and Canada are second and third.

The news release says that a recent Institution of International Education Study says U.S. colleges and universities have become the nation’s fifth-largest exporter of service. More than $6 billion in tuition and fees were paid by international students in 1992. They spent an additional $3.6 billion in living expenses, the report estimates.

A reception for graduating international students will be held at Spokane’s City Hall, in the Chase Gallery, from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Monday.


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