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.