International students contribute to multiple areas at EIU


Cam'ron Hardy

Graphic of student population.

Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor

According to Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Josh Norman, there are currently 761 international students enrolled from 52 countries.

With that, international students account for around 13% of Eastern’s population. Eastern currently has a total of 6,008 students. Specifically, there are 4,533 undergraduate students and 1,475 off-campus students.

The study abroad program that is offered allows international students to come to Eastern and experience a different culture and obtain different global perspectives.

Norman gave reasoning as to what another reason could be for students to want to come to Eastern.

“I believe the value of an education at EIU is one of the greatest driving factors for most international students,” Norman said.

International students also allow people that already live in the area to gain knowledge on different diversities and cultures.

Specifically in the classroom, having someone from across the world give their perspective on a topic allows other students to have a well-rounded outlook on the conversation.

Networking is also a benefit for studying abroad opportunities. The connections that can be made by traveling can be useful in the future.

According to, “These students also spoke more seriously about the benefits of an education in the United States. There’s a more open social environment here, they said, more educational opportunities, more interaction with and mentorship from faculty and staff. A student from Eastern Europe praised the kinds of informal interactions with professors that are so common in the United States but not, she said, in her country. These students gain tremendously from the chance to experience our culture, learn from our experts, and connect with America’s global leaders in industry, research, activism.”

The same article stated, “Learning and living alongside people from around the globe helps all of our students learn to avoid stereotyping and form more informed opinions. It gives them a better understanding of international issues, foreign affairs, and immigration issues. It provides opportunities for unique cross-cultural experiences, whether celebrating new holidays, sampling new cuisines, or traveling to visit friends in their home countries. It forces students to confront different interpersonal and communication styles, which makes them better active listeners and critical thinkers. And it opens them to wonderful personal and professional connections that will benefit them throughout their careers.”

Norman also talked about what Eastern does to market itself for international students.

“I believe our general marketing is appealing, especially through social media, where we see a lot of international student engagement,” Norman said. “The personal attention and small but caring community are themes that really connect with international students that want to pursue their education in a caring and supportive environment.”

According to the fall 2022 tenth day enrollment numbers, there was a 91.98% increase in the international student population from the 2021 fall semester. There were 399 international students during fall 2021 semester, and there were 766 international students during the fall 2022 semester.

International students contribute to Eastern’s population and can bring different additions to the classroom and the school in general.


Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].