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St. Kate’s at forum on internationalizing U.S. college campuses

Aimee Thostenson, associate director of International Admission at St. Catherine University.
Aimee Thostenson, associate director of International Admission at St. Catherine University.
Photo by Rebecca Zenefski ’10

Aimee Thostenson, associate director of International Admission at St. Catherine University will participate in the fifth annual EducationUSA Forum in Washington D.C., June 23–25.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the forum brings together 550 university representatives and over 60 EducationUSA regional educational experts and advisers from around the world to discuss strategies for helping international students study in the United States, and for promoting U.S. study abroad.

Thostenson says the forum is a great fit with St. Kate’s focus on internationalization.

“Having international students changes the classroom dynamic and enriches discussion,” she explains. “This also extends into extracurricular activites and makes for a more meaningful student experience on campus.”

Most international students who come to St. Catherine have a personal connection to someone who knows the University's programs and academic reputation, which is a big reason Thostenson is attending the forum.

“I want to foster continuing relationships with education advisers from other countries so that they are familiar with St. Kate's unique learning environment and can help us seek out students who will be a good fit,” she says.

Thostenson adds that the forum allows her to stay up-to-date with mobility trends from various world regions in order to determine which areas to focus recruitment efforts. This fall, she will chair Study Minnesota, a consortium of higher education and government representatives dedicated to connecting international students to Minnesota.

“It’s important for me to stay informed of current best practices and learn from my professional colleagues regarding their successes and challenges, so we can encourage our consortium to grow,” she notes.

The EducationUSA Forum organizers underscore that colleges and universities, including St. Kate’s, play an important role in strengthening ties between the United States and countries around the world, as well as build relationships between people and communities that solve global challenges.

An international education prepares students for a globalized 21st century workforce, and international students have a positive economic impact on the United States. According to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the education sector represents the fifth largest U.S. services export and added nearly $25 billion to the U.S. economy in academic year 2012–13.

St. Kate's had international students from 29 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America during the 2012–13 academic year.

More about EducationUSA

EducationUSA is the U.S. Department of State-supported network of hundreds of advising centers around the world. Each year, EducationUSA advisers provide millions of international students with accurate, comprehensive, and current information about how to apply to U.S. colleges and universities.

More about the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs promotes mutual understanding between Americans and people from around the world through a wide range of academic, cultural, private sector, professional and sports exchange programs.

These international exchanges engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes and emerging leaders from the United States and nearly 170 countries. Alumni of these exchanges comprise over one million people worldwide, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and more than 350 current or former heads of state and government.

June 23, 2014 by Sharon Rolenc

See also: Education, Leadership, Students