Number of international students at Simpson down slightly from fall 2017


by Taylor Bates, Staff Writer

According to an article from Inside Higher Ed, the number of international students nationwide has declined over the past two years.

This trend has been seen at Simpson College between fall 2017 and fall 2018. 

Simpson welcomed 11 students from around the world to study on campus this semester, down by two students compared to the same time last fall.

In terms of actual numbers, the decrease isn’t dramatic—likely owing to the college’s many international relationships.

“Our relationship with colleges and universities in Ireland, Spain and France are the main drivers for exchange students from those countries,” said Walter Lain, assistant dean of multicultural and international affairs.

Simpson’s United Methodist Church affiliation is another pull that helps bring international students to campus. Nigerian and Mexican students often find their way to Indianola through their church ties.

Having international students on a college campus allows those students to experience life in a small Iowa town and also allows native students to interact with people from all over the world.  

“Someday, I hope I get to go visit my friends,” said Dafne Soto, a senior elementary education major.

Soto came to Simpson through her Methodist high school in Mexico. She has attended Simpson all four of her college career.

“It’s been awesome. It’s very eye-opening, interacting with people from all over the world,” Soto said.

With 11 international students on campus, there are plenty of opportunities to talk to someone with a diverse background and gain new insights about the world.

“The value of international students enhances the quality of Simpson experience for all members of our community to have self-confidence, leadership and other skills and abilities that last long after graduation,” Lain said.