The capstone event of Utah State University’s International Education Week on Friday will highlight the diversity of nations on the USU campus. The Miss and Mr. International Pageant is a USU tradition of over 60 years. Contestants from many countries compete for the Miss International Crown donated by S.E. Needham Jewelers. Those attending will experience a night of talent, music, culture and international cuisine. It begins at 7 p.m. Friday at the Eccles Conference Center Auditorium on campus. There is a $3 admission charge. “This event highlights students from all over the world who are here on campus,” said Mary Hubbard, USU Vice Provost over International Education. “They typically perform some traditional song or dance from their home country and they are usually wearing traditional clothing of their home country. The talent is just amazing.” Hubbard said the purpose of the week is to heighten the profile of international students have on campus. “We emphasize the role that international education plays in educating American students” Hubbard said to a great degree international education is all about relationships and connections. She said there are currently just over 1,000 international students on campus. “We have over 80 countries represented on campus and we strive for the diversity of nations coming to visit us. We have a large number of Chinese students, Dominican students and Indian students comprising some of our higher numbers.” Hubbard said the tragic events of 9-11 dropped the numbers of international students at USU. “A lot of it had to do with the changes in regulations in terms of student visas and the reporting obligations that we have to Homeland Security data from international students. “But those sorts of things have changed. Our government recognizes the value of international education in this country and bringing in international students. It’s different from country to country but our embassies and consular offices are working hard to try to facilitate the ability for people to get visas to come here to study.”
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