Foreign students translates to big business in Hawaii

Foreign students translates to big business in Hawaii
Published: Jul. 14, 2015 at 8:18 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 14, 2015 at 8:30 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - HPU Student Body President Nathanael Howard has enjoyed his time on the multi-cultural campus. "One third of the students here are from the mainland, one third is international and one third is from the islands".

While he's aware of the cultural riches diversity brings, what he doesn't know is how foreign students are big business in Hawaii.

"It's a 205 million dollar industry.  Ten thousand students, 5,000 jobs supported by the industry itself" said Dennis Ling, Administrator for the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

That's just for the last fiscal year.  The state is looking to increase both numbers. "Our goal is over a two year period to increase the number of international students by at least 10%...which on an economic basis would mean 20 million dollars more".

A $250,000 investment by DBEDT will be spent on developing resource directories--both online and hard copy. It will be printed in three languages, Japanese, Chinese and Korean, giving potential students--K through college--all they need to know about Hawaii.

"The resources that we have here that can help them, with housing, living, fitting into the community" said Ling.

Ling says the added international students won't take spots away from locals because of excess capacity, making it a win-win situation.

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