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Report: Minnesota No. 19 for foreign students

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Minnesota ranks No. 19 compared to other states in the number of foreign students it hosts at its colleges and universities, a new survey says.

The state had 13,232 foreign students last year, up 3.9 percent, according to the latest Open Doors ranking done by the Institute of International Education and the U.S. State Department.

So what? For one thing, all those students bring a wealth of cultural enrichment to the U.S., officials say. But they also bring cash – about $24 billion annually to U.S. higher ed schools, including $332 million to Minnesota, the survey says.

Nationwide, the number of international students studying in America – 819,644 students, up 7 percent – is near record levels, with growth fueled in large part by students from China. The number of U.S. students who study abroad in foreign nations is far fewer – 283,332 – and they generally spend less time abroad than foreign students at U.S. schools, the Associated Press reports.

The University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus was tops among Big 10 schools in study abroad participation, the university reported.

MPR News reported in September that Minnesota universities are teaming up in an effort to lure more foreign students.

The U of M Twin Cities campus led Minnesota schools by far in its number of foreign students, with 6,178. Next on the list:

St. Cloud State University, 1,215 students

Minnesota State University-Mankato, 885 students

Minnesota State University-Moorhead, 528 students

University of St. Thomas, 448 students

In all, 29.2 of foreign students in Minnesota were from China; 9.8 were from South Korea; 9.2 percent in India.

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