Foreign Students in a Regional Economy: A Method of Analysis and an Application

The purpose of this study is to develop a general method for analyzing the economic impact of international students on a local or regional economy and to apply the methodology to a specific university in Michigan. The focus will be on international students as opposed to all students. Special attention will be given to spending patterns, travel, sources of funds, and saving characteristics of international students.

The results of this study clearly show that international students are an important source of economic activity in a regional economy. In the application of the model to Michigan Technological University, it was found that international students accounted for $2,693,814 in total direct, and indirect expenditures in the region for the 1986-87 academic year.The study also demonstrates that international students contributed significantly to deposits in financial institutions in the region. International students held average balances of $1,277, and $1,840 in transactions and savings accounts, respectively, in banks in the region.