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Hawai‘i Celebrated as the Best Classroom in the World

February 27, 2018, 11:19 AM HST
* Updated February 27, 11:20 AM
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Hawai‘i will shine a spotlight on the thousands of students from outside the United States who study at its universities, colleges, K-12 preparatory and English language schools with “Study Hawai‘i Day Celebrating Hawai‘i: the Best Classroom in the World!”

The event will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to noon at the Hawai‘i State Capitol, on the 4th floor lanai and is being organized by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) and the Study Hawai‘i Educational Consortium, an organization established to promote the State of Hawai‘i as a study destination. International students and educational representatives will be at the Capitol for an information expo and networking opportunities.

“The event aims to deepen appreciation for the strong and positive contributions these students make to the state’s diverse culture and the impact they have on Hawai‘i’s economy,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “International students studying in Hawai‘i are an economic driver that often goes unnoticed. It is a desirable industry—knowledge-based and innovative—that adds to the vibrancy and diversity of our community.”

“Educational institutions in Hawai‘i have so much to offer in terms of our natural, cultural and historical context,” says Joel Weaver, president, Study Hawai‘i. “Our organization has chosen to express this with the tagline, ‘Hawai‘i: the BEST Classroom in the World’ in recognition of the richness that our people and our location offer to students from around the world. No matter what level of education or what field of inquiry, we have world-class opportunities that can be found nowhere else!”

According to DBEDT’s 2017 Hawai‘i International Education Survey, Hawai‘i hosted 10,800 international students at 27 institutions during the 2016-17 academic year, with a direct financial impact of $225.3 million including tuition and fees plus living expenses. In addition to the direct impact, other economic benefits of international students in Hawai‘i for the 2016 to 2017 included:

  • $484 million added to the state’s total economic output, including direct, indirect, and induced effects.
  • $32 million in state taxes generated from the total economic output.
  • $192 million in household earnings attributed to international students.
  • 5,093 jobs supported by international students’ spending.
  • $24,139 overall average annual spending per international student.
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“We hope to provide attendees a comprehensive look at the distinct academic programs and extracurricular opportunities for international students at Hawai‘i’s K-12 preparatory schools, English Language schools, and college/university campuses,” explained Dennis Ling, administrator of DBEDT’s Business Development and Support Division. “The benefits of increasing our international student population go well beyond the revenue generated. These students often become part of Hawai‘i’s workforce, contributing to the number of well-educated, highly skilled professionals available to employers and businesses. They are an integral part of our state’s economy.”

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Representatives of schools and colleges throughout the state will be staffing tables on the 4th floor of the Capitol Building.

Weaver emphasized: “We want to make Hawai‘i known for being a ‘Living Laboratory’ for students from around the world. We are well known for our cultural uniqueness, physical beauty and great weather, but we also want to become known for the academic quality of our universities, colleges and schools. We want to become an educational destination of choice!”

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