Florida Schools Court International Students

Two Florida schools, Florida International University and the University of Miami, are stepping up recruitment efforts to bring international students to their campuses, Miami Today reports.

The F-1 visa has become easier to secure in recent years, leading to an influx of international students, according to Douglas Wartzok, provost and executive vice president of FIU. Wartzok told Miami Today that about 7 percent of FIU’s student body comes from abroad, and the school aims to increase that number by 2,000 students annually. That would bring next year’s international enrollment to 4,500.

International enrollment is also on the rise at the University of Miami. Mark Reid, UM’s executive director of international admissions, told the source his staff actively recruits around the world. The school enrolls many students from countries that have complicated or contentious relationships with the United States, including China, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.

Reid said UM strives to support its international students by offering English language classes and tutorials to help them master American learning methods.

Florida has recently debated immigration reforms similar to strict laws passed in a handful of states, including Arizona, Indiana and Florida’s northern neighbor, Georgia. The state’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, recently told The Associated Press he expects the legislature to approve such a law in 2012.