With more students than ever and an increase in international students, there are more and more people attending Valdosta State University.
10,503 students are enrolled this semester. Nearly 40 percent of them are from southwest Georgia. Only six percent of the students are from out of state, and then there are more international students.
VSU's International Program Director Ivan Nikolov says, "We have 251 as of yesterday. We just had two new arrivals from Saudi Arabia.
As the university continues to grow, so does the number of international students. Right now there are 60 different countries represented at VSU. The university not only welcomes students from abroad, but it realizes the value of having international students.
Nikolov says, "University is not only preparing for life, university is the life. With the globalization process we cannot afford to not expose our students to the world."
Brazil native Ciao Avlino also knows the value of international education programs.
Ciao says, "We're trying to motivate people to study abroad and to learn about other cultures and about other countries and languages."
VSU credits good ol' southern hospitality for attracting and keeping foreign students.
"They immediately are embraced and taken into the life of the community, both academic and the city of Valdosta," Nikolov says.
The university says they're glad to see the increase in both American and international students.