In a bustling downtown business center in Jakarta, Indonesia, thousands of young students and their parents took in the overwhelming pitches from 56 American colleges and universities urging families to pick their school. The college fair served primarily to aid a partnership President Obama made with Indonesian officials to increase the amount of Indonesian students studying in the U.S. and also as a jump start to a decreasing market for international students choosing the United States as a college destination.
Post 9/11 restrictions to visas, cost, and distance have all resulted in the falling numbers of international students enrolling at American higher education institutions. While the benefits of campus diversity offered by international students are of interest for American colleges, the money factor is the driving force for recruitment efforts. International students contributed over $20 million to the American economy in 2010. The extreme profit gained from international study has inspired the United States Government and American universities to increase their desirability to international students.