Due to an increase in reaching out to foreign cultures and offering more education programs, more international students are enrolling at SHSU than in previous semesters.There are currently 163 international students enrolled at SHSU, which accounts for 1 percent of the student population. This is an increase of 18 percent from last fall’s population of 138, and a 104 percent increase since fall of 1998, which had 80 international students.Brenda Boeske, an administrative assistant for the Office of International Programs, said the several factors contributed to the increase in international students at SHSU.”We have a vice president (Dr. David Payne) and a dean of criminal justice (Dr. Richard Ward) who are instrumental in internationalizing the campus,” said Boeske.Apart from gaining new international students, the university has increased the number of students who stay for more years of education.”Our retention has actually risen,” said Boeske. “It’s a major reason why our numbers have gone up. In the past, they just stayed for one or two, but now they stay for their whole degree.”Boeske also said that as the number of doctoral programs the university offers grows, it continues to attract more international students.Graduate student Girish Shetty of India is a computer science major who chose SHSU because of the university’s master’s program.”I chose Sam Houston State University for their excellent computer science program for masters,” said Shetty. Shetty said he appreciates the school for the various opportunities it provides, as well as its location and climate.”Now I feel very lucky that I am in Sam Houston State University, primarily because of the good computer science program and also the on-campus jobs available, and the weather here also suits most of the Indian students coming here,” Shetty said.Laura Guy, a student from Canada, came to SHSU to pursue a doctoral in psychology.”I chose to move here from Montral, Canada, specifically to attend the forensic clinical psychology Ph.D. program at SHSU,” said Guy. “There are not many universities that offer this type of program, so it was a special opportunity.”Guy has been attending the university for four years, and plans to stay for the remaining two.”Since moving here, I have been impressed with the quality of the program, including the training and education that I have received thus far,” she said.Guy also said that she has adjusted to living in a smaller community and that she advocates the university for other foreign students in her field.”Although transplanting myself to a smaller community such as Huntsville has taken a little bit of time to get used to, I definitely would recommend Sam to other students interested in what I am studying,” said Guy.A second year international student, graduate student Ruohui Zhao of China is seeking a master’s in criminal justice.”My main reason that I choose Sam Houston State University to continue my graduate study is that it has one of the best criminal justice programs in the world,” said Zhao.Along with the master’s program, Zhao also enjoys the school environment and activities it offers.”During one and half years’ study in SHSU, I find that the environment here is very beautiful and peaceful, which benefits my study,” said Zhao. “American students, faculties and staffs here are very kind to international students. The university organized all kinds of activities for international students to take part in. And the International Programs Office offered us a lot of help when we need it.”Zhao plans to continue her studies and receive a doctorate in her field and then return to China, where she said the new criminal justice field is very promising.Christine Bengal, a junior from Germany, came to SHSU to major in music therapy.”I heard that it was good and that this school has a pretty and safe campus,” said Bengel. “I really love being here, not only because I became friends with really great people, but also because people are very hospitable and friendly here in general.”Apart from the attitudes of her fellow students on campus, she also enjoys the attention students can receive from their professors.”I really like the teacher-student ratio,” said Bengel. “It’s small enough to give the student individual attention.”Along with more degree programs, the university has also increased the services it offers to international students, which Boeske also cites as a reason for increased international interest in the university.”The growth of the Office of International Programs has improved services offered to international students, regarding academic advisement as well as student services,” said Boeske.Boeske credits two of the university vice presidents with helping her office’s growth.”Academic Affairs under Dr. Payne and Student Services under Dr. (Thelma) Douglass have made OIP’s growth possible,” said Boeske.