BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ Southern University has opened a recruiting office in Turkey as part of a broader strategy to attract international students to the Baton Rouge school.

The Advocate reports ( that Southern’s Global Connections Center in Kirikkale, Turkey, is believed to be the first office of its kind to be operated by a historically black college in the U.S.

Dozens of students from Turkey already have participated in an exchange program that brought them to Southern as visiting scholars in the school’s engineering and English as a second language programs.

Southern Chancellor James Llorens said the school’s goal is to have up to 100 students from Turkey enroll at the university annually.

“It’s very important for us to have that physical presence there,” Llorens said. “It gives them and us an opportunity to have a constant resource there for students and faculty interested in coming here.”

Barbara Carpenter, Southern’s dean of international affairs, said the U.S. is one of the most popular destinations for Turkish students who opt for educations outside their home country.

“They especially like the South, because it’s more cost-effective to live down here than in other parts of the country,” Carpenter said.

Earlier this year, three dozen Brazilian students arrived at Southern though a scholarship program that focuses on the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

The school’s push to recruit international students comes as Southern’s enrollment has dropped from nearly 9,500 to around 6,600 in recent years.


Information from: The Advocate,