Who would have thought of education as a driver of international business? If you have not, I suggest you take another look.
Throughout Palm Beach County there is much indicium supporting the proposition that the greater Boca Raton area is the international education capital of Palm Beach County. International education is prevalent throughout all educational platforms and supports significant influx of foreign capital into industries clusters ranging from real estate to corporate location.
Starting at the pre-K level and continuing through doctoral programming, education is, in part, responsible for foreign capital being invested throughout the community and for the growing international reputation of south Palm Beach County and Boca Raton.
Examples are easily identified.
St. Andrews, a private institution, is an incredible attractor of foreign capital. With its student body significantly represented by foreign nationals and a course curriculum designed with a global prospective, parents from around the world compete for their children to attend this important educational institution.
Universities in Boca Raton are also actively attracting foreign nationals and their foreign dollars. Palm Beach State College, Florida Atlantic University and Lynn University each have hundreds of students from around the globe. Foreign nationals flock here to attend these institutions with the growth curve that is still on the rise. Course offerings range from language studies at Palm Beach State College’s Boca Raton campus to international business doctoral programming at Lynn University and Florida Atlantic University.
Lynn University’s student population, by far the largest foreign representation, has foreign students for 81 countries around the globe. With these foreign students come investments in real estate and business as well.
It is not unusual to think of Boca Raton as a ‘small college town’ but clearly the greater Boca Raton area is outgrowing this characteristic. Real estate professionals are quick to point out the impact that university participants have on the housing market and the influx of foreign capital to the area.
Businesses also recognize the economic impact of foreign nationals many of whom are located here through the educational experience of their children and siblings. Moreover, there is an ever increasing effort by business development agencies to tap into foreign capital looking to locate operations within the county, especially in the greater Boca Raton area.
Let’s face it….To the foreign student, it is no fun to be rich in a poor country.
For foreign students, the educational experience often is the precursor to industry and relocation. This is where education and industry naturally intersect. Enrollment and admissions officers have long recognized the advantages of attracting foreign enrollment. Business development agencies have been catching up rapidly in recent years.
Just think about this. Universities are charged with educating their students. That is the prime directive. Inroads in foreign locations for internship opportunities are a great enhancement to this directive. Foreign students reach deeply into their home markets and can be tapped for an even greater educational penetration into markets ripe for enrollment and business development.
It can be argued, and I have, that simply by stating that something is true makes it true. However, in the area of educational viability and business attractiveness, the Boca Raton truth becomes evident simply by scratching the surface and telling the Boca Raton story.
So I suggest to this community, its political and civic leaders, its business and cultural voices….what are we waiting for….let’s get together and say, loudly and clearly,
BOCA RATON IS THE INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION CAPITAL OF PALM BEACH COUNTY……
Second to none and ready to take its story throughout the hemisphere and across the globe…..