June 8, 2012
By Tony Phifer
Liz Munro will oversee CSU's partnership with INTO and bring more international students to Fort Collins.
Liz Munro has one hope for every international student who attends CSU: She wants them to love the university and Fort Collins as much as she does.
“I love it here, and I’m very excited about what is being offered to international students,” said Munro, interim director of CSU’s partnership with INTO, an international student recruitment firm. “CSU is doing a great job of gearing up for these students, and I believe they will have a great experience.”
INTO is a private company that partners with universities to attract and recruit international and graduate students. The company has launched partnerships with 14 universities in the United Kingdom, United States and Asia.
CSU, which already has a strong record of support for the more than 1,000 international students it serves annually, entered the partnership with INTO to boost international enrollment and create a culturally rich student experience that is reflective of today’s global experience.
Munro, who has been with INTO since the company launched in England in 2006, said CSU is ideal for recruiting international students. Not only does the university offer outstanding academics, Fort Collins is a beautiful, welcoming city that features great weather.
She was a pleasantly surprised when she arrived here in January.
“It was cold and snowy, but the sun was shining, which makes all the difference,” she said. “I think I got very lucky when I was assigned to serve as director here.”
Munro’s experience as a student helped shape her career and pique her interest in international student education. She majored in French and German at Kings College in London before spending a year studying in Austria.
“That was probably the biggest life-changing experience for me,” she said. “I had a phenomenal year in Austria, but I also gained an understanding of what it’s like to be an international student and the support that is required to help them succeed.
“I learned that it’s key to get the domestic students to reach out to international students. When that happens, the experience is much better.”
CSU, she said, is a very welcoming campus – one of numerous selling points. She has spent parts of her career in places such as Iran, Bahrain, Indonesia and China, and said CSU’s attitude toward international students resonates with prospective visitors.
“It’s a huge selling point that students will be genuinely embraced here,” she said. “There already is a great support system in place for international students, and that makes CSU stand out.”
International students now comprise 3 percent (approximately 1,100) of CSU’s student body. INTO officials expect to add 350 more starting in August, and plan to bring an additional 1,000 to campus within five years.
Munro will serve as CSU’s interim director through September; a permanent director will be named at that time. She will use her time on campus to help establish curriculum and programs that will help all international students succeed.
“One of the things I love about my job is that you feel really proud that you can help these students thrive,” she said. “Many of these students have come from very challenging backgrounds, and their families have to make great sacrifices to help them further their education. You want to help these young people make the most of this opportunity and help them reach their full potential.”