After establishing operations in China and India in recent years, Kent State University officials have decided to set their sights south.
About 5,000 miles south to be exact.
KSU's Board of Trustees voted this week to establish a recruitment office in Curitiba, the largest city in the South Region of Brazil with a population of more than 1.8 million.
KSU President Lester Lefton said the university plans to set up "a legal entity" in Brazil, likely a storefront similar to recruiting operations the school has in China and India.
He said about 20 students from the country are currently enrolled at KSU, a number he expects will expand rapidly starting next year. Lefton said he expects the recruiting office to bring in between 40 and 100 Brazilian students to Kent in the next two years.
"Brazil is a large and growing economy (with) a large population," Lefton said. "They have a history of sending many thousands and thousands of students to study abroad in the United States."
Officials say the Brazilian office, which has an estimated yearly operating budget of $125,000, will be open by early spring 2013.
Lefton said KSU does plan to open a full-fledged campus in South America, like the one it has in Switzerland -- at least not in the next five years. He said the university's focus is shifting from simply recruiting international students to making sure those selected by KSU are the best available and providing them with ample resources once they arrive in Northeastern Ohio.
"There are universities that just sort of recruit to bring people in," Lefton said. "We really want to bring in the best students, the best scholars possible."
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