JOPLIN, MO.--- Today is the last day of finals at Missouri Southern State University, and the campus is soon to become a ghost town. Not everyone is going home for the 4 week break.
"I will stay in my dorm. International students don't have to pay any fee for living here," states Randy Xi, MSSU International Student.
To better accommodate these students, university leaders have waived the $200 intercession housing fee, allowing them to stay in the dorms free of charge.
"Generally it's involved with money. It's really expensive to leave the states and then come back. Plus they are paying tuition and all of those costs," states Lora Dean, MSSU international Affairs Coordinator.
Admissions representavies say of the 140 international students enrolled at Missouri Southern, only about 40 are staying for the holiday break.
"I think for a lot of students, the challenge is to fill the empty time. They are not used to the holiday celebration so they have to find something to do," states Dean.
Saudi Arabian student Abdullah Alkalthan says he should have no problem keeping busy while classes are out.
"I'm going to travel around here maybe, and there are some concerts I want to go to," states Abdullah Alkathan, MSSU International Student.
For student's who don't have as many plans, the university will step in to ensure no one is alone on Christmas.
"All of our international students have the opportunity to stay with a family. If they don't have a family or they haven't found someone that they really click with, then our student adviser always invites them to her house," states Dean.
Over the past 2 years, Missouri Southern has revamped marketing efforts and the international admissions process to attract more non American students.