PULLMAN, Wash. – Forty-seven students from the Middle East have returned to Washington State University after leaving early fall semester because of the events of Sept. 11.

“Their reasons for coming back are the reasons they came to WSU to begin with: WSU has programs they are interested in and a good reputation,” said Paul Svaren, an international enrollment manager for WSU’s International Programs.

Fifty-five enrolled students left in late September at the urging of their parents, Svaren said. Most were from the United Arab Emirates where television coverage of the September attacks was intense. Virtually all were enrolled at WSU for the first time, after transferring from community colleges.

“Their return back is the result of letting things cool down and having parents’ fears abated,” Svaren said. “The things they were afraid of aren’t happening here. If they want to study, Pullman is a better place to go than a whole lot of other places.”

Forty-six of the students who returned are enrolled full-time, while one student is enrolled in the Intensive American Language Program. All are from the UAE except for one student each from Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait. Most are in their early 20s.

“We are very gratified the students have decided to return – it is what we hoped would happen,” Svaren said. “We expect students from the Middle East to continue coming to WSU.”