The number of international students has decreased at Wartburg College, with the global pandemic affecting the ability of some to come to the U.S. to study. 

Out of the 35 incoming international students, only 14 were able to make it to campus with one student expected to arrive this week, a college official said.  

In 2013, there were 60 incoming international students, this number went down to 23 in 2020 with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. While some students were able to start their studies online in 2020, with efforts to return to normalcy, online classes are not offered at Wartburg. As a result of that, students who could not travel to Wartburg are not able to start their academic journeys.   

“Of the 35 overall Fall 2022 deposited students, seven were declined visas, 12 were unable to secure an appointment in time to come for Fall 2022 so they will be trying to come in Winter Term 2022-23 or Fall 2023 instead,” the Associate Director of Global Admissions Kassy Grosser said.  

The main reason behind securing an appointment is the COVID-19 pandemic. According to ICEF Monitor, a market intelligence resource for the international education industry, the average wait times for interviews for student visas are 49 days, compared to 10 days pre-pandemic. In some countries, such as Bangladesh and Turkey, wait times are longer than a year.  

Another disruption the pandemic caused is the cancellation of visits to international high schools and events. Before the pandemic, Global Admissions of Wartburg was able to travel internationally to build strong relationships with prospective students.  

During the pandemic, Wartburg looked for different connections to recruit more international students.  

“[We] have partnered with Concourse Global, which allows us to view student profiles and transcripts and connect with students who are a great match for Wartburg,” Grosser said. “This new partnership has resulted in two students joining our Wartburg community.”  

A similar pattern is also observed around the U.S. According to National Center for Education Statistics, there were almost 100,000 first-year students across the U.S., this number went down to 64,361 in 2020.  

For more information, contact Kassy Grosser, Associate Director of Global Admissions, at


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