Trips home must cost this student a bundle

Mystery MU student’s home is reportedly
an uninhabited island.
Tuesday, October 28, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:47 p.m. CDT, Monday, June 30, 2008

Last one to leave the island, please turn off the lights! That’s probably what an MU student did when he packed his stuff and headed for college from a tiny coral atoll called Clipperton Island.

Clipperton is a ring-shaped island that the CIA World Factbook says is uninhabited. The French-owned island, in the North Pacific Ocean, is slightly smaller than Rock Bridge State Park and was secretly occupied by the U.S. Army in World War II. Its highest point is a volcano.

The mysterious “Clippertonian” who deserted his kingdom is one of 1,400 international students with visas at MU, out of about 27,000 students overall, according to the MU News Bureau. But, citing confidentiality, the bureau would not release the identity of the currently landlocked islander — if there is an islander — nor the identities of other foreign students based on their country of origin.

MU also hosts one of the 20,000 inhabitants of the Republic of Palau, southeast of the Philippines. Palau’s median age is 30, and women there have on average at least two children, the Factbook says. The literacy rate is over 90 percent.

Over the past decade, the number of internationals enrolled at MU has been relatively constant. This year, the countries with the most students at MU are China with 268 students, India with 236 and South Korea with 204.

Romania sneaks in at No. 10 to lead European countries. Romania — home of Vlad the Impaler, upon whom the timeless legend of Dracula is based — is represented by 24 students, a drop from 28 two years ago.

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