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Smith College, one of the nation’s original “Seven Sister” colleges and an institution with longstanding ties to Asia, will soon host receptions in major cities throughout the continent about its success in educating young women who transform their communities and change the world.

Smith President Carol T. Christ will lead the tour, beginning in Singapore May 31, and followed by visits to Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Nanjing, Shanghai, Taipei, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Beijing. In city after city, President Christ will speak to prospective students, as well as current students, parents and alumnae.

Additionally, President Christ has been invited to address the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong, where she will discuss women's leadership in public service, and will be the opening speaker at the Seven Sisters in China Conference in Guangzhou. She will also participate in a panel discussion at the Women’s Education Worldwide conference, an international gathering of women’s college leaders around the world.

“In the past decade, Smith has seen unprecedented growth in applications, with international applicants constituting the fastest growing—and among the most competitive—sector of our pool,” said President Christ. “The college is recognized as the top choice for exceptional young women worldwide.”

Applications from non-U.S. students nearly doubled over the last 15 years, and international students now represent 12 percent of the student body. Increasingly, these high-achieving women are coming to Smith from Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, spurred by a desire for a challenging, engaging, global education and by a shortage of spaces in competitive universities in rapidly expanding economies and developing countries.

The growing interest in liberal arts education in these economies is evident in a separate initiative to establish a rigorous liberal arts women’s university in Malaysia spearheaded by several Smith alumnae. Smith College recently agreed to be a planning partner on the effort to establish the Asian Women’s Leadership University, a project with the goal to educate a cadre of women leaders to advance social, political and economic change in the region.