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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A delegation comprised of representatives of six Maine high schools and universities is heading to a former Soviet republic in central Asia to recruit international students.

The Maine International Trade Center is leading the team that will visit Kazakhstan next month.

The delegation plans to meet with agents, schools and government officials as they work to encourage Kazakhstani students to consider studying in Maine. There are currently 37,000 Kazakhstani university students studying abroad, and growing numbers are looking to US institutions for high school and higher education.

Sheryl Stearns of Lincoln Academy says her school is looking to diversify its international student population. She says they currently have 64 international students.

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