GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - International students, whose numbers at the University of Florida have grown steadily in recent years, appear suddenly to be less inclined to join the Gator nation.

Among the 8,748 students who graduated from UF this weekend are 980 who came from other countries -the majority of them graduate students who will move to skilled jobs in the United States or return home with knowledge and values acquired here.

The Gainesville Sun reports what's less certain is how many new international students will step onto campus in August. Applications from abroad are down 18 percent at UF, compared to last fall.

It is too soon to say what the dip in applications will mean for enrollment, much less whether it foretells a trend.