Compared to the rest of homogeneous Montana, Missoula prides itself in having relative diversity. UM attracts 500 international students from 74 different countries. Plus, the University offers a Native American studies major, features a state-of-the-art Native American studies building, and holds cultural events such as tribal dances regularly. UM students feel comfortable coming out of the closet, praying on the Oval, or wearing a Scottish kilt to their Irish studies classes. Differences in religion, sexual orientation, and cultural and economic statuses attract friends and faculty more than detract them.
Because UM's out-of-state tuition is sometimes lower than other states' in-state tuition, UM students hail from all 50 states. A professor from Vietnam said that Missoula offers the peace, quiet, and cold that he needs to work, and that he hasn't gained weight like other places in America because of the healthy food and hiking options. African Americans, Jews, and trust-fund kids are probably the least common minorities, but by no means least accepted. There are several campus clubs embracing such ethnicities, including Hillel and an African American club.