International Student Numbers Reach Record High

Each year an annual report shows how many international students study in the U.S., as well as U.S. students studying abroad. Take a look at the positive impact students make around the world!

The Institute of International Education released it’s annual Open Doors report. This a report that gives a comprehensive picture about the number of international students in the U.S., their countries of origin, their distribution throughout the U.S., the degrees and academic levels of pursuit, and the impact they have on the U.S. economy in the Federal, State and local level. The report also provides data about the numbers of U.S. students studying abroad and lists their study destinations.

This year’s report for 2013-2014 showed the number of international students in the U.S. increased to the highest number U.S. history.

 Total number of international students in the U.S. is 886,052

 This is an increase of eight percent from last year.

 Where do international students come from?

Below is the list of the top 10 places of origin for international students in the U.S.

top 10 countries international student voice magazine

Students from China make up almost 31 percent of the international student population. When you include India and South Korea, these three countries contribute to more than 50 percent of the total international student population.

One thing to be noticed is that Brazil joined the top 10 countries for international students by replace Turkey. Turkey experienced a significant decrease of a little more than four percent from last year (11,278 to 10,821).

What are international students studying?

The report also showed that the majority of international students in the U.S. are studying at the undergraduate level (42 percent). The international students studying at the graduate level make up 37 percent of the international student population. Also, the report shows that nine percent of the international students are non-degree students. This report also includes students on OPT (Optional Practical Training) which make up 12 percent of the international student population in the U.S.

Web-Infographic-International-Students-Fields-Of-Study-Open-Doors-2014

 

Where do international students study in the United States?

state rank international student voice magazine

What is the economic impact of international students?

  • According to the Department of Commerce, international students brought $27 billion to the U.S. economy. That is an increase of $3 billion from last year. This makes higher education one of the major export service industries in the U.S.
  • International student population makes up 4% of the student population in the United States.
  • According to NAFSA International Educator Association, international students had a major impact in the U.S. economy by directly or indirectly creating/supporting a total of 340,000 jobs in the United States, which is a 8.5 percent increase from last year’s 312,975 jobs.  The jobs created are in different sections such as higher education, accommodation, dining, retail, telecommunication, transportation and health insurance.  Out of all the direct jobs 54 percent are in the higher education sector.

What about U.S. Americans studying abroad?

This year there was a two percent increase of U.S. Americans studying abroad. Most study on a short-term program, meaning a few weeks, a semester, one year, or a summer.

study abroad international student voice magazine

What do numbers look like NOW?

One thing to keep in mind is that this information is based on data collected for the 2013-2014 academic year. It doesn’t include current numbers for the 2014-2015 year.

Currently, there are 1.11 million international students studying at 9,000 U.S. schools according to SEVIS by the Numbers, a quarterly report released by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), part of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). This number is based on current F-1 and M vocational visas.

SEVIS by the Numbers - October 2014

international student voice magazine image courtesy of SEVP

Image courtesy of SEVP.

Out of all F and M students, 56 percent are male.

Most females (58 percent) come from Eastern Europe.

Most males come from Western Asia (77 percent)

The graph shows the United States proportion of male versus female students (F visas and M visas) from each region of the world (according to SEVP)
The graph shows the United States proportion of male versus female students (F visas and M visas) from each region of the world (according to SEVP)

What are my thoughts?

Obviously when looking at the data, the number of international students studying in the U.S. is greater than that of U.S. students studying abroad. One of the major distinctions between international students in the U.S. and the U.S. students studying abroad would be that international students in the U.S. are pursuing a degree in a foreign country and they are in the U.S. for much longer period of time, anywhere from two to four years depending on the degree level they are pursuing. On the other hand, U.S. students studying abroad are more interested in short term study abroad programs in a foreign country while still receiving their degree from their home country institutions. Many universities are looking at international students to fill budget gaps and there is a push to recruit more outside the country. On the other hand some European countries such as Germany are offering free tuition for international students. Due to the hike in tuition fees in U.S. colleges, other countries that offer free or cheaper tuition might be a new option for U.S. students to get an affordable higher education. Maybe in the future we might see more U.S. American students seeking degrees overseas.

Eron MemajEron Memaj

Managing Editor

ememaj@internationalstudentvoice.org

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