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Nearly 1.2 Million International Students Study in the United States

From March 2015 to March 2016, there was a 6.2 percent increase in the number of international students in the U.S. and the majority of them study a STEM field.

WASHINGTON–U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released the quarterly SEVIS by the Numbers report and we’re taking a look at some of the data about international students in the country.

SEVIS by the Numbers is a quarterly report that highlights nonimmigrant student and exchange visitor information housed in SEVP.

OK–what does SEVIS and SEVP mean?

SEVIS: Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. This is used to track and monitor schools, exchange visitor programs, and F, M, and J nonimmigrants while they are in the U.S. and are in the U.S. education system. So as an international student all your information is kept in SEVIS by your international office.

SEVP: Student and Exchange Visitor Program. This program is used within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and it acts as a bridge for government organizations that have an interest in the information on nonimmigrants whose main purpose to coming to the U.S. is to be students.

OK, enough technical stuff. Let’s get to the data!

How many international students are in the United States?

1,184,324 international students on F-1 and M-1 visas

200,861 international students on a J-1 visa

2,634,231 international students have finished their degree and intend on/already returned to their home countries

157,014 dependents of international students

Where do international students come from?

SEVP releases quarterly international student data The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) released “SEVIS by the Numbers,” a quarterly report of international students studying in the United States.
SEVP releases quarterly international student data The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) released “SEVIS by the Numbers,” a quarterly report of international students studying in the United States

As you can see, a majority of international students in the U.S. come from Asia. Below is a map showcasing specifically where in Asia international students originate from.
SEVP releases quarterly international student data The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) released “SEVIS by the Numbers,” a quarterly report of international students studying in the United States.
SEVP releases quarterly international student data The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) released “SEVIS by the Numbers,” a quarterly report of international students studying in the United States.

The Top 10 Countries of Citizenship 

  1. China
  2. India
  3. South Korea
  4. Saudi Arabia
  5. Canada
  6. Vietnam
  7. Japan
  8. Taiwan
  9. Brazil
  10. Mexico

Where in the U.S. do international students study? 

SEVP releases quarterly international student data The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) released “SEVIS by the Numbers,” a quarterly report of international students studying in the United States.
SEVP releases quarterly international student data The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) released “SEVIS by the Numbers,” a quarterly report of international students studying in the United States.

The Top 5 Schools with the Highest Number of International Students 

  1. New York University (New York)
  2. the University of Southern California (California)
  3. Northeastern University (Massachusetts)
  4. Columbia University (New York)
  5. the University of Illinois (Illinois)

More than 10,000 international students were enrolled at each of these schools in March 2016.

However, the states hosting the largest percentage of international students studying a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) field included Wyoming (63%), South Dakota (60%), and Indiana (53%).

 

What are international students studying?

  1. Business, management, marketing, and related areas
  2. Engineering
  3. Computer and information sciences and support services
  4. Basic skills and developmental/remedial education
  5. Liberal arts and sciences, general studies and humanities
  6. Visual and performing arts
  7. Social sciences
  8. Health professions and related programs
  9. High school/secondary diplomas and certificates
  10. Biological and biomedical sciences
  11. Physical sciences
  12. Mathematics and statistics

40 percent of international students (479,000) were enrolled in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) field. Of that number, 417,000 of these students are from Asia.

69 percent of STEM students are male.

 

The Top 5 STEM Majors 

  1. Engineering
  2. Computer and information sciences and support service
  3. Biological and biomedical sciences
  4. Physical sciences
  5. Mathematics and statistics

What is the difference between a F-1 visa and a M-1 visa?

  • F-1 students: Enroll in more traditional academic programs
  • M-1 students: Enroll in more vocational programs that teach technical skills

F-1 and M-1 have to follow different rules to keep their immigration status. To learn more about the differences click here to check out a helpful infographic.

The Top Majors of M-1 Students 

  1. Transportation and materials moving
  2. Theology and religious vocations
  3. Visual and performing arts
  4. Personal and culinary services
  5. Business, management, marketing, and related support services

The Top 10 Countries of Citizenship for M-1 students 

  1. China
  2. South Korea
  3. India
  4. Japan
  5. Canada (51% are female)
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Taiwan
  8. Saudi Arabia
  9. Colombia
  10. Germany

The majority of M-1 students study in Florida, California, and Arizona.

 

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