Host to the World FACTS AT A GLANCE ...
International students enroll in U.S.
colleges and universities in record numbers
ven amid a down economy, international students continue to flock to U.S. colleges and universities for the benefits
of American higher education, says the latest installment
of the Institute of International Education’s annual “Open
The number of international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities
increased by 3 percent to 690,923 in the 2009–10 academic year. The figure represents the largest number of international students ever to study in the United
States, despite a slower rate of enrollment growth than seen in recent years, according to the report.
For many colleges, the sight of international students is a welcome sign. Students
from other countries reportedly contribute more than $20 billion a year to the U.S.
economy through such expenses as tuition, room and board, and books, making
higher education among the nation’s leading service exports.
The largest group of international students in the United States is from China, says
the report. The number of Chinese students studying at U.S. colleges and universi-
ties reportedly jumped more than 30 percent in 2009–10 to 128,000 students, or
nearly 18 percent of the U.S. international student population. The next-largest pro-
viders of international students reportedly are India (105,000 students) and South
Korea (72,153). Together, the top three countries account for 44 percent of interna-
tional students in the United States. Saudi Arabia, now the seventh-largest sender
of students to U.S. host colleges and universities, sent 25 percent more students to
the United States in 2009–10 than in
the previous academic year. In contrast,
Japan, the sixth-largest sender, reported
a 14 percent decline in the number of
students studying at U.S. colleges and
universities in 2009–10.
International Student Trends
SCHOOL YEAR ENDING
’03 ’04 ’05 ’06 ’07
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
What Are They Studying?
Twenty-one percent of international
students come to the United States to
study business and management courses,
according to the report, followed closely
by engineering ( 18 percent), physical and
life sciences ( 9 percent), and math and
computer science ( 8. 8 percent), which
experienced an 8 percent increase in
2009–10 enrollments compared with the
California hosts the most international students of any state (92,279),
followed by New York (76,146), Texas
(58,934), Massachusetts ( 35,313), Illinois
( 31,093), and Florida ( 29,708).
For the full report, visit: www.iie.org/
COMMUNITY COLLEGE JOURNAL December 2010/January 2011 48