Number of International Students in the US Poised to Rebound

November 14th, 2006 by IEFA

Each year, the Institute of International Education (IIE) publishes the “Open Doors” report on the number of international students in the US, together with detailed demographic information on the international student population. The 2006 Open Doors report was released this week, showing that the overall number of international students in the US has held steady from last year, at about 565,000. However, the number of new enrollments grew by 8%, from about 132,000 to about 143,000, indicating that the number of international students in the US is poised to return to the historic norm of steady year over year growth.

Open Doors 2006 shows an increase in the number of international students that rely primarily on personal and family funds to pay for their US education, from 61.8% to 63.4% of international students. Although it is still difficult to pay for a US education, funds from international student loans are included in that category, making the number a little bit deceiving.

There are also a lot of scholarship recipients in the US international student population — 25.9% of international students list their US college or university as their primary source of funds. You can find lots of these scholarships listed at

A few snapshots from Open Doors 2006:

US Schools With the Most International Students

University of South California 6,881
Columbia University 5,575
Purdue University 5,540
New York University 5,502
University of Texas – Austin 5,395

Leading Countries of Origin

India 76,503
China 62,582
Korea 58,847
Japan 38,712
Canada 28,202

US States with the Most International Students

California 75,385
New York 64,283
Texas 46,869
Massachusetts 28,007
Florida 26,058

Most Popular Fields of Study For International Students

Business and Management 18%
Engineering 16%
Physical and Life Sciences 9%
Social Sciences 8%
Mathematics and Computer Sciences 8%

Click here to see more details on the Open Doors 2006 report

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$2,000 Holiday Travel Contest – Only for International Students!

November 7th, 2006 by IEFA unveiled an exciting new video contest last week, with an entry deadline of December 1. The winner will be announced the week of December 4-8, and the finalists will be available for all to see on You can win $2,000 to travel anywhere in the world — not to mention worldwide fame if your video is posted on the site! Any trip you want to take, and will pay for it.

To enter, you must submit a 4-8 minute video that describes the trip you would take if you win, and why you should win. The best entry will win the $2,000 grand prize — so be funny, or include some great footage and music, or tell a great story — something to get your entry noticed and stand out from the crowd. Film students, technical and artistic types — you have a leg up on the competition. But it is open to anyone 18 or older and studying outside their home country.

For more information and to get an entry form, go to:

Employment with a Recognized International Institution

November 6th, 2006 by IEFA

Today’s is the final post in our series on employment rules for F1 students in the US, covering employment with approved international organizations. You can see the earlier posts here:

Off-Campus Employment Now Permitted in Canada
On-Campus Employment in the US
Off-Campus Employment in the US – Severe Economic Hardship
Off-Campus Employment in the US – Optional Practical Training
Off-Campus Employment in the US – Curriculur Practical Training

Employment with an International Organization

The final category of employment for international students in the US on F1 visas is employment with a “recognized international organization.” To qualify, an organization must be on the official State Department list, and listed organizations include the Red Cross, African and Asian Development Banks, the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, and many other similar but less well-known organizations. Because it does not have the universal application of OPT or CPT, this category of employment is often overlooked. Only students with a job offer and sponsorship from one of the listed organizations are eligible. However, for those lucky students that do have such sponsorship, there are clear benefits to this category of employment.

Requirements to work for an international organization:

* The student must have an internship/employment with a “recognized international organization.” To see a recent listing of all “recognized international organizations, click here
* The employment must be within the scope of the organization’s sponsorship, and within the student’s field of study.
* The student must have been in valid F-1 status for at least one full academic year
* The student must be in good academic standing

If you meet these requirements, you can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Only after you receive your EAD, which can take up to 3 months, can you start to work.

There are certain advantages of this type of employment when compared to CPT or OPT.

* Employment does not have to be for-credit nor required for your degree program
* Regardless of how much or how long you work, this type of employment will not take away from your 12-month post-completion OPT

To see the text of the entire rule governing off-campus employment with recognized international organizations by F1 students, click here.

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