Number of International Students in US Grows

December 6th, 2011 by admin

The annual Open Doors Report, published on November 14 by the Institute of International Education, shows that the number of international students studying in the USA for the 2010/2011 academic year increased by 5%, to a total of 723,277.  This follows an increase of 3% last year, and continues the upward trend that started in 2005/2006, when enrollment numbers started to rebound after post-9/11 setbacks.

Countries of Origin

A big story this year, like last year, is Chinese student enrollment.  The number of Chinese undergraduates studying in the US increased by 43%, and overall Chinese enrollment increased by 23% to 157,558, ensuring that China was the largest sending country again this year.  Saudi Arabia also had a large percentage increase of 44%. Here are the top ten countries of origin for international students in the USA:

Rank Place of Origin 2009/10 2010/11 2010/11 % of Total % Change
WORLD TOTAL 690,923 723,277 100.0 4.7
1 China 127,822 157,558 21.8 23.3
2 India 104,897 103,895 14.4 -1.0
3 South Korea 72,153 73,351 10.1 1.7
4 Canada 28,145 27,546 3.8 -2.1
5 Taiwan 26,685 24,818 3.4 -7.0
6 Saudi Arabia 15,810 22,704 3.1 43.6
7 Japan 24,842 21,290 2.9 -14.3
8 Vietnam 13,112 14,888 2.1 13.5
9 Mexico 13,256 13,713 1.9 2.0
10 Turkey 12,397 12,184 1.7 -1.7

Taken together, the top 3 countries sending students to the US (China, India and South Korea) account for almost half of all international students in the US.

Leading Host Institutions and Fields of Study

The University of Southern California maintained its top spot as the US school hosting the most international students with a total of 8,615.  Here are the ten schools in the United States, by total international student enrollment:

Rank Institution City State Total Int’l Students
1 University of Southern California Los Angeles CA 8,615
2 University of Illinois – UC Champaign IL 7,991
3 New York University New York NY 7,988
4 Purdue University – Main Campus West Lafayette IN 7,562
5 Columbia University New York NY 7,297
6 University of California – Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 6,249
7 Ohio State University – Main Campus Columbus OH 6,082
8 University of Michigan – Ann Arbor Ann Arbor MI 5,995
9 Michigan State University East Lansing MI 5,748
10 Harvard University Cambridge MA 5,594

International students have been consistent in the fields of study that they choose, as the top five have not changed.   Business and Management and Engineering are by far the most popular two choices for international students at US schools, followed by Physical and Life Sciences, Math and Computer Science, and Social Sciences to round out the top five.

US Students Abroad

Not only are the numbers for international students growing, but so are the numbers of US students going overseas. According to the Open Doors Report, the number of US students studying abroad increased almost 4% to 270,604. Consistent with previous year records, the most popular destinations for US study abroad students included the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and China as reflected below:

Rank Destinations 2008/09 2009/10 2009/10 % of Total % Change
WORLD TOTAL 260,327 270,604 100.0 3.9
1 United Kingdom 31,342 32,683 12.1 4.3
2 Italy 27,362 27,940 10.3 2.1
3 Spain 24,169 25,411 9.4 5.1
4 France 16,910 17,161 6.3 1.5
5 China 13,674 13,910 5.1 1.7
6 Australia 11,140 9,962 3.7 -10.6
7 Germany 8,330 8,551 3.2 2.7
8 Mexico 7,320 7,157 2.6 -2.2
9 Ireland 6,858 6,798 2.5 -0.9
10 Costa Rica 6,363 6,262 2.3 -1.6

Interestingly, while there are more students studying overseas they are going to non-traditional destinations. There was an eight percent increase for each of the following destinations: Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

For more information, please visit the 2011 Open Doors Report published by the Institute for International Education.

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Study USA – Creating a Budget

June 22nd, 2011 by admin

One of the most important parts of international education is figuring our what you can afford.  Can you attend that high-priced private school in an expensive city?  Or is a more affordable option required?  You can get basically the same education in an area with a lower cost of living, or attend a state school or community college.  You can work, get loans and apply for scholarships.  But until you know how much money you will need, its hard to figure out how you’re going to get it.

Creating an overall budget is a critical part of affording your study overseas.  Truly, there are options for people regardless of what your overall budget is, but you have to know the budget to know your options.  The Study USA section of has a good article on creating a budget.  Also review these earlier posts on this blog on Estimated vs. Actual School Budget and Evaluating School Program costs .

With a little effort, you can have a much better handle on where your money will be going, and what schools and programs you can afford.

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Interest Rates Still Low on International Student Loans

June 14th, 2011 by admin

One positive by-product of a relatively weak ecomony is the continuing low interest rates for international student loans for study in the USA. Interest rates for loan programs offered by International Student Loan range from 2.25% APR to 9.11% APR with no origination fees. When you consider that there is no collateral required for a student loan, unlike a home or car loan, it is impressive that student loan programs can operate at such rates. Since student loans are often based on LIBOR, a low LIBOR is certainly helping the situation.

Lenders offered through the loan center on also offer excellent rates, and you can compare and contrast them.  A quick search today showed current APRs beginning at 3.16%.

Private student loans are available for international students studying at approved schools in the United States.  All international students need a US co-signer.  The interest rate for each student is set by the loan underwriter based largely on the credit score and income history of the US co-signer, so a stronger co-signer can mean a lower rate. You can apply for up to the total cost of education, minus other aid received.

Check both options to figure out which works best for you and your school:

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Humboldt Foundation Provides Generous Grants for Study or Research in Germany

May 6th, 2011 by admin

Are you a German scholar, or do you want to study or research in Germany for an extended period? The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation supports researchers and scholars that come to Germany from all around the world, and it supports German scholars and scientists that research and study around the world.  The Foundation has a variety of programs, and they have this to say about their selection criteria:

“If you would like to become a member of the Humboldt Family, only one thing counts: your own excellent performance. ”

Humboldt Research Fellowship Program: With this massive program, the Foundation provides 200 awards each year.  The awards support scholars of all nationalities and disciplines, enabling them to carry out long-term research projects (6 to 12 months) in Germany.  Fellowships are awarded on the basis of scholarly achievement alone. PhD required, under 40, proficient in German or English, from any country in the world. This fellowship comes with a monthly stipend, travel costs, language training, and family allowances.

German Chancellor Fellowship Program: Under this program, the Foundation provides ten awards to US citizens, each for a one year stay in Germany for research or study. Its a post-graduate or professional award, providing a monthly stipend of 2,000 to 3,000 euro.  Application deadline is 31 October, and a bachelors degree is required.

You can see more about the Humboldt Research Fellowship Program and the German Chancellor Fellowship Program on

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New UK University Rates Won’t Impact International Students

April 29th, 2011 by admin

The bad news: Rates for students from the UK, attending UK universities, are going to go up.  The good news:  rates for international students attending UK universities are not going up.

“Although the tuitions will be raised in universities and colleges in the United Kingdom, it will not affect the international students,” O’Nions told Xinhuanet on the sideline of the Global Summit of University Presidents 2011 (GSUP) held in Tsinghua University.

Read the rest of the story in the People’s Daily Online:

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Study Food in Italy, for Free?

April 7th, 2011 by admin

Who wouldn’t love to study food in Italy?  Better yet, how about for free?  Today’s featured scholarship is the Tuition Waiver for the Master of Management in Food & Beverage at SDA Bocconi School of Management. One of the oldest business schools in Italy and located in the dynamic city of Milan, SDA Bocconi offers a compelling opportunity for students interested in food and beverage.

With a value of 29,000 euro, and available to students from around the world, these tuition waivers are offered to the top applicants to their program for the 2011/2012 school year.

Visit the SDA Bocconi MFB Tuition Waiver page on for more information.


Who Hires Foreign Workers?

March 8th, 2011 by admin

The process of hiring a non-US worker can be daunting for US businesses.  Even international students who have completed a degree in the USA and are looking for a job during their OPT can be at a disadvantage compared to US students – employers are much more familiar with the process of hiring US students.

For those international students that would like to stay and work in the USA, the path that many seek to follow is: F-1 student visa; find a job after graduation in  Optional Practical Training (OPT) status; convert the OPT job into an H1B job; apply for permanent residency.

But how do you find those employers that are not put off by the process involved in hiring non-US workers?

The Foreign Labor Certification Data Center has an online library where you can download a list of all of the H1B applications for each fiscal year. Most international students are interested in H1b status, but there are other categories as well. The 2010 fiscal year H1B file is big – about 24 MB – but its got a wealth of information for any OPT job searchers out there!

Once you’ve downloaded the data, you can save it as a csv file and open it in excel.  Then you can sort by category, geography, salary or any other criteria you like – all helpful information for any job-seeker out there:

Visit the Working in the USA section of for details on working in the USA while on an F1 visa.

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Hult MBA Offers Scholarships to African Students

February 24th, 2011 by admin

Hult International Business School is a highly regarded business education institution, offering MBA, Masters and Undergraduate programs in five locations around the globe: Boston; San Francisco; Dubai; London; and Shanghai. Hult was ranked the 27th best business education in the world, and the 17th best business education in the U.S. by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The Financial Times has also recognized it as one of the Top 100 business schools worldwide.

Hult offers a very popular one-year MBA program, which allows you to study at up to three of their five worldwide locations. Finishing in one year instead of two, as required by most MBAs, can be a very efficient way to improve your career opportunities faster, saving you money on the way.

Hult also offers scholarships to deserving, accomplished students.  See Hult’s profile page on International Scholarships to see more about their scholarship offer for students from Africa:

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AIESEC – Another source for international experience and funding

February 18th, 2011 by admin

When you are trying to afford an international education, you need to look at every potential source of funding.  We recently featured a story on Rotary scholarships, which are an excellent, worldwide source of funding.  Another worldwide source of leadership opportunities and funding, particularly through paid international internships,  is AIESEC. Present in 107 countries and with over 50,000 members, AIESEC is the largest youth-run organization in the world.

The AIESEC international internship program offers an excellent opportunity to gain hands-on international experience.  For instance, the Cornell University chapter of AIESEC is bringing in 34 international interns. United Auto Workers is providing paid internships for 32 of them, and Cornell is employing the other 2.  Read the full story about the Cornell AIESEC interns in the Cornell Sun.

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Business Schools Need to Globalize!

February 11th, 2011 by admin

(from Bloomberg Businessweek)

Business schools are lagging behind in preparing students for careers in an increasingly global world and need to become more strategic about how they weave cross-border content into their programs, according to a report released today by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

The study, titled “The Globalization of Managements Education: Changing International Structures, Adaptive Strategies, and the Impact on Institutions,” was presented to deans at an AACSB conference in Phoenix. It suggests that business schools need to make deeper and more sustained efforts across the curriculum to help students understand the challenges of conducting business in different cultures and countries. Robert Bruner, chairman of the AACSB Globalization of Management Education Task Force, which wrote the report, calls the study “a real wake-up call” for business schools.

Read the rest of the story in Bloomberg Businessweek.

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