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The basics
THE USA: Latest News

The US a magnet for overseas students

College students

The recent Open Doors Report has highlighted some interesting trends in the numbers of international students choosing the United States as a study destination. It shows that the U.S. is continuing to attract large numbers of foreign students from around the world, with 52% of all international students in the country hailing from China, India, South Korea, Canada and Taiwan. It seems that American institutions are more popular with international students than ever before...

The Open Doors Report, which is published by the Institute of International Education, is an annual statistical survey of the international students in the United States and has been produced since 1949. It shows that the increasing influx of international students to the States has grown steadily over the last three years, with a 2.9% increase in 2009/10 over the previous year. This brings the number of international students in the U.S. to a significant 690,923 students.

If you are considering a stint at an American university, then you might like to know where overseas student numbers are concentrated. It will ensure that you're immersed in a more multicultural campus, which can be reassuring and can provide a stimulating learning environment. The Open Doors Report highlights which educational institutions are attracting the most international students. Here's a list showing the American universities with the greatest number of overseas students:

Top U.S. institutions hosting international students: 

1. University of Southern California (7,987)
2. University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign (7,287)
3. New York University (7,276)
4. Purdue University - Main Campus (6,903)
5. Columbia University (6,833)
6. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (6,095)
7. University of California - Los Angeles (5,685)
8. Michigan State University (5,358)
9. University of Texas - Austin (5,265)
10. Boston University (5,172)
11. University of Florida (4,920)
12. SUNY University at Buffalo (4,911)

Source: Open doors 2010 fast facts 

The report also shows that business and science subjects are continuing to be a strong attraction for overseas students seeking a place at an American institution, with Business and Management; Engineering; Physical and Life Sciences; Math and Computer Science; and Social Science the top five study subjects for international students choosing the U.S. as a study destination.

For the last nine years, the largest influx of foreign students to the States has come from the graduate market. It seems that students are selecting the States as an ideal place to study a graduate degree, after successfully completing an undergraduate level degree in their home country. In fact, in the academic year 2009/10 more than 290,000 overseas students choose to pursue a graduate degree programme in the States.

Fees in the U.S. are fairly high, so it's not a cheap option and the cost of a degree programme can build up significantly. Don't despair – it can provide a great return in the long run. A degree qualification from an American university is a valuable commodity and can be an investment in your future. So how are the majority of overseas students paying for their course and the attached living expenses?

The report examined how international students were funded in 2008/09 and 2009/10 and it seems that over 60% of international students are using personal or family funds to pay for their American education. Encouragingly, some are securing funding from U.S. colleges or universities – almost a quarter of overseas students are paying for their courses this way.

American institutions are proving to be world leaders in attracting the lion's share of international students. Whether this trend will continue, who knows? Watch this space...


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