News / USA

Number of International Students At US Colleges Rising

Number of International Students At US Colleges Risingi
X
November 21, 2013 10:52 PM
The number of international students studying in the United States is rising. Figures released by the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange shows the number of foreign students attending U.S. colleges and universities increased seven percent during the 2012 - 2013 academic year. That represents a record high of almost 820,000, and educators expect the upward trend to continue. VOA's Mil Arcega has more in this report.
The number of international students studying in the United States is rising.  Figures released by the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange shows the number of foreign students attending U.S. colleges and universities increased seven percent during the 2012 - 2013 academic year.  That represents a record high of almost 820,000, and educators expect the upward trend to continue.

In the pursuit of higher learning, the United States is still the top destination.  

At the International Student House in Washington, a temporary residence for students from over 40 countries, communications student Neena Dominic from India says the United States was her number one choice.

“It’s a known fact that United States is powerful in terms of its education and its skill level.  And I wanted to get a taste of it," she said.

Neena is part of the growing number of students who come to the United States to study.
 
The majority come from China with over 235-thousand students attending U.S. colleges -- followed by India, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.  

Zheng Zhu says the U.S. educational system has surpassed his expectations. But he says the biggest surprise has been Americans.

“I would say U.S. people probably are much nice than what I thought.  Really? Yeah," he said.

Besides making new friends, Zheng says his experience has expanded his understanding of the U.S.

But Alan Goodman, President of the Institute for International Education, says cultural exchange is a two-way street.

“International should be part of everybody’s education.  We should encourage that.  We should require every freshman entering American higher education to enter with a passport, and then to make plans with their faculty member over the course of the four years to use that passport," he said.

Although the number of Americans studying abroad rose three percent to nearly 300 thousand last year -- fewer than 10 percent of American college students have studied overseas -- most for only one semester.

That's unfortunate says Neena Dominic.

“I came here and I realized one thing. While we know a lot about America, Americans don’t know much about our countries," she said.

Another criticism is that immigration laws severely limit the number of students able to live and work in the U.S. after receiving their degrees.  

Lawmakers are considering more options to keep the best and the brightest.  But Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, says current laws reflect American policy.


“Our mission really is to bring people here to study but then to have them return home because our belief is that’s the only way to increase mutual understanding," she said.

Zheng Zhu agrees an overseas education promotes a larger world view, which he says, could help reduce global conflicts.

"If you have more cultural communications - people from China go to America, and let American students go to China; build mutual understanding,  I think it would solve this problem," he said.

International students contribute $24 billion to the U.S. economy, with the majority paying full tuition. Their top destinations - California, New York and Texas.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs