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Record Highs in International Students, Study Abroad Announced as International Education Week Begins

November 12, 2013



​The Institute of International Education on Monday kicked off 2013 International Education Week with its annual Open Doors Report on International Education Exchange, showing record highs in foreign students’ attendance at U.S institutions and in Americans studying abroad. International students’ spending contributes about $24 billion to the U.S. economy, according to the report. ​

Among the other top findings:

  • In 2012/13, 819,644 students came to this country to study, an increase of 55,000 driven mostly by China and Saudi Arabia. California, New York and Texas made up the top three host states.
  • In the 2011/12 academic year, 283,332 Americans studied abroad for academic credit, up three percent. The leading destinations were the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.
  • However, fewer than 10 percent of all American undergraduates study abroad. 

In an accompanying release, ACE and seven other higher education associations also partnered to survey colleges and universities on this fall’s current international enrollment on campus, which indicated even more growth. The survey took a close look at engagement in 100,000 Strong in the Americas, a U.S. Department of State initiative to promote educational exchange across the Western Hemisphere, and U.S. campuses’ efforts to aid students from Syria, Egypt and Libya affected by political turmoil.

Commenting on the survey, ACE President Molly Corbett Broad remarked that the data reinforced ACE’s own research efforts on internationalization. “Combined with initiatives such as the development of global curricula, study abroad programs and international partnerships, colleges and universities are putting into place practices that will greatly enhance our students’ preparation for the 21st century workforce,” she said in the survey release.

Presidents and CAOs interested in these issues should consider attending ACE’s Leadership Network for International Education Meeting Dec. 17, which will focus on Undergraduate International Student Recruitment: Quick Fix or Lasting Legacy? More resources on global education are also available from ACE’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement.

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