Foreigners studying in US up 7 percent

The number of foreigners studying in the United States jumped 7 percent to a record 819,644 students last year, the State Department said in a new report.

The trend is being driven by China, whose enrollments are up 21 percent to 235,000 students, as well as new national scholarship programs in Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The number of American undergraduates studying abroad also set a new all-time high, to 283,332.

{mosads}“International education promotes the relationship building and knowledge exchange between people and communities in the United States and around the world that are necessary to solve global challenges,” Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan said in a statement. The report is produced every year by the Institute of International Education in partnership with Ryan’s office.

Despite years of increase, international students still make up less than 4 percent of the more than 21 million students enrolled in U.S. higher education. Almost half — 49 percent — come from just China, India and South Korea.

Ryan said that despite a 3 percent increase in Americans studying abroad in 2012-13, fewer than 10 percent do so during their undergraduate years. The report noted that Japan is back on the radar as a desirable study destination following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, while more and more U.S. students are choosing nontraditional locations such as Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

“The connections made during international education experiences last a lifetime,” he said. “International students enrich classrooms, campuses and communities in ways that endure long after students return to their home countries. We encourage U.S. schools to continue to welcome more international students to their campuses and to do more to make study abroad a reality for all of their students.”

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