Quotes from the field:
“Study abroad is more than just taking classes and earning credits. It’s about immersing yourself in a different culture. It’s not only learning about others but also about yourself and your own culture and country. ‘Home’ will be different when you return because you will have been changed by your study abroad experience. It is my hope that students will take some time to reflect on what they have gone through. Then, they can figure out how they will apply their knowledge and experience to their future steps. There’s so much more to be learned outside of the classroom.”
Study Abroad Coordinator, Temple University, Japan Campus
Did you know?
•Since 2015, there have been more than one million enrolled international students in United States colleges and universities each year. International students equal 5% of the total number of college and university students in the United States.
•The leading countries of origin for international college and university students in the United States are China (33%), India (18%), South Korea (5%), Saudi Arabia (4%), and Canada (2%).
•The United States universities with the highest numbers of international students are New York University, the University of Southern California, Northeastern University, Columbia University, and Arizona State University–Tempe.
•States with the highest numbers of international students include California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
•States with the fewest numbers of international students include Alaska, Maine, Montana, Vermont, and Wyoming.
•According to the Institute for International Education, the fields of study with the most international students in the United States are engineering, business and management, and math and computer sciences.
Not everyone is able to study abroad. It’s expensive, it takes you away from your home and your family, and it comes with difficulties that can affect your personal life. I studied Latin in high school, and I would have loved to study abroad in Italy. I never got the chance. However, if I had known about the wonderful experiences that study abroad offers when I was a high school student, I might have brought the subject up with my dad and tried to find a way to make it happen.
Some study abroad opportunities might be more comfortable than others. If you live in Rochester, New York, and if you’re an English speaker, studying abroad in Toronto, Canada, might be comfortable: the physical distance is short, and the language is the same. Just a few hours east from Toronto, however, is Montreal, where people not only speak English but also French. Studying abroad here would present a few more challenges. Yes, challenges, but you could also consider them opportunities instead. In this case, it is a strong opportunity to learn Canadian French with the ability to drive home in a short amount of time. Similarly, if you live in California, Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas, you could study abroad in Mexico with the same challenges/opportunities. Any time you cross an ocean, things become a bit more intimidating; you have to fly home, and flights can get canceled and can be very expensive during certain seasons. Unless you live in Canada or Mexico, studying abroad in the United States is a major commitment to pursue opportunities and to take on challenges.
Since 2017, the number of new international enrollments in the United States has been dropping. Changes in United States visa policy, the perception of the United States as “unwelcoming” to foreigners, and President Donald Trump’s trade war with China are all factors in this decline.
International students pay more than domestic students do. Therefore, United States universities are ready and excited to admit students from abroad. Of course, having a diverse student population is nice for concepts like “embracing diversity” and “creating an environment of global leaders.” However, the economic reality is that international students’ tuition payments help keep in-state tuition charges down and help fund the university’s operations. This is particularly true for large state universities that offer doctoral study programs such as the schools I attended—the University of California system and the University of Connecticut.
International students are an important part of the United States’ economy. Studies done by NAFSA: Association of International Educators and by Studyportals estimate that these students have put $39–57 billion dollars into the national economy over the past ten years. This bridge toll admitting people into United States universities charges different rates for students based on where they’re from. Did you ever stop to consider who pays more to keep certain bridges maintained and functional? (Okay, this metaphor got stretched a bit, but . . . it still makes sense, right)?
1.Would you prefer to study at a university with a small or a large international student population? Why?
2.Are you interested in meeting people from any particular country around the world? If so, where and why?
3.Do you think international students should pay the same amount of tuition as domestic students? If not, should they pay more or less? Why?