International Student Facts

The top ten countries with the most international students in the United States, based on research from Open Doors released in November 2008, are as follows:

  1. India: 94,563 in 2007/08 (an increase of 13% from the previous year)
  2. China: (81,127, up 20%)
  3. South Korea: (69,124, up 11%)
  4. Japan: (33,974, down 4%)
  5. Canada: (29,051, up 3%)
  6. Taiwan: (29,001, down less than 1%)
  7. Mexico: (14,837, up 7%)
  8. Turkey: (12,030, up 5%)
  9. Saudi Arabia (9,873, up 25%)
  10. Thailand: (9,004, up 1%)
The top ten most popular fields of study for international students in the United States in 2007/08 were Business and Management (20% of total), Engineering (17%) and Physical and Life Sciences (9%), Social Sciences (9%), Mathematics and Computer Science (8%), Fine & Applied Arts (6%), Health Professions (5%), Intensive English Language (5%), Education (3%), Humanities (3%), and Agriculture (2%). Undeclared majors are excluded from the rankings of top fields of study.

For the seventh year in a row, the University of Southern California is the leading host institution with 7,189 international students. New York University hosts the second highest number of foreign students (6,404). Other campuses in the top 10 are: Columbia University (6,297), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (5,933), Purdue University (5,772), University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (5,748), University of California – Los Angeles (5,557), University of Texas – Austin (5,550), Harvard University (4,948), Boston University (4,789), and University of Pennsylvania (4,610).

California remains the leading host state for international students (84,800, up 9%), followed by New York (69,844, up 6%), Texas (51,824, up 6%), Massachusetts (31,817, up 11%), Illinois (28,804, up 12.5%), Florida (26,739, down 0.5%), Pennsylvania (26,090, up 12.5%), Michigan (22,857, up 8%), Ohio (19,343, up 4%), and Indiana (15,548, up 8%). 17 of the top 20 leading host states experienced increases in total international students, with Washington (21.5%) and Virginia (13%) showing the largest percentage increases. (For breakdowns by state, including leading host institutions and leading fields of study and places of origin for foreign students studying in each state, go to the Open Doors website and click on "State Sheets").

Additional statistics can be found at the Open Doors.