The states that host the most international students

International students want to study in places that are rich in diversity and career opportunities, according to the 2017 Open Doors report by the Institute of International Education (IIE), Kelly Mae Ross writes for U.S. News & World Report.

To conduct the study, researchers sent surveys to roughly 3,000 American colleges about the international students enrolled on their campuses. The Open Doors report also includes information from separate surveys of U.S. students who study abroad, international scholars, and intensive English programs.

According to the IIE, the top 10 host states for international students in the 2016-2017 academic year were:

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. Texas
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Illinois
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Florida
  8. Ohio
  9. Michigan
  10. Indiana

Rajika Bhandari, head of research, policy and practice at IIE, says international students have a variety of reasons for choosing their host schools. But in general, international students tend to seek regions with diverse populations and many opportunities for jobs and internships, she says.

Overall, fewer international students came to the United States in 2016-2017. New enrollments were 3.3% lower than the previous academic year, and nine of the top 10 host states saw a decline in new enrollments. IIE attributes the decline to a range of political and economic factors, including expanded educational opportunities at home, declining populations, and a reduction in scholarship funding in Saudi Arabia and Brazil (IIE site, accessed 12/13; Ross, U.S. News & World Report, 12/11).

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