Record high number of international students now attending U.S. colleges
Chinese students, followed by students from India make up bulk of those studying abroad
The international community is often quick to criticize the United States, at times - but it still remains a highly viable destination stop for their college students learning how to enter the world. In fact, the number of international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities grew to a record high last year. According to a new study, the University of Southern California remains their most popular destination.
Two USC Chinese graduate students were fatally shot in April 2012, and there was concern whether that tragedy would lead to a drop in Chinese enrollment.
USC remains a clear favorite, as it had the largest number of foreign students for a dozen years in a row.
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Overall, the number of international students in U.S. institutions increased by about seven percent last year to nearly 820,000. The largest group of students came from China, with about 236,000 students. That figure is nearly double the number of students from India, which is the second-largest group.
Students from Iran, Brazil and Kuwait increased their number of students in the U.S. by at least 20 percent. "Most of the growth was fueled by the undergraduate Chinese students," Rajika Bhandari, deputy vice president for research and evaluation at the Institute of International Education says.
There have been unfortunate incidents involving international students. Two USC Chinese graduate students were fatally shot in April 2012, and there was concern whether that tragedy would lead to a drop in Chinese enrollment. That group grew by about 800 students, according to USC statistics. The survey found there were nearly 3,800 Chinese students at USC last fall.
Other countries with the largest groups of students at USC are South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada.
The state of California attracted the largest number of foreign students nationwide, with about 111,000, followed by New York and Texas, which had 88,000 and 63,000 international students, respectively.
Of the colleges nationwide, the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign had the second-most international students with 9,800. Purdue University's main campus had 9,500 foreign students, placing it third, while New York and Columbia universities ranked fourth and fifth in the survey, respectively.
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