International Students in the U.S.

Understanding another language isn’t only beneficial when you study abroad, but for communicating with international students while here. Many students come here from all over the world to study in our colleges and universities. Here’s a glimpse into America’s international students and where they come from.

The number of international students attending universities and colleges in America has steadily been on the rise over the last several years. In fact, according to Statista, about 975,000 international students were enrolled in public and private U.S. universities last year, up to more than one million this year: 1,043,839 to be exact. It’s also true that foreign students contribute billions of dollars to our economy while here, with the majority from China, followed by India and then Saudi Arabia.

Let’s break this down a little further. Here’s the data from the 2015/2016 school year and how many students come here from which countries:

  • China: 328,000 students
  • India: 165,000
  • Saudi Arabia: 61,200
  • South Korea: 61,000
  • Canada: 27,000
  • Vietnam: 21,400
  • Taiwan: 21,000
  • Brazil: 19,300
  • Japan: 19,000
  • Mexico: 16,000

When it comes to field of study, foreign students take courses in a variety of majors, with business management, engineering and math taking the top slots. Here are the most popular fields of study with foreign exchange students according to data from Project Atlas:

  • Business and management
  • Engineering
  • Math and computer science
  • Social sciences
  • Physical and life sciences
  • Humanities
  • Fine and applied arts
  • Health
  • Education
  • Agriculture

The number of foreign students studying at U.S. colleges and universities certainly has come a long way. Consider the fact that in the 1950s, international student enrollment was at just 35,000. Today’s it’s over a million. It’s important for foreign students to study English when they come here, but it’s also a good idea for American students to study a foreign language. This not only helps if you go to another country for your own work/study experience, but it can also help you communicate with foreign students while you attend school here.

Knowing Mandarin Chinese or Spanish, for example, allows you to befriend others who speak that as their native language. You can meet new people, make them feel welcome, and practice your language skills all at the same time. You can also learn more about their culture, immerse yourself in it, encourage those celebrations, and advance your field of study. There are untold benefits of learning a foreign language on American soil!

BRIC Language Systems can help you achieve proficiency in the language of your choosing. Our online, face-to-face, modern language training courses can connect you with a teacher living in those countries. Try out your newfound knowledge on your foreign student friends!