Number of int'l students studying in U.S. reaches record high: survey

15:45, November 17, 2009      

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The number of international students studying in the United States increased by eight percent to an all-time high of 671,616 in the 2008/09 academic year than the previous year, a survey has found.

This represents the largest percentage increase in international student enrollments since the 1980/81 academic year, according to the Open Doors 2009 survey, whose results were published Monday.

"The all-time high number ... testifies to the quality and diversity for which American higher education is known around the world," Judith McHale, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, said Monday at the National Press Club in Washington.

The survey received funding from the U.S. State Department.

India, China, South Korea, Canada and Japan are top five leading senders, said the survey. The state of California hosted the largest number of foreign students with 93,124, followed by New York with 74,934 and Texas with 58.188.

International students reportedly contribute 17.8 billion dollars to the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, while enriching U.S. campuses and communities with their talent and diverse perspectives.

According to the report, the number of Americans studying abroad increased by 8.5 percent to 262,416 in the 2007/08 academic year. Britain, Italy, Spain, France and China are top five leading destinations for U.S. students.

Commenting on the steady growth, McHale said studying abroad can help U.S. students "understand our interconnected world and participate productively in the global economy."

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