Most Foreign Exchange Students in U.S. Come from China

Article excerpt

Byline: Alex Hopkins, The Washington Times

Regardless of the political ups and downs between the U.S. and China, a thriving two-way flow of traffic continues to link the two countries campus to campus, according to a survey released Monday.

The Institute of International Education report found that the influx of Chinese students studying at American institutions of higher learning is the largest contingent of foreign students in the U.S. and has just hit another record.

During the 2012-2013 school year, 819,644 foreign students came to the United States to study, up 7 percent from the previous year and an increase of 40 percent since 2003. About 235,000 of these students - 28 percent - hailed from China, a 21 percent increase among the Chinese.

Although the number of international students dropped in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the figures have dramatically bounced back.

Chinese students and their parents are looking for high-quality education, get the importance of international education, and it's making America the No. 1 destination because we actually have the capacity to absorb international students, said Allan E. Goodman, president and CEO of the Institute of International Education.

According to the study, the two main factors that have contributed to America's popularity for higher education are a burgeoning Chinese middle class and a widespread belief among Chinese parents that U.S. colleges and universities are among the world's finest.

The report also noted that U.S. higher education is also convenient for Chinese parents, as schools offer an unmatched range of nearly 4,000 colleges and universities of all sizes and types, with an extensive variety of course offerings, fields of study, and price points.

Chinese students outpace their American study-abroad counterparts, as 283,332 U.S. students studied abroad for academic credit in 2012-2013, a 3 percent increase from the previous year. Although this upward trend has continued for the past seven years, the latest figures represent just 1. …