Choose 3 out of the 5 questions to respond. Your response to all three questions should be approximately 150 words in total (think an avg. of 50 words to each question). Please do not forget to respond to another student’s post after you finish yours.
1. The Open Doors report shows that two of the top three sending countries of international students were all located in Asia, with two in East Asia (China and South Korea). Combined, China and South Korea accounted for almost 40% of all international students in the U.S. In addition, elsewhere in East Asia (Vietnam, Taiwan, and Japan) also sent many international students to the U.S.
1a. Why do you think so many international students in the U.S. are from East Asia?
1b. Do you see similar patterns in other parts of the world (i.e., clusters of areas are among the top sending countries)? If so, where? And why?
2. The Open Doors report also shows that the major source of funding for over half of the international students was personal or family funds. Do you think this means study abroad students are all rich? Why or why not?
3. The Open Doors report also provides data regarding U.S. students studying abroad. You may find more information at their website: https://opendoorsdata.org/annual-release/. Identify some popular destinations for US students abroad. Is there any popular destination that is surprising to you? In what ways?
4. 2020-2021 saw large decreases of international students coming to the U.S., as well as U.S. study abroad. Do you think these declines are temporary, or do you think that there will just be fewer students coming to the U.S. in the future? Why?
5. Any additional comments about the report that I have not asked you?
The Minute Paper exercise asks you to summarize one of your reading assignments (e.g., a chapter, or an article) that is due for the following week in no more than 20 words. If your summary shows five (including five) or more consecutive words that are identical to another student’s response, it will be flagged as violation of academic integrity. Summarize either Ch. 1 or Ch. 2 of Cobbing (2013) in no more than 20 words.
Poor (below 6)
Succinctly and accurately summarizes the reading in no more than 20 words.
The summary captures some aspect of the reading accurately, but misses the general idea.
The summary is vague, generic, and does not show enough relevance.
No posting. Or, in the case of five or more identical consecutive words, no point for the one Discussion Session.
I N T E R N A T I O N A L S T U D E N T T R E N D S
In 2020/21, the total number of international students at U.S.
universities declined by 15% to 914,095 students.
Total U.S. higher
2016/17 1,078,822 3.4 20,185,000 5.3
2017/18 1,094,792 1.5 19,831,000 5.5
2018/19 1,095,299 0.05 19,828,000 5.5
2019/20 1,075,496 -1.8 19,720,000 5.5
2020/21 914,095 -15.0 19,744,000 4.6
N E W I N T E R N A T I O N A L S T U D E N T E N R O L L M E N T
2016/17 290,836 -3.3
2017/18 271,738 -6.6
2018/19 269,383 -0.9
2019/20 267,712 -0.6
2020/21 145,528 -45.6
U . S . S T A T E S H O S T I N G I N T E R N A T I O N A L S T U D E N T S
2019/20 2020/21 % change
California 160,592 132,758 -17.3
New York 126,911 106,894 -15.8
Texas 77,097 67,428 -12.5
Massachusetts 73,695 66,273 -10.1
Illinois 51,966 44,004 -15.3
Pennsylvania 50,070 42,477 -15.2
Florida 46,221 39,179 -15.2
Ohio 35,508 29,979 -15.6
Michigan 31,408 27,454 -12.6
Indiana 28,136 23,948 -14.9
Other States 393,892 333,701 -15.3
A C A D E M I C L E V E L T R E N D S O F I N T E R N A T I O N A L S T U D E N T S
2018/19 431,930 -2.4 377,943 -1.3
2019/20 419,321 -2.9 374,435 -0.9
2020/21 359,787 -14.2 329,272 -12.1
2018/19 62,341 -5.0 223,085 9.6
2019/20 58,201 -6.6 223,539 0.2
2020/21 21,151 -63.7 203,885 -8.8
I N T E R N A T I O N A L S T U D E N T S
2021 Fast Facts
P L A C E S O F O R I G I N O F I N T E R N A T I O N A L S T U D E N T S
2019/20 2020/21 % of total % change
WORLD TOTAL 1,075,496 914,095 100.0 -15.0
China 372,532 317,299 34.7 -14.8
India 193,124 167,582 18.3 -13.2
South Korea 49,809 39,491 4.3 -20.7
Canada 25,992 25,143 2.8 -3.3
Saudi Arabia 30,957 21,933 2.4 -29.2
Vietnam 23,777 21,631 2.4 -9.0
Taiwan 23,724 19,673 2.2 -17.1
Brazil 16,671 14,000 1.5 -16.0
Mexico 14,348 12,986 1.4 -9.5
Nigeria 13,762 12,860 1.4 -6.6
Japan 17,554 11,785 1.3 -32.9
Nepal 12,730 11,172 1.2 -12.2
Iran 11,451 9,614 1.1 -16.0
Bangladesh 8,838 8,598 0.9 -2.7
Turkey 9,481 8,109 0.9 -14.5
United Kingdom 10,756 8,028 0.9 -25.4
Indonesia 8,300 7,489 0.8 -9.8
Pakistan 7,939 7,475 0.8 -5.8
Colombia 7,787 7,107 0.8 -8.7
Kuwait 8,375 6,846 0.7 -18.3
Venezuela 6,855 6,122 0.7 -10.7
Hong Kong 6,778 5,878 0.6 -13.3
Spain 7,954 5,781 0.6 -27.3
France 8,471 5,643 0.6 -33.4
Germany 9,242 5,364 0.6 -42.0
Other Places of Origin 168,289 146,486 16.1 -13.0
U . S . I N S T I T U T I O N S H O S T I N G I N T E R N A T I O N A L S T U D E N T S , 2 0 2 0 / 2 1
New York University New York NY 17,050
Northeastern University – Boston Boston MA 15,880
Columbia University New York NY 15,015
University of Southern California Los Angeles CA 14,992
Arizona State University – Tempe Tempe AZ 13,015
University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign Champaign IL 12,838
University of California – San Diego La Jolla CA 10,824
Boston University Boston MA 10,646
Purdue University – West Lafayette West Lafayette IN 10,500
University of California – Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 10,273
University of California – Berkeley Berkeley CA 9,184
University of Washington Seattle WA 8,777
University of Texas – Dallas Richardson TX 8,475
Pennsylvania State University – University Park University Park PA 8,267
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor Ann Arbor MI 8,252
University of California – Irvine Irvine CA 7,766
University of California – Davis Davis CA 7,422
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh PA 7,396
University of Wisconsin – Madison Madison WI 7,139
Ohio State University – Columbus Columbus OH 6,865
All Other Institutions – – 703,519
*Projection of Total U.S. Higher Education. Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2020.
The Institute of International Education (IIE) has conducted an annual census of international students at
U.S. universities since its founding in 1919. Known as the Open Doors Report since 1954, and supported by
the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State since 1972, the report provides
detailed data on student flows into and out of the U.S.
Visit us online at: http://www.opendoorsdata.org.
Note: Percent distribution may not total 100.0 due to rounding
Note: Numbers include both enrolled international students and international students
on Optional Practical Training (OPT) for all tables except new enrollments.
Open Doors 2021 included international students enrolled at U.S.
higher education institutions in the United States and online from
abroad, and those on Optional Practical Training (OPT).
1960/61 1970/71 1980/81 1990/91 2000/01 2010/11 2020/21
S E L E C T E D F I E L D S O F S T U D Y 2019/20 2020/21 % of total % change
Engineering 220,542 190,590 20.9 -13.6
Math and Computer Science 205,207 182,106 19.9 -11.3
Business and Management 174,470 145,658 15.9 -16.5
Social Sciences 84,440 76,419 8.4 -9.5
Physical and Life Sciences 81,971 75,029 8.2 -8.5
Fine and Applied Arts 64,501 51,101 5.6 -20.8
Health Professions 34,934 32,468 3.6 -7.1
Communications and Journalism 23,925 20,613 2.3 -13.8
Education 15,700 15,402 1.7 -1.9
Intensive English 21,301 8,355 0.9 -60.8
U . S . S T U D E N T S S T U D Y I N G A B R O A D
I N T E R N A T I O N A L S T U D E N T S ( C O N T ’ D )
H O S T R E G I O N S 2018/19 2019/20 % of total % change
Europe 193,422 94,230 57.9 -51.3
Latin America & Caribbean 47,954 21,819 13.4 -54.5
Asia 40,602 14,792 9.1 -63.6
Oceania 15,434 11,529 7.1 -25.3
Multiple Destinations 26,074 8,836 5.4 -66.1
Sub-Saharan Africa 13,455 5,444 3.3 -59.5
Middle East & North Africa 7,965 5,134 3.2 -35.5
North America 2,107 833 0.5 -60.5
Antarctica 86 16 0.0 -81.4
D E S T I N A T I O N S 2018/19 2019/20 % of total % change
WORLD TOTAL 347,099 162,633 100.0 -53.1
Spain 33,849 19,792 12.2 -41.5
Italy 39,043 19,731 12.1 -49.5
United Kingdom 39,358 19,147 11.8 -51.4
France 18,465 8,528 5.2 -53.8
Australia 10,665 8,252 5.1 -22.6
Ireland 11,777 4,712 2.9 -60.0
Germany 12,029 4,512 2.8 -62.5
Costa Rica 8,333 3,917 2.4 -53.0
Japan 8,928 3,406 2.1 -61.9
Denmark 4,846 3,130 1.9 -35.4
New Zealand 4,233 3,096 1.9 -26.9
Mexico 6,340 2,999 1.8 -52.7
Czech Republic 5,480 2,667 1.6 -51.3
China 11,639 2,481 1.5 -78.7
Netherlands 4,182 2,202 1.4 -47.3
South Africa 5,278 2,159 1.3 -59.1
South Korea 4,558 1,942 1.2 -57.4
Argentina 3,317 1,920 1.2 -42.1
Israel 3,532 1,893 1.2 -46.4
Greece 5,834 1,829 1.1 -68.6
Ecuador 3,675 1,787 1.1 -51.4
India 3,366 1,736 1.1 -48.4
Austria 3,039 1,405 0.9 -53.8
Chile 3,190 1,332 0.8 -58.2
Thailand 2,859 1,228 0.8 -57.0
Other Destinations 89,284 36,830 22.6 -58.7
P A R T I C I P A T I O N
education total %
All U.S. undergraduates studying abroad in
academic year 2019/20
147,345 16,016,843* 0.9
All U.S. undergraduates who study abroad during
their degree program
147,345 2,776,051 ** 5.3
U.S. Bachelor’s students who study abroad
during their undergraduate program
146,044 1,866,449 *** 7.8
D U R A T I O N O F S T U D Y A B R O A D 2018/19 2019/20 % change
8 weeks or less during the academic year 91,017 48,437 -46.8
Summer term 134,249 1,352 -99.0
Mid-length (One/two quarters or semester) 114,077 106,879 -6.3
Long-term (Academic or calendar year) 7,756 5,965 -23.1
O T H E R F O R M S O F E D U C A T I O N A B R O A D
In addition to the 162,633 U.S. students who received academic credit for study
abroad in 2019/20, 252 institutions reported that an additional 11,256 U.S.
students participated in non-credit work, internships, volunteering, and
In 2019/20, the total number of U.S. students who studied abroad for academic
credit declined by 53% to 162,633 students.
Note: C yprus and Turkey are included in Europe; Mexico is included in Latin America
P R I M A R Y S O U R C E O F F U N D I N G 2020/21 % of total
Personal and Family 493,889 54.0
Current Employment 207,679 22.7
U.S. College or University 168,234 18.4
Foreign Government or University 22,709 2.5
Foreign Private Sponsor 4,304 0.5
U.S. Private Sponsor 2,130 0.2
U.S. Government 1,058 0.1
International Organization 501 0.1
Other Sources of Funding 13,591 1.5
U.S. Higher Education Data Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2020
S E L E C T E D F I E L D S O F S T U D Y 2018/19 2019/20 % of total % change
Business and Management 71,792 33,829 20.8 -52.9
Social Sciences 59,158 31,239 19.2 -47.2
Foreign Language & Int’l Studies 23,833 12,749 7.8 -46.5
Physical and Life Sciences 28,197 12,078 7.4 -57.2
Fine and Applied Arts 23,791 11,154 6.9 -53.1
R A C E / E T H N I C I T Y 2018/19 2019/20
White 68.7 70.0
Hispanic or Latino(a) 10.9 10.6
Asian or Pacific Islander 8.9 8.6
Black or African-American 6.4 5.5
Multiracial 4.7 4.8
American Indian or Alaska Native 0.4 0.5
* Total undergraduate enrollment in the United States
* * U.S. students receiving Associate and Bachelor’s degrees
* * *U.S. students receiving Bachelor’s degrees
Note: The numbers above do not include international students enrolled at U.S. higher education
institutions studying abroad for academic credit.
1989/90 1994/95 1999/00 2004/05 2009/10 2014/15 2019/20
U.S. Colleges and Universities Remain Top Choice for International
The Open Doors® 2021 Report on International Educational Exchange reveals that international
students studied at higher education institutions across all U.S. states and territories, welcoming
more than 914,000 students for academic study during the 2020/21 academic year
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 15, 2021 — The Open Doors® 2021 Report on International
Educational Exchange, released today, underscores the continued commitment of students and
scholars, U.S. higher education, governmental partners, and industry stakeholders to
international educational exchange amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Open Doors 2021 report, released by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational
and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education (IIE), has been an important
benchmark for international educational exchange to the U.S. for over 70 years. In the 2020/21
academic year, the Open Doors report included international students enrolled at U.S. higher
education institutions in the United States and online from abroad, and those on Optional
Practical Training (OPT).
In the 2020/21 academic year, 914,095 international students pursued studies at U.S. colleges
and universities, a decrease of 15% from the previous academic year. These students
represented 5% of all students in U.S. higher education and, according to the U.S. Department
of Commerce, contributed $39 billion to the U.S. economy in 2020.
U.S. remained open to international students during the COVID-19 pandemic
More than 710,000 international students enrolled at the undergraduate, graduate, and non-
degree levels from more than 200 places of origin. In addition, more than 200,000 international
students pursued OPT, a welcome opportunity for students to gain practical work experiences in
the U.S. after academic study.
The COVID-19 global pandemic primarily impacted international students studying at a U.S.
university for the first time, or new international students. This segment declined by 46%, in line
with anticipated declines reported last November in the Fall 2020 International Student
Enrollment Snapshot. Despite challenges due to travel and enrollment, 145,528 international
students were able to begin their studies in person or online in the United States or from abroad.
International students already enrolled at U.S. universities, or continuing students, largely
remained committed to their U.S. education experience. The total number of continuing students
at U.S. universities decreased by just 3%. “International students are central to the free flow of
ideas, innovation, economic prosperity, and peaceful relations between nations,” said Matthew
Lussenhop, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S.
Department of State. “As reiterated in the recent Joint Statement of Principles in Support of
International Education by the U.S. Departments of State and Education, the United States is
strongly committed to international education as we continue to build back better.”
Chinese, Indian students continue to seek an American education
Chinese and Indian students continued to pursue their education at U.S. institutions in large
numbers. While both groups declined this year (by 14.8% and 13.2%, respectively), they did so
by less than the overall rate, illustrating the strength and appeal a U.S. education holds in both
countries. All places of origin and regions saw declines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canada, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa saw relatively smaller declines, with potential
ease of access to the U.S. during the pandemic and the ability to begin or continue programs
virtually within a similar time zone as many U.S. institutions.
“U.S. colleges and universities remained open and welcoming in face of COVID-19 challenges
and are well prepared for what’s ahead,” said IIE Chief Executive Officer, Allan E. Goodman.
“The Open Doors 2021 report gives us all a benchmark to gauge the progress we are making to
recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
STEM fields remain a strong focus of international students
As in previous years, most international students (54%) pursued a major in a science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field (engineering, math and computer
science, physical and life sciences, health professions, or agriculture). Engineering continued to
be the most popular major, with one in five (21%) international students pursuing it. Intensive
English Programs (IEP) were most adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as many
were canceled or postponed. This contributed to the wider decrease (of 64%) in non-degree
programs—primarily IEPs and J1 exchange programs, many of which were canceled in the
2020/21 academic year.
Study abroad is as important as ever
The COVID-19 global pandemic affected U.S. study abroad programs across the country, and
to all global destinations, resulting in a 53% decline overall. In the 2019/20 academic year,
162,633 American students studied abroad for academic credit. Declines in U.S. study abroad
programming occurred primarily during the 2020 spring and summer durations. Summer
programs, which comprised 39% of all U.S. study abroad programming in 2018/19, decreased
by 99% in 2019/20. During Spring 2020, 867 U.S. higher education institutions launched
emergency efforts to return students to the United States, bringing a reported 55,000 students
home from their studies early amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to these efforts, U.S. study
abroad programs were able to pivot and offer alternative modes of study abroad. For example,
242 institutions reported offering online global learning experiences to over 10,400 students.
European countries remain the most popular destination for American students, welcoming
more than half (58%) of total U.S. study abroad students. However, some of these countries
were also the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. As a result, these
programs saw declines of 41% to 53%. Americans studied in more than 180 countries and had
a presence on every continent, including Antarctica. In addition to the 162,633 U.S. students
who received academic credit for study abroad in 2019/20, 252 institutions reported that an
additional 11,256 U.S. students participated in non-credit work, internships, volunteering, and
“Our commitment to Americans studying abroad is a commitment to our collective future,” said
Ethan Rosenzweig, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs, Bureau of Educational
and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. “As study abroad slowly returns, we must
recommit ourselves to ensuring that study abroad becomes ever more accessible to, and
reflective of, the rich diversity of the United States.”
U.S. Institutions Report International Student Surge for Fall 2021
Following a challenging year in international educational exchange, the findings of the 2021 Fall
International Student Enrollment Snapshot reflect the resilience of U.S. higher education
institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Higher education institutions reported a 68%
increase in the number of new international students enrolling for the first time at a U.S.
institution, a notable surge from the 46% decline reported in Fall 2020. Overall, the total number
of international students (enrolled and OPT) increased by 4% in Fall 2021, a rebound from the
15% decrease in Fall 2020. In addition, 99% of responding U.S. institutions reported that they
are holding classes in-person or implementing a hybrid education model, demonstrating the
ongoing commitment to return students to campus or offer options to study online. Over 860
U.S. higher education institutions participated in the 2021 Fall International Student Enrollment
Snapshot, an increase from the 710 institutions that participated in the previous year.
To learn more about Open Doors, visit opendoorsdata.org.
To learn more about IIE’s Fall Snapshot Survey, visit: https://www.iie.org/Research-and-
About Open Doors
Open Doors is a comprehensive information resource on international students studying at U.S.
higher education institutions, and U.S. students studying abroad for academic credit. Open
Doors also reports on the number of international scholars at U.S. universities and international
students enrolled in pre-academic Intensive English Programs. Further details on the Open
Doors 2021 findings are on the Open Doors website. For more data, infographics and resources
About the Institute of International Education
Established in 1919, IIE is a global not-for-profit that creates and implements international
education programs, conducts research, and provides life-changing opportunities for students
and scholars worldwide. IIE collaborates with a range of corporate, government, and foundation
partners across the globe to design and manage scholarship, study abroad, workforce training,
and leadership development programs. IIE has a network of 18 offices and affiliates worldwide
and over 1,450 member institutions. Visit iie.org.
About the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) builds relations between the people of the
United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional
and private exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs. These
exchange programs improve foreign relations and strengthen the national security of the United
States, support U.S. international leadership, and provide a broad range of domestic benefits by
helping break down barriers that often divide us. ECA sponsors the flagship Fulbright Program,
the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships for U.S. undergraduates with financial need, the Critical
Language Scholarship Program in support of U.S. foreign language study abroad, and the
EducationUSA network of over 430 advising centers worldwide, which provides information to
students around the globe who wish to study in the United States. Visit eca.state.gov.
Press Office, IIE: [email protected]
Department of State: [email protected]