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Increase in International Student Population Benefits the U.S.

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Increase in International Student Population Benefits the U.S.

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To the chagrin of some students, the new academic year has officially begun.  An increasing number of those students are not from the United States.  Foreign students come to the United States on F-1 visas in most cases and on J-1 visas in others.  According to the Institute of International Education, over 800,000 international students attended colleges and universities in the United States during the 2012-2013 academic year; this represented a seven percent increase over the previous year.  An increase has been reported for the last seven years.   Most of these students are from China and India.  As high as that number may seem, only about four percent of the U.S.’s total student population is from abroad.

In contrast, only about 200,000 American students studied abroad during the 2011-2012 academic year and roughly ten percent of American students study abroad during their undergraduate years.

Thus, the U.S. benefits from brain gain and from the billions of dollars−about 24 billion last year−students spend on tuition and living expenses while in the United States.

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