Why foreign students are not choosing America anymore


A recent trend in the International student enrollment shows the developing disinterest of new students to enroll in an American college. The number fell by 6 percent in the fall of 2017.

State Department and the Institute of International Education has released a report that around 271,700 new students enrolled at American institutions in fall 2017. The previous year, 290,800 new students enrolled in the States.

However, US now has more number of international students than it had earlier. The US soil housed 1.09 million students in 2017-18 session, an increase of 1.5 percent. Earlier in 2016-17 school session, there were about 1.07 million international students. The reason for this raise despite the fact that lesser new students are coming to US, is the optional Practical Training program. The program allows the graduated students to temporarily work for some time.
teen-student-girlAnother observation from the report is that most of the international students are from China. Moreover, about 363,000 Chinese students enrolled for the 2017-2018 school year making it an increase of 3.6 percent with respect to preceding school year. Following China, India is the origin of more than 186,000 international students making an increase of 5.4 percent. Nepal has shown the highest growth in International Students enrollment with an  increase of 14.3 percent. 13,270 students come from Nepal in the 2017-2018 session. The biggest fall is in the enrollment of students from Saudi Arabia. In fall of 2017, 54,555 students from Saudi Arabia enrolled making it a decrease of 15.5 percent from the previous school year.

Among the states, California has the highest number of international students enrolled. In fall 2017, almost 162,000 international students were enrolled -a 3.2 percent increase with respect to the previous fall. Runner up is New York with 121,260 international student enrollments.


In terms of universities, New York University has the highest number of international students enrolled, out which 17,550 study at Manhattan school. Second highest number of enrollments is in University of Southern California with 16,075 students. For the 2017-2018 school year, around 442,800 international students were studying to procure an undergraduate degree while 383,000 students were enrolled in a graduate degree program. Also, 65,630 students were enrolled in a non-degree program.


Most of the students were enrolled in for engineering, followed by business, math and computer science, social sciences, and physical and life sciences. Most of the foreign students (58.6 percent of them) were funding their own education.

American students mostly don’t head abroad for studying -only one in every 10 students. In the 2016-2017 school year, 332,727 American students studied abroad -2.3 percent of increase from the last school year. American students go mostly to United Kingdom, followed by Italy, Spain, France, and Germany.

Of those American students who head abroad, most of them were enrolled in degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, business, social sciences, foreign language, and international studies and fine arts. Another interesting thing is that most Americans were enrolled in short-term programs for 8 weeks or less. Only one-third of them were enrolled in a semester-long program.