23 Feb

Map of the Week: International Students Map

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Click on the map for more detail on a specific country

Using data from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, this week’s feature map shows the countries where all the world’s international students are moving from and to. For this map, the color of the country (outbound) shows how many citizens earn their degrees elsewhere and the circles (inbound) indicate the top destination for international students.  We refer to international students here, as students who pursue a higher education degree outside of their country of residence and therefore excludes students under short-term, for-credit study and those on exchange programs. More students attending college outside their home country go to the U.S. than any other nation in the world. The four top countries of origin of international students are China, India, Korea, and Saudi Arabia.

At New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, 80% of the students at the undergraduate level are United States citizens, but at the graduate level, the numbers are reversed. From 2005 to 2015, foreign-born students increasingly filled a gap left by declining numbers of American citizens studying science and technology at the graduate level, but this number has dropped in the year of 2017.  The National Science Foundation reported a 6% decrease in international students; where the biggest drop came from Indian student’s, whose numbers fell by 19%. Many of the students reported being concerned about their job security and personal safety due to the changing U.S. immigration laws.

This map above shows the financial contribution from international students for each state. International students contribute about $30 billion to the U.S. GDP, and now more schools are offering international student financial aid and scholarships. The number of U.S. born students in STEM graduate programs started to decline in 2008 and international students have been important in keeping programs up. Some American students do not see the need for a pricy advanced degree when there are many job opportunities available; however, some are now worried that international students pose a threat for U.S. applicants to get in.

Written by Samantha Sing