International students, exchange visitors up 9 percent

26 Nov 14

UNITED STATES

Federal data shows that the number of international students and exchange visitors rose by 9 percent in the last year.

The U.S. now has 1.1 million active international students holding either F-1 or M-1 visas and 200,782 active exchange visitors holding J-1 visas. The jump is largely due to big increases in students from China and India. The number of Chinese students in the U.S. rose by 13 percent in the last year, while the number of Indian students rose by 28 percent.

Visa category Oct. 2, 2013 Oct. 7, 2014 Change
F-1 and M-1 1,018,712 1,112,616 + 9.2 %
J-1 184,162 200,782 + 9.0 %

Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

According to a quarterly report published by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 75 percent of all international students hail from Asia. China (30 percent) had the most students in the U.S., followed by India (12 percent), South Korea (8 percent) and Saudi Arabia (7 percent).

The large majority of foreign students are enrolled at the bachelor’s degree levels, but there were also sizeable increases in the number of master’s degree students (16 percent) and high school students (14 percent). Nearly 400,000 foreign students, or 35 percent of all international students, were pursuing coursework in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

California is the most popular state for international students, followed by New York and Texas. The three states host 36 percent of all international students in the U.S.

BAL Analysis: The data confirms a high demand for F-1, M-1 and J-1 visas by foreign students and exchange visitors.

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