In the academic year 2019/2020, more than one million international students studied at U.S. institutions of higher education for the fifth year in a row, contributing $44 billion to the U.S. economy, and supporting over 455,000 U.S. jobs last year, said the U.S. Department of State’s Open Doors Report released on Monday.
The report said international students have a major positive impact on American communities by enriching U.S. classrooms with new perspectives.
The number of American students studying abroad grew by 1.6 percent from the prior year to 347,099 Americans.
The data contained in this year’s Open Doors report provides a baseline indicator prior to the pandemic, and shows that interest in international educational experiences is strong among both domestic and international students.
The report was released as the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education celebrate the 21st annual International Education Week (IEW) between November 16 and November 20, a joint initiative to highlight the benefits of international education and exchange.
To kick off the week, the State Department, in collaboration with the Institute of International Education, released the annual Open Doors report of data and trends in international academic mobility.
During IEW, virtual events at schools, universities, and in communities across the United States and around the world, will focus on the importance of international education in fostering security and economic growth, and highlight why more students should experience international education.
The State Department’s global network of over 430 EducationUSA advising centers in nearly 180 countries promotes U.S. higher education to students around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive, and timely information about opportunities to study at accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States.
“Promoting educational exchange between nations is vital to the United States’ economic well-being and national security, forging lasting connections between Americans and their peers in other countries, benefiting local communities, and generating knowledge to solve shared challenges,” the Department said, adding that “International education – both welcoming international students to the United States and encouraging more Americans to experience the world through study abroad – is a cornerstone of the State Department’s academic exchange efforts.”
The State Department said it remains committed to supporting and diversifying American student mobility including through participation in U.S.-sponsored exchange programs such as the Fulbright Program, the Critical Language Scholarship Program, and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.