Alonso Montano / Contributing Writer
Findings in a recent study show that the number of international students attending American institutions has been steadily rising for seven consecutive years. Although the increase is not much of a spike for a university expected to be “international,” however, the trend is still growing.
According to data collected by the State Department, the United States enrolled the highest number of international students in its history in 2012-2013 – showing a 7 percent increase.
There are now 40 percent more international students studying in the U.S. than 10 years ago.
“[The number of international students] has been going up not by a lot, but a little bit,” said Ana Sippin, director at the office of International Student and Scholar Services, “but it’s still a steady increase.”
The total number of international students at the University has been slowly increasing since 2009. During that year, the ISSS office reported that there were a total of 2,572 international students at the university. By 2012, that number had risen to 3,018.
Figures for 2013 have not been made official yet, but it is estimated that the total number of international students has continued to grow.
Nationally, the majority of students come from China with almost 240,000 currently enrolled in U.S. colleges. India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada follow China as the countries with most international students in the U.S.
Similarly, Chinese students make up most of the international student body at the University, but there are some variations in the countries that follow.
According to Sippin, this year most students come from China, Venezuela, India, Colombia and Iran in that order.
However, different countries—and continents—are represented at different levels. There are more students from Latin American countries at the undergraduate level, and more students from Asian countries at the graduate level.
“At the undergraduate level, it goes to Venezuela, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Peru,” said Sippin. “At the graduate level the top are China, India, Iran, Venezuela and Bangladesh.”
One of the reasons the U.S. is the top destination for a higher education is well-known universities and their programs.
Business, management, marketing, engineering and social sciences are the preferred programs by the University’s international students, according to Sippin.
“I think first and foremost, the programs and what research they’re doing attracts them a lot,” said Sippin.
Additionally, a big city like Miami is often seen as a promise of endless opportunities and adventures, which is always attractive for younger international students.
“You also want to be in a city that is large, multicultural and metropolitan,” added Sippin.