Chinese Students as a Group Would be a Top 25 Overseas Source Market: The just released Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange for 2017, issued by the Institute of International Education (IIE), shows that 1.079 million students came to the United States during the recently completed 2016-2017 school year, an increase of more than five percent over the previous school year.
So large, in fact, is the student segment of Chinese visitors to the United States that, were its more than 350,000 students/visitors tallied as a separate entity, it would be a Top 25 overseas inbound source market—at about the same level as Denmark and Chile, which are Visa Waiver Program countries.
The implications for the inbound tourism market are significant. Students usually have at least their parents—and, possibly, members of their extended family—accompany them on their trips to the United States. Or, family members and friends visit them at least once during the school year. This suggests that the student-driven market might generate well over 3 million or more arrivals to the USA annually.
Another factor worth noting is that the top three source markets for international students—China, India and South Korea—have been strong growth markets during the past decade. The following table lists the Top 25 source markets for students coming to the United States.
Top Places of Origin of International Students in the United States
Note: The Institute of International Education (IIE) has conducted an annual census of international students in the U.S. since its founding in 1919. Known as the Open Doors Report since 1954, and supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State since 1972, the report provides detailed data on student flows into and out of the U.S. For more information, visit http://www.iie.org/opendoors.
Where they go to School: California, by far, hosts more international students (nearly 150,000) than any other state. The top cities for attracting international students are New York, Los Angeles and Boston, respectively, each of which has two universities with substantial international student populations. The following two tables detail the Top 10 states for international students in the U.S., as well as the Top 20 universities for international student populations.
Top U.S. States Hosting International Students
(State, Number of Students for Past Two School Years, and % Change)
Top U.S. Institutions Hosting International Students 2016/2017
(University, Location and Number of Students)
Their Families Have Deep Pockets: Three out of five international students in the United States are funded by their families and themselves, suggesting that the students, as well as their families, have sufficient resources to travel to and within the USA.
International Students in the United States:
Primary Source of Funding
(Sources of Funding, Number of Students and % of Total)