Open Doors report: IU ranked fifth with record number of students studying abroad

Nov. 11, 2013


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Record levels of Indiana University students continue to go abroad as a vital part of their education at the Bloomington campus of Indiana University. According to the 2013 Open Doors report released today by the Institute of International Education, IU Bloomington now ranks fifth nationally in the number of students studying abroad -- up from seventh the previous year. 

When credit and non-credit study are combined, more than 3,000 students from IU's eight campuses traveled internationally as part of their IU education last year. This number includes 2,954 students university-wide enrolled in credit-bearing programs. Of these, a record 2,328 students were from IU Bloomington. 

Nationally, the number of students studying abroad increased by 3 percent, but IU Bloomington experienced an even larger 5 percent increase. This is especially notable during a year when many of the other top-ranked institutions in the nation experienced declines from the previous year.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie said the report is another indication that IU's increased emphasis on international engagement, through growth in institutional partnerships and competitive academic programs, is working. 

“To be among the top five nationally in the number of students studying abroad, especially in these challenging economic times, is a major achievement, and we are extremely pleased that more IU students than ever before are choosing to add an international dimension to their educational experience,” said McRobbie, who has, in the past two years, signed agreements with leading institutions across Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia and India. “This international dimension, we are convinced, has never been more vital to our graduates’ success, and it is this belief that continues to drive our efforts to engage with elite institutions in all parts of the world so that we can create more meaningful overseas study opportunities for students and convince the best students from around the world to bring their valuable global perspectives to our campuses here in Indiana.”

Based on the number of international students enrolled at IU Bloomington in 2012-13, the campus maintained its record ranking at 10th in the nation, first achieved the previous year. In 2012-13, IU Bloomington enrolled the fifth largest number of undergraduate international students in the country. The campus ranked 32nd in terms of international graduate school and professional enrollment.

When non-enrolled students in the U.S. who receive post-degree university work experience are counted, Open Doors ranked IU Bloomington 13th overall in total international students in the U.S., out of more than 1,200 U.S. universities participating in the survey. The Bloomington campus hosted 6,015 international students in 2012-13, including in acclaimed programs offered by the Kelley School of Business, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences.

A total of 7,917 international students studied throughout the IU system, which represents an increase of 517 students, or 7 percent, from 2011-12. The number of international students includes a record total of 1,675 on the Indianapolis campus. With an 18 percent increase, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis reported the third-highest percentage growth of international students among 13 urban-serving peer institutions, advancing to eighth place among this group. 

The Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange is published annually by the Institute of International Education with support from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The 2013 report data for U.S. students studying abroad reflect the 2011-12 academic year, while data for international students hosted by U.S. institutions were collected for the 2012-13 academic year.

"IU's global reach and awareness have never been stronger," said David Zaret, vice president for international affairs. "The Open Doors numbers show that IU is achieving what it set out to do in its strategic plan, and we continue to enhance the university's support for international education. We are pleased that so many IU students are increasing their international perspectives abroad, and we are honored that so many students from abroad have chosen to study here."

Over one in four graduating seniors at IU Bloomington continues to leave with an international experience. Every school offers its own programs, in addition to having students participate in programs administered or co-sponsored by the Office of Overseas Study.

IU Bloomington ranks ninth nationally for the number of students on semester-length programs. The campus also ranks 10th in students who are in summer and short-term programs. At other IU campuses, 626 students studied abroad in credit-earning programs in 2011-12.

According to the Open Doors report, international student enrollment at colleges and universities in the U.S. grew by 7.2 percent from fall 2011 to fall 2012, to another record of 819,644 students. New enrollment in undergraduate programs grew by 12.3 percent nationally.

The increase in international students has had a significant economic impact in the United States. With higher education among the nation's largest service-sector exports, international students contribute more than $24 billion to the U.S. economy in tuition, fees and living expenses, and $688.1 million in the state of Indiana. 

At IU Bloomington alone, international students come from 117 countries and from all regions of the world. Following national trends, the largest percentage of international students continues to come from East Asia and China in particular, as well as India.

The Institute of International Education reported that while 40 percent more international students are now studying at U.S. colleges and universities than a decade ago, international students make up just under 4 percent of total student enrollment nationally.

Among the top 10 host states, Indiana had the third-highest increase of 10 percent, behind Massachusetts, with a 12.7 percent increase, and Pennsylvania, 11.6 percent. Other states in the top 10 saw increases between 0.5 (Florida) and 8.9 percent (Illinois). The perennial leaders of California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts and Illinois remained as the top five hosts.

The Institute of International Education, the leading not-for-profit educational and cultural exchange organization in the United States, has conducted an annual statistical survey of campuses regarding international students in the United States since 1919, and with support from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs since the early 1970s.