By Nathan Arnold
International Education Week (IEW) is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to promote the benefits of worldwide international education and exchange programs. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) kicked off IEW 2018 on Nov. 13 with the release of the Open Doors report, which included video messages from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. ECA Assistant Secretary Marie Royce gave remarks at the event.
Open Doors is the most comprehensive report available of international study abroad statistics, both to and from the United States.
In academic years 2017–18, the U.S. hosted more than one million international students for the third consecutive year. International students contributed more than $42 billion to the U.S. economy and supported an estimated 450,000 American jobs last year. The U.S. is the global leader in hosting international students.
Even as many countries have just begun to recruit international students, the U.S. has consistently attracted about a quarter of all international students. Since the turn of the century, the number of international students looking to study in another country has grown tremendously, from 2.1 million students in 2000 to 4.6 million students in 2017.
The number of American students studying abroad has also continued to rise. Twenty years ago, fewer than 100,000 American students studied abroad each academic year. In academic year 2016, more than 300,000 American students studied abroad.
Missions around the world helped ECA promote the release of the Open Doors report by hosting their own events and conducting outreach activities to promote their country-specific numbers. Additionally, ECA hosted two Facebook Live events related to the release of the report.
Nathan Arnold is the director of media affairs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.