June 24th, 2019

Senate Report: International Students Look to the U.S. for Education

by Senator Bill Doyle

With school enrollments shrinking almost everywhere and the costs of education increasing, resulting in increased taxes, international education becomes an option for any community.

The Institute of International Education has recently done a report on international secondary students in the United States. The report provided a comprehensive analysis of over 73,000 inbound international students who come to the United States for high school and the implications of those trends for higher education enroll-ments and recruitment. The report looked for where the students came from and where they study, with breakdowns by states and types of schools. It analyzed trends for international students at the secondary level with those international students in higher education in the United States.

A major part of the report indicated that while secondary school students from around the world have been coming to the United States for high school education for many years, the new findings show the number of students who enroll directly in U.S. schools to earn a U.S. high school diploma now greatly outnumber those who are here on exchanges. The report said “this is a remarkable finding and one which has implications for the United States higher education.”

Below are some of the highlights of the report:

• “In October 2013, there were 73,000 international students pursuing a secondary education in the United States with 48,000 or 67% of those enrolled for a full di-ploma.

• The number of international students enrolled in U.S. secondary schools more than tripled in the fall of 2004 to the fall of 2013, while the number of exchange stu-dents grew only about 15% in the same period.

• Most of the 49,000 diploma seeking students at U.S. high schools are from Asia (with 46% of this segment coming from China).

• The majority or 66% of the roughly 24,000 high school students who came to the U.S. on cultural exchange programs are from Europe.

• Compared to Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, the U.S. hosts a much larger number of secondary students. This is also the case at the post-secondary level.”

For several years, northeastern states have reached out for international students. They have reached out for two principal reasons: the international students pay the local schools up to $10,000 per year per student and also provide cultural diversity to the schools involved. Vermont schools are no exception.

Many communities are tapping potential cash ready international students who can bring new life to under enrolled schools.

Federal law limits international students stay in public schools for one year. This restriction does not apply to private high schools.

Senator Bill Doyle serves on the Senate Education Committee and Senate Economic Affairs Committee, and is the Senate Assistant Minority Leader. He teaches gov-ernment history at Johnson State College. He can be reached at 186 Murray Road, Montpelier, VT 05602; e-mail wdoyle@leg.state.vt.us; or call 223-2851.

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