Urban Geography of Foreign Students
August 29, 2014
By Elizabeth Redden
Seoul is the largest city of origin for international students coming to the United States and China, of course, the largest source country. The New York City metro area is the top destination for international students, but Ithaca, home to Cornell University, has the highest concentration of international students approved for F-1 visas relative to the overall student population. Metro areas with the fastest increases in F-1 students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in recent years include Corvallis, Ore., home to Oregon State University; Dayton, Ohio, home to Wright State University; Tuscaloosa, Ala., home to the University of Alabama; Louisville, Ky., home to the University of Louisville; and Eugene, Ore., home to the University of Oregon.
A new analysis of international student visa approvals from the Brookings Institution traces where international students on F-1 visas are coming from and where they are going at the level of the city. The report, "The Geography of Foreign Students in U.S. Higher Education: Origins and Destinations," analyzes data on F-1 visa approvals included in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) database, obtained by Brookings via a Freedom of Information Act request. F-1 is the most common form of visa for international students in the U.S., but, notably, the report does not include data on international students coming to the U.S. on the less common J-1 or M-1 visas.
The new analysis differs from many others, which typically focus on countries that send students to the United States, not cities.
The Brookings report also analyzes government data on work authorizations for students on optional practical training, a period of 12 to 29 months post-graduation in which students are permitted to stay in the U.S. and work in their field of study. The analysis found that 45 percent of international students pursue OPT in the same metro area as their college or university, with the proportions being much higher for big cities like New York and cities with specialized labor markets like Honolulu and Las Vegas (both major destinations for hospitality students), and lower for smaller metro areas like Erie, Penn. and Binghamton, N.Y.
An interactive online feature provides statistics on the foreign student population and OPT authorizations for 118 metro areas (large and small) in the U.S. and 94 global cities of origin, in addition to country-level data.
“Foreign students are the bridge between their home towns abroad and their new home towns,” said Neil G. Ruiz, the report author and an associate fellow for Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program. Per the list below, international students in the U.S. are primarily coming from large or mega-cities in countries with emerging economies.
Top Hometowns for F-1 Students in the U.S., 2008-12
City Share of Total F-1 Student Enrollment
1. Seoul, South Korea4.9%
2. Beijing, China4.3%
3. Shanghai, China2.5%
4. Hyderabad, India2.3%
5. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia1.5%
6. Mumbai, India1.5%
7. Taipei, Taiwan1.4%
8. Hong Kong1.1%
9. Kathmandu, Nepal0.9%
10. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia0.9%
11. Nanjing, China0.8%
12. Chennai, India0.8%
14. Bangalore, India0.8%
15. Delhi, India0.8%
16. Guangzhou, China0.7%
17. Chengdu, China0.7%
18. Wuhan, China0.7%
19. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam0.7%
20. Shenzhen, China0.7%
“In the short term, universities love foreign students because of the money they provide, but in the long term the local economies benefit from them if one or a few of them help to bridge with economies that are emerging in fast-growing Asia, or anywhere around the world,” Ruiz said.
By drilling down to the city level, Ruiz found some surprises. One striking anomaly involves students from Hyderabad, a hub for the information technology industry in India: the Brookings analysis found that their top five destination universities from 2008-12 included several unaccredited institutions that have been targets of investigations by U.S. immigration officials, specifically the now-defunct Tri-Valley University, whose founder and president was convicted in March on charges of visa fraud; Herguan University; and theUniversity of Northern Virginia. By contrast, the top destination universities for students from Delhi are all well-known doctoral-level research universities: Carnegie Mellon, Columbia and Purdue Universities and the Universities of Illinois and Southern California.
The Brookings analysis found that the University of Southern California had the largest overall number of F-1 visa approvals for students seeking bachelor’s degrees or higher from 2008 to 2012, followed by Columbia, Illinois, New York University, Purdue, the City University of New York, Northeastern University, the University of Michigan, the University of Washington, and Indiana University.
Other main points in the report include the finding that the number of international students on F-1 visas grew dramatically from 110,000 students in 2001 to 524,000 in 2012, that they are concentrated in U.S. metropolitan areas, and that they disproportionately study science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) and business fields. In these regards, the Brookings findings are consistent with those documented in the annual Open Doors survey of international student enrollments conducted by the Institute of International Education, said Rajika Bhandari, IIE’s deputy vice president for research and evaluation and director of its Center for Academic Mobility Research and Impact. The specific numbers vary due to differences between Open Doors survey data and SEVIS data, but Bhandari said that overall the two data sets point to similar trends.
“We were very pleased to find that this new analysis really reiterates some of the key findings about international students in the U.S. that we have been releasing over the past few years, which include the fact that we know the number of international students in the U.S. has been rising consistently; we know that international students are drawn to large metropolitan areas and that they’re drawn to the STEM and business fields,” Bhandari said. “I’m glad to see that this detailed report supports those findings and it’s also interesting that we now have additional analysis on where students are specifically pursuing their OPT work and also which specific cities they’re coming from. That piece is a very useful complement to the findings that we release through Open Doors each year."
Jim Denison | Denison Forum on Truth and Culture | Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Fenggang Yang is a sociology professor at Purdue University and author of
Religion in China: Survival and Revival Under Communist Rule. He believes that "China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon." By his calculations, the number of believers in the People's Republic of China will rise to 160 million by 2025 and 247 million by 2030. If so, the country would be home to more Christians than any nation on earth.
When I visited Beijing a few years ago, I was told that the rate of Christian growth is even higher than Professor Yang documents. By some measures, as many as 100,000 Chinese people come to Christ every day. Growth there is hard to document, given the large underground Christian movement in the country. Some observers believe that there are more followers of Jesus in China than members of the Chinese Communist party.
When missionaries were expelled from China in 1949, there were less than four million believers in the country. Many predicted the death of the church. In the decades since, the Christian movement has exploded in growth, defying all odds and persecution. Recent attacks on church buildings in China are the enemy's latest response to the advance of God's Kingdom in this ancient land.
What has led to China's spiritual renaissance?
First, Christians in China have learned to depend fully and unconditionally on the power of God's Spirit. When I visited Beijing, I was astonished by the passionate spiritual depth I encountered. In a culture where there is little cultural support and active government resistance, believers must turn to God. Mother Teresa was right: "You'll never know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have."
Second, Chinese Christians have paid the price of perseverance. They have weathered waves of persecution and opposition with steadfast resolve. Such commitment has deepened their community and their faith. Albert Schweitzer observed that "one who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity." Albert Einstein believed that "in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
How has God called you to engage your lost culture with his truth and love? The higher your calling, the harder you must climb to fulfill it. But Charles Spurgeon was right: "If we cannot believe God when circumstances seem to be against us, we do not believe him at all."
Do you believe God today?
By Karin Fischer
More than one in three foreign students in a new survey say they have no close U.S. friends, and many say they wish they had more, and more-meaningful, relationships with Americans.
Students from China and elsewhere in East Asia report fewer friendships and greater dissatisfaction than do other international students.
The study of more than 450 students at 10 public universities in the South and Northeast supports what educators have observed anecdotally: Many students from abroad, and especially the recent influx of undergraduates from China, are struggling to integrate in American classrooms and dorm rooms. That's troubling, college officials say, for both foreign students and their American counterparts.
Read the entire article at http://chronicle.com/article/Many-Foreign-Students-Find/132275/.
Surge of Indian Grad Students
August 21, 2014
By Elizabeth Redden
Foreign applications to U.S. graduate schools and initial admission offers to international students continue to increase, driven by a surge of interest from India and despite a slight drop in applications from China, according to a new survey on international graduate admissions from the Council of Graduate Schools. International student applications increased by 10 percent at American graduate schools this year – the ninth consecutive year of growth – while initial admission offers rose by 9 percent, marking the fourth straight year of 9 percent increases.
In short, one big takeaway from the CGS data is “more of the same,” at least as far as the last two years are concerned. The findings are consistent with those included in recent reports from the council documenting modest declines in applications from China after years of significant growth and big gains in students from India, the two largest countries of origin for international students in the U.S.
Read the entire article at https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/08/21/new-report-international-admissions-us-graduate-schools-shows-continued-growth-and
Are International Students Satisfied?
August 20, 2014
An analysis of satisfaction surveys from 60,000 international students at 48 universities in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia reveals that students are, by and large, satisfied, but that satisfaction levels vary by country of origin and that large proportions of undergraduate international students from a single country can inhibit integration.
The report identifies areas that international undergraduate students see as important and for which they tend to rate their universities highly – areas such as subject matter expertise of faculty and academic content of the program – as well as areas that students think are important but for which satisfaction levels are somewhat lower, such as “making good contacts” as far as career prospects are concerned, friendship with domestic students, organized social activities, and visa or immigration-related advice. "In many cases these are aspects of the experience where international undergraduates desire greater structure and institutional action," the report states.
Read the entire article at https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/08/20/new-survey-offers-insights-international-student-satisfaction-three-countries.
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