Thursday, March 5, 2015

Top 10 States Hosting International Students: No. 10, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana
By Brendan Twist
World Education Services 

When you imagine coming to study in the U.S., you may picture yourself somewhere glamorous like New York or Los Angeles. And those places are great. But America is a huge country! There is so much to explore beyond the big coastal cities. And there are great schools all over the 50 states. One area that is drawing a bigger and bigger share of international students every year is the Midwest. Situated in America’s heartland, the Midwest is known for its beautiful countryside, working class ethos and genuinely nice people. And it doesn’t get much more Midwestern than Indiana.

Indiana is home to nearly 50 colleges and universities, including several world-famous schools like Indiana University, Notre Dame University and Purdue University. Geographically, the state is largely flat with low rolling hills and has over 1,000 lakes. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Indiana’s capitol is Indianapolis, a city of more than 800,000 people located in the center of the state. The city is home to the Indianapolis Colts professional football team and Indiana Pacers professional basketball team. It also hosts America’s biggest annual car race, the Indianapolis 500. Indiana University, whose main campus is in Bloomington, boasts one of the most storied men’s basketball programs in history.

Indiana is the 16th largest U.S. state by population, but it hosted the 10th most international students last year with 26,406, up 8.2 percent over the previous year. The state’s international student population has risen steadily in recent years, increasing by 42 percent since 2010.

Two of the top 15 schools hosting international students last year were in Indiana. Purdue University, whose main campus is in Wabash Township, is No. 5 in the entire country with nearly 10,000 students. The Bloomington campus of Indiana University (IU) is second with over 6,600. Purdue’s Office of International Students and Scholars and Indiana University’s Office of International Services both offer a variety of academic, social and cultural programming – like Purdue’s Multinatural Education Xchange, and IU’s Korean Conversation Club – to help international students maximize their time in the U.S.

Chinese students make up a huge portion of Indiana’s international student population with more than 40 percent (Chinese students make up about 30 percent of America’s international student students nationwide). Otherwise the numbers are similar to the rest of the U.S., with India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan combined accounting for a third of the state’s international student body.

More than 26,000 international students can’t be wrong. When you’re shortlisting schools for your American education, why not take a good look at Indiana? Head for the Midwest!

Chart data: Institute of International Education (2014), Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange.

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