Friday, April 3, 2015

Top 10 States Hosting International Students: No. 9, Michigan

Michigan State University in East Lansing
By Sangeetha Shanmugham
World Education Services

International students from around the world look to the U.S. as a popular destination to expand their educational opportunities, but they usually think of big cities like New York or Los Angeles. And while those places are peppered with great schools, it’s worthwhile to consider some of the great universities in other locales. Michigan isn’t a household name across the world, but considering how many reputable universities the state houses, it should be. In fact, it’s already quite popular with international students!

Michigan’s extraordinarily beautiful places range from beaches and sand dunes, to forests and farm lands, to tens of thousands of lakes, some of which contain islands where horses and bicycles are the only means of transportation. In Michigan, you’re never more than a few hours from one of the Great Lakes (the state has four). Apple trees, blueberry farms, and cherry festivals are abundant in Michigan.

Michigan is home to nearly 100 colleges and universities, including the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Michigan hosts the ninth most international students among all U.S. states; in 2014, it hosted nearly 30,000 students from around the world! The most popular university in Michigan for international students is Michigan State University in East Lansing.

Michigan is the eighth most populous state with a total population of nearly 10 million, according to the 2010 census. A large majority of residents speaks English at home, making it a good environment for international students to strengthen their language skills. There are many English as a second language (ESL) programs located throughout the state to help international students make the most out of their education and college experience.

From community colleges to big state universities, there’s an ESL program or English Language Institute available to fit your needs. Want to study in Michigan’s capital, Lansing? Lansing Community College has an ESL program. Michigan State University, in Lansing, has an English Language Center. Ann Arbor’s colleges and universities such as Washtenaw Community College and the University of Michigan host a variety English language learning programs as well.

Students studying in Michigan will find plenty of outdoor activities to do after class and on the weekends. Michigan has more fresh water coastline than any other state – 3,126 miles, to be exact – and over 36,000 miles of streams. Michigan is the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes. No wonder its nicknames include the “Great Lake State” and “Water Wonderland.”

Popular activities include fishing, biking, camping, golfing and paddle sports such as kayaking. But one of the most popular is boating. Michigan is home to nearly 1 million registered boats, and over 1,300 public boat accesses are sprinkled throughout the shoreline. So if you’re looking to take a break from studying and enjoy some water sports, then you’ll be in the perfect place to do so!

Chinese students make up a huge portion of Michigan’s international student population with more than 35 percent, followed by students from India and Saudi Arabia.

If you’re in the process of shortlisting U.S. schools, look into institutions in Michigan where you can get a quality education, experience the great outdoors, and take a trip to Detroit, the Motor City. And don’t forget about all those water sports!

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