Thursday, April 9, 2015

Top 10 States Hosting International Students: No. 8, Ohio

By Xiao Lu
World Education Services

As an international student, you may have no idea where to find the state of Ohio on a map of the U.S. But you’ve probably heard of Cleveland, Columbus or Cincinnati, the biggest cities in the state. Or perhaps you’re familiar with Procter & Gamble (P&G), the world’s largest and most profitable consumer products company, which calls Ohio home. If you want to take in the beauty of all four seasons, and enjoy studying abroad without spending a fortune on rent, utilities and groceries, then Ohio might be a great choice for you. There are over 50 colleges and universities in Ohio, and more than 40 two-year schools and community colleges. The Ohio State University and University of Cincinnati, for example, are world-famous institutions. And over 30,000 international students currently attend school in Ohio.

Ohio is considered part of the Midwest, though it borders the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states. Its name comes from an American Indian word meaning “great river” or “large creek,” a reference to the Ohio River, which forms the state’s southern boundary. Ohio is known as the “Buckeye State” (a reference to a tree known as the Ohio buckeye) as well as the “Mother of Presidents,” having produced the most U.S. presidents aside from Virginia. It currently ranks seventh in population and 34th in size. Ohio is home to numerous professional sports franchises, including the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, which boasts the biggest star in the American sports world today, LeBron James. The Ohio State University football team is among the most storied programs in the history of college sports.
In 2014, Ohio hosted 32,498 international students, the eighth most in the U.S. The state’s international student population has grown dramatically in recent years, increasing by 14.4 percent over the past year and by a whopping 45 percent since 2010.

Among all U.S. schools, The Ohio State University (OSU) enrolls the 14th most international students with 6,800. OSU is a research-oriented university, and considered by some to be a “Public Ivy.” Nobel Prize winners Paul Flory and William Fowler graduated from OSU. Its main campus is located in Columbus, the state capital. The University of Cincinnati (UC) also attracts a large population of international students. The most popular major at UC is business, which makes sense considering there are 11 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the city.

Chinese students make up 42 percent of the state’s international student population. Organizations like the Chinese Students and Scholars Society at the Ohio State University hold all kinds of cultural, academic and social events to introduce Chinese culture to the student body, and give Chinese students a sense of home away from home.

If you’re shortlisting schools, and looking for a place with a good balance between city and suburban life, think about Ohio. You might not be the next U.S. president, but you could call yourself a buckeye!

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

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