The article is updated on 20 December based on the latest Open Doors Report.
In 2021-22, 9,48,519 international students from various countries enrolled in American colleges and universities. This marked an increase of 4% from the previous year. Of these, 1,99,182 were from India. the previous academic year, 2020-21 had seen 1,67,582 Indian students move to the USA.
In contrast to the growth of Indian students in the USA, the number of Chinese students in America fell by 8.6%. 2021-22 saw only 2,90,086 Chinese students enroll in American universities.
As of March 2019, 11.7 lakh immigrant students are studying in the USA. According to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) figures, half of these students are from only two countries- India and China.
Indian and Chinese students accounted for 5.8 lakh students in the USA or 49.5% of the total student population. The total number of active students from India and China in the USA was estimated to be around 2.09 lakh and 3.7 lakh respectively. This includes students holding an F visa and an M visa.
International Students In USA Quick Facts
- International students contributed $44.7 billion to the US economy in 2018 -19
- It is an increase of 5.5 % from 2017 -18
- For the tenth consecutive year, China has remained the largest source of international students in the country
- In 2018-19 there are Chines 369,548 and 202,014 Indian students
- The number of students enrolling for the first time at a US institution in 2018 -19 declined by 0.9 %
Countries With Most International Students 2018-19
|Number Of Students
Indian And Chines Students In The USA – An Overview
Indian Students In The USA
Of the total Indian students enrolled in the USA, 1.58 lakh students are enrolled in post-graduate Master’s courses. This is about 75% of the total Indian student population in the USA.
11% of the Indian student population in the USA is enrolled in courses for a Bachelor’s degree while 10% are pursuing their doctorate.
While there is no confirmed data on the subject choices of Indian students in the USA, a majority of them opt for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses.
|Indian Students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree
|Indian Students pursuing a Master’s degree
Number of Indian Students In The USA Rises For The Second Consecutive Year
According to the latest Open Doors Report, the number of Indians present as students in the USA increased by 19% in 2021-22. They account for 21% of the total international student population in the country.
This includes students enrolled in courses in the USA as well as those pursuing courses online and students participating in Optional Practical Training (OPT) from Fall 2021 to Spring 2022.
Indian Students In The USA
The academic year 2021-22 saw almost 2 lakh Indians moving to the USA for higher education. This marked an increase of 19% from the previous year and kept in line with the growth pattern being seen previously. Only China has more students in the USA.
This is the second consecutive year that Indian students looking at getting an education overseas have chosen the USA as their destination. However, it must also be noted that during the pandemic, the number of Indians studying in the USA fell by 13% as compared to the previous year.
Chinese Students In The USA
While the Chinese student population is larger than the Indian student population in the USA, there are fewer Chinese enrolled in Master’s degree courses. Of the 3.7 lakh immigrant students, only 31% or 1.1 lakh Chinese students are pursuing their Master’s degrees in the USA.
The number of Chinese students pursuing their Bachelor’s degree is slightly higher at 1.4 lakhs. These students account for 37% of the total Chinese immigrant student population.
|Chinese Students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree
|Chinese Students pursuing a Master’s degree
One of the reasons for this could be the visa related difficulties Chinese students are facing. As a result of the trade war between the USA and China, students wanting to study aviation, robotics, high tech manufacturing, and engineering are finding it increasingly difficult to get student visas. These subjects are priorities for the Made in China 2025 Industrial Policy.
Why Are International Students Looking At Master’s Degrees From The USA
Studying abroad is expensive. Most students who go abroad plan on working there for a few years after graduating to be able to pay back student loans.
In the USA, immigrants require an H1B visa to work in the country. This is a dual intent visa that can also be used to become eligible for a Green Card. The H1B visa is the most popular visa for the USA but also the hardest to get.
Each year 85,000 H1B visas are awarded to immigrants. Of these 20,000 are reserved for applicants with a Master’s degree. The selection process is also lottery based. In this lottery system, applicants with a Master’s degree have a higher chance of being picked than others.
This is because the first lottery is conducted for applicants with a Master’s degree. The applications not picked in this lottery have a second chance in the general H1B lottery. Successful H1B applicants for the financial year 2019-20 will be able to start working in the USA from October 2019.
International Students In The USA – The Downward Trend Among Indians And Chines
Data from SEVIS also showed a marked decrease in the number of international students in America. As compared to the previous year, there were 3% fewer immigrant students in 2019.
This includes students pursuing academic and vocational courses. The number of Indian students in the USA fell by 1% while the number of Chinese students in the USA fell by 2%.
|Students from India
|Students from China
- Indian Embassy Warnings For Students Going To The USA
- Checklist For International Students Going To The US
- The Cost Of Living In The USA – A Guide For Expats And Students
- The A To Z Of Tax Filing In The USA For International Students