Category Archives: International Education

US College Admission and “Crazy Rich” Chinese

In reading NACAC’s spring Journal article, “History of Chinese Student Mobility and Today’s Trends,” I was struck by some of the differences in my experiences and observations working with Chinese families, who by law are not permitted to attend international schools.

Working on the ground in China gave me a lot of insight about why Chinese families choose the US for their child’s education. In 2009, when I was first working in China, it quickly became clear that many Chinese love Americans and everything American—food, music, clothes, education….

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Survey Examines International Student Enrollment Amid Pandemic

Despite recent concerns about new international student enrollment at US colleges and universities, nearly all universities (91 percent) that enrolled international students over the summer anticipate that those students will remain through fall 2020, according to survey findings in a new report from the Institute of International Education (IIE).

IIE surveyed 502 institutions about their summer and fall plans following COVID-19 disruptions. The survey informed the organization’s third report, which is part of its COVID-19 snapshot survey series.

According to the survey, 50 percent of the institutions reported fewer international applicants for fall 2020 than in previous years. Decreases in applications may be due to the economic impact of Covid-19, which is driving students—US and international—to consider other academic options or gap years. The decrease may also reflect students’ preferences to wait for economic stability before deciding to apply.

Among the institutions surveyed, 286 indicated that a total of 57,555 new international students had committed to their institutions; an additional 4,488 had already deferred to spring 2021 or beyond at the time the data was collected.

Due to the uncertainties around students’ ability to come to the US, however, institutions are offering several options. Most institutions are offering students the ability to defer their enrollment to spring 2021 (87 percent) or to enroll online through distance education (78 percent). Even though virtual enrollment will be the reality for many students this fall, the report warns of some long-term challenges when implementing virtual enrollment: decreases in enrollment (75 percent); issues accessing online courses (68 percent); and, an increase in withdrawals (48 percent).

While many international students are still considering enrolling in a US institution, their decision will depend on what options institutions will offer to students unable to travel to the US this fall.

Tiziana G. Marchante is NACAC’s project coordinator for educational content & policy. You can reach her at

Survey Examines Global Mobility Amid Coronavirus Crisis


Among 600 US higher education institutions, 88 percent anticipate that international student enrollment will decrease in 2020-21, with 30 percent predicting a substantial decline. These results come from the second in a series of surveys from the Institute of International Education (IIE) analyzing the effects of COVID-19 on US campuses.

Since March when IIE released its first survey—focused on mobility to and from China where the virus originated—COVID-19 has infected more than 3.2 million people globally with more than a million cases in the US. The current report focuses on international mobility more globally, with specific attention to actions US institutions took in spring 2020 and plan to take for summer and fall 2020.

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Student Mobility and the OAS


Strategies to attract and recruit international students were a topic of discussion earlier this month during a seminar hosted in Washington, DC, by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Coimbra Group of Brazilian Universities (GCUB).

The event brought key higher education leaders together to strengthen existing partnerships in the Americas and highlight new recruitment and exchange possibilities.

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Survey Shows Coronavirus Has Heavily Impacted Recruitment Efforts in China


Travel to and from China — the largest source of international students globally — has been heavily restricted since January as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). To better understand the impact the virus has had on the recruitment efforts of US universities, the Institute of International Education (IIE) conducted a survey on academic student mobility to and from China.

The findings from the survey—Academic Student Mobility to and from China— show that the majority (76 percent) of institutions’ outreach and recruitment efforts to prospective students in China had been affected. Specifically, more than half (51 percent) of responding institutions had cancelled recruitment activities in China.

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Global Recruitment: Looking Beyond ‘Gain or Drain’


Every year, popular destination countries welcome a new cohort of international students coming ashore to study. And with the new year starting, the recruitment cycle begins again — with university admission officers frequently tasked to visit the same high schools to recruit students.

Competition is an undeniable factor in our chosen profession. But this cycle, I want to bring attention to another facet that ties our work together: the joy of guiding students in their journey to higher education and global exploration.

Yes, we compete for applicants; but isn’t it more about providing a wide platform that enables students to make the most suitable choices for their academic and personal growth?

Here are some ways I believe secondary schools and admission professionals can work together to ensure student interests remain the top consideration in global recruitment.

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Travel Ban Expanded to Include 6 New Countries


Since taking office, the Trump administration has sought to limit access to the US by individuals from certain countries through travel bans instituted by executive order. On Friday, the Trump administration issued a presidential proclamation that expanded the existing ban to include six additional countries.

Effective Feb. 21, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania will join seven other countries already facing travel restrictions.

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NACAC Urges Flexibility in Wake of Coronavirus


NACAC is one of several education organizations encouraging their members to be mindful of the impacts of the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak on students, families, staff, and colleagues.

In a statement issued yesterday, the association urged flexibility for students, families, and counselors in the affected areas and encouraged its members to take action where necessary.

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After Brexit: What’s Changing and What Will Stay the Same


Editor’s Note: Elisabeth K. Marksteiner serves on International ACAC’s Advocacy and Outreach Committee, where her special interest is Brexit.

Fact: On Friday, Jan. 31, the United Kingdom will leave the European Union.

Fiction: The UK doesn’t want international students.

Fact: International enrollment numbers are at a record high. In fact, the recent introduction of a two-year post-graduation visa makes it an opportune time for students to consider a degree in the UK.

For the majority of students seeking degrees, nothing will change. Degrees remain largely three years in length and specialized. If your students are thinking “out-of-state,” you may also want to encourage them to think “out of country.” The UK will continue to offer high-quality, internationally recognized degrees.

Why then all the trepidation?

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Despite Enrollment Dips, International Student Population Climbs


The number of international students in the US hit an all-time high of 1.09 million in 2019, despite enrollment dips at the undergraduate, graduate, and non-degree levels, according to new data from the Institute of International Education (IIE).

The overall gain was primarily due to increased participation in the US Optional Practice Training (OPT) program, which allows international students to work in the country after completing their degree.

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