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Drop in Foreign Students in U.S. Slows

I'm Faith Lapidus with the VOA Special English Education Report.

We talked last week about the number of Americans studying in foreign countries. This week, our subject is foreign students in the United States. More than five hundred sixty-five thousand attended American colleges and universities during the last school year.

The Institute of International Education, based in New York, recently published its yearly report, "Open Doors Two Thousand Five." The report says the number of foreign students decreased by about one percent during the school year that began last fall. That was less of a decrease than the year before, when the number fell by almost two and one-half percent.

India sent the most students, more than eighty thousand. That was a one percent increase from the year before. China sent the next highest number, more than sixty-two thousand. That was also a one percent increase. South Korea was third, with more than fifty-three thousand students, up two percent. Japan was fourth, with more than forty-two thousand students, an increase of three percent.

The report says one hundred forty-five American colleges and universities had one thousand or more international students last year. The school with the largest number was the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. It had almost seven thousand international students. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was second with more than five thousand five hundred.

The recent decrease in the number of international students is seen as a result of several things. These include difficulties getting a student visa, especially in scientific and technical areas. They also include higher costs as well as competition from schools in other English-speaking countries and in students' home countries.

Assistant Secretary of State Dina Habib Powell says international students are welcome in the United States. In her words, "The United States remains the best place in the world" to seek higher education.

You can read more of the report on the Web site of the Institute of International Education: i-i-e dot o-r-g. And you can get information about how to study in the United States from our Foreign Student Series. Go to voaspecialenglish dot com. Enter the words "foreign student" with quotation marks in the search box, then click on Archive.

This VOA Special English Education Report was written by Nancy Steinbach. I’m Faith Lapidus.