Top 24 US Universities That Hosted Highest Number of Int’l Students in 2020/21

University of Washington

Quality education that more than 4,000 US universities and colleges offer, student diversity, and plenty of opportunities are just some of the reasons that every year push many international students to choose the United States as their destination to pursue higher education.

For several years in a row, the US managed to welcome more than one million international students; nevertheless, this academic year, the number of international students in the US has decreased by 15 percent, reports.

The Open Doors 2021 report from the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education (IIE) has revealed that a total of 914,095 international students pursued studies in the United States during the 2020/21 academic year.

According to the report, the leading higher education institutions in the United States that have hosted most international students are:

1. New York University – hosted 17,050 international students

2. Northeastern University, Boston – 15,880 international students

3. Columbia University – 15,015 international students

4. University of Southern California – 14,992 international students

5. Arizona State University, Tempe – 13,015 international students

6. University of Illinois – Urbana, Champaign – 12,838 international students

7. University of California, San Diego – 10,824 international students

8. Boston University – 10,646 international students

9. Purdue University, West Lafayette – 10,500 international students

10. University of California, Los Angeles – 10,273 international students

11. University of California, Berkeley – 9,184 international students  

12. University of Washington – 8,777 international students  

13. University of Texas, Dallas – 8,475 international students  

14. Pennsylvania State University – University Park – 8,267 international students

15. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor – 8,252 international students

Official data have shown that China and India remain the leading places of origin of international students in the US, with 35 percent and 18 percent of students coming from the two countries during the 2020/21 academic year, respectively.

Other countries that sent international students to the United States in 2020/21 include:

  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam
  • Brazil

Following the new figures, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State, Matthew Lussenhop, highlighted the key role of international students in the economy, innovation, and peaceful relations between countries.

“The United States remains the top destination for international students from across the globe, welcoming more than 914,000 students from over 200 places of origin in the 2020/21 academic year. International students bolster the American economy, contributing $39 billion in supporting 416,000 US jobs during the 2019/20 academic year,” Lussenhop said.

During the 2019/20 academic year, a total of 1,075,496 international students studied at different US universities and colleges. Although a decline was also noted that year, international students still represented 5.5 percent of all students in the country’s higher education.

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