IU gains enrolled foreign students

It is among a number of schools in the United States that have contributed to a continuing growth in international enrollment nationally and abroad.

The annual Open Doors study released this month, conducted by the Institute of International Education in coordination with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, has shown an overall growth for the past five years in both U.S. students studying abroad and international students enrolled in U.S. universities.

“These latest rankings confirm Indiana University’s standing as a truly world-class institution of higher education,” IU President Michael McRobbie said in a press release.

In the Open Doors report reflecting the 2010-11 school year, IU ranked eighth in number of students studying abroad and 11th in on-campus international

McRobbie said the school is close to reaching its expressed goals of being top 10 in both categories.

The growth reflects a commitment from IU to offer students a modern global perspective.

“In particular, we are extremely pleased that more and more IU students are studying abroad, which, over the past two or three decades, has evolved from a luxury to virtually an essential college experience, since nearly every career IU students will pursue will have an international dimension to a greater or lesser extent,” McRobbie said.

IU has been working to diversify the international dimensions in Bloomington. International enrollment on campus grew 13.5 percent from fall 2009 to fall 2010, most of which consisted of Chinese students.

As for these students’ experiences on campus, administrators seemed optimistic.
“International students report high levels of satisfaction with their Indiana University experience, and they are our best recruiters,” said Christopher Viers, IU associate vice president for international services. “At a time when talented, globally minded students have a vast array of educational options to consider, we are particularly pleased that the exceptional quality and value of an Indiana University education is increasingly recognized and appreciated worldwide.”

Junior Stephane Seo, an international student from South Korea who has dual citizenship with the U.S., said the reasons to choose IU were clear, though he quickly found out there was much more to the U.S. college experience.

“I’ve been to several different universities, and Indiana definitely has a certain understanding of international students in general, but they could do better,” Seo said. “They should be more open with the different opportunities on campus. Most international students come here for our business school, but they don’t know how many other great programs and activities there are.”

IU continues to find ways to improve its presence in international countries.
The Institute of International Education has seen this increasing trend of international students and predicts it will continue to grow in the coming decades. 

“Every decade, there are one or two countries driving the numbers,” said Peggy Blumenthal, senior counselor to the president of the institute.

In the 1990s, Japan and other parts of Asia dominated. However, in the next decade, Vietnam, Turkey, Indonesia and Brazil are among the countries to watch, Blumenthal said.

The institute, which has been the leading nonprofit educational and cultural exchange organization in the U.S. since 1919, sponsors the Fulbright and Gilman scholarships and creates programs for study and training among students in all professional and academic sectors.

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