International Education Week 2011

2009, 2010

It’s International Education Week again. Is it just me or is this year flying by?

If you have read past posts then you know I’m an international educator (international student advisor) at a university in New England. You also know that International Education Week was initiated in 2000, and has been held annually each November (why the State Department frustratingly chose the week before Thanksgiving is anyone’s guess, but that’s when it is always held).

Now in its eleventh year, it is celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide. It is a week which allows communities, such as colleges and universities and other institutions, to celebrate and highlight international and intercultural diversity, and to appreciate the importance of a multicultural environment, particularly for a learning community.

Our university celebrates this week through several programs: decorating the campus center with flags representing the (currently) 74 different nations that make up our student body, having student culture groups on campus have special events like our Chinese Student Association’s “Chinese Culture Workshop,” our career development center is having a “Capturing International Experience on your Resume” workshop, our study abroad students have a photo exhibit from various programs abroad, some of our multicultural religious groups are having discussions such as our campus Buddhist group’s “Meditation Workshop,” our dining hall is having an “international food station” with a different regional focus each day this week, and I email out interesting “international ‘fast facts’” to the campus each day. [Pretend I said that super fast in one excited breath].

Sorry, international education gets me a little excited.

So I thought I’d share some of those “fast facts” with you:

Did you know?

  • According to an Institute for International Education Open Doors Report, 723,604 international students studied in the U.S. in academic year 2010/11.
  • The top twelve countries sending students to the US are: China (157,558) * India (103,895) * South Korea (73,351) * Canada (27,546) * Taiwan (24,818) * Saudi Arabia (22,704) * Japan (21,290) * Vietnam (14,888) * Mexico (13,713) * Turkey (12,184) * Nepal (10,301) * and Germany (9,458)
  • The top 5 most popular fields of study for International students were Business and Management (22% of total), Engineering (19%), Mathematics and Computer Science (9%), Physical and Life Sciences (9%), and Social Sciences (9%)
  • According to a recent report available through NAFSA (Association of International Educators) it has been estimated that international students and their families have contributed $20.23 Billion to the US economy
  • I live in Massachusetts and our state currently has 38,698 international students attending higher education institutions. A report calculates that international students and their families have spent a net of $1,389,809,000 in our state economy. To look at the figures for the MA report click HERE.
  • To look up the numbers for your home state click HERE.

So in honor of the week, do something international! (I know I am preaching to the choir here) and enjoy some of the global connections that exist in all our lives :)

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