This is the VOA Special English Education Report.
More than 560,000 foreign students attended an American college or university
during the last school year. It was the seventh straight year with more than
half a million international students in the United States.
Last year's group was about the same size as the year before -- which was
good news for schools. Why? Because the number of students coming to the United
States had been falling for two years.
Today, in our Foreign Student Series, we present numbers from the latest
"Open Doors" report. The information is from the Institute of International
Education, based in New York.
India again sent the most students in the school year that began in autumn of
2005. India passed China in 2001 as the leading sender of foreign students to
the United States.
American schools last year had more than 76,000 Indian students. That was
a five percent drop from the year before -- the first reduction since 1996.
China had more than 62,000 students in American schools, roughly the same as
the year before.
South Korea was third with an increase of 10 percent. And Japan was
fourth -- but with an eight percent drop.
The report says there were also sharp decreases in students from Turkey,
Colombia, Pakistan and Malaysia. But there were notable increases in students
from Nepal and Vietnam.
For the fifth year, the school with the most foreign students was the
University of Southern California in Los Angeles. It had almost seven thousand.
Columbia University in New York was second. Others with large numbers
included Purdue, New York University, the University of Texas at Austin and the
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
What were the most popular areas of study? 18 percent studied business
and management. 16 percent studied engineering. 9 percent were in the
physical and life sciences. 8 percent studied social sciences, and
another 8 percent studied mathematics and computer science.
There were fewer international students in computer science and engineering
last year. But there were more in areas including art, health and intensive
And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy
Steinbach. For the full "Open Doors" report, you can find a link to the IIE Web
site at voaspecialenglish.com. Our Foreign Student Series is also there. I'm