According to the 2012 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, released today by the Institute of International Education (IIE), the number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by six percent to a record high of 764,495 in the 2011/12 academic year. International exchanges in all 50 states contributed $22.7 billion to the U.S. economy last year.
Vietnam retained its 8th place ranking with 15,572 students, a 4.6% increase over 2010/11 and 2% of the total number of international students in the US. Among the top 10 places of origin, Vietnam had the third highest percentage increase after Saudi Arabia and China. Six countries, including India, South Korea, Canada, Taiwan, Japan, and Turkey, experienced declines in enrollment ranging from 1.7% to 6.2%.
|Rank||Place of Origin||2010/11||2011/12||2011/12 % of Total||% Change|
Vietnam continues to lead Southeast Asian countries in the number of students in the US, followed by Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. In fact, nearly 34% of all students from this region are Vietnamese.
The majority of Vietnamese students are undergraduates. The 2011/12 data reflect reflect a slight decrease in undergraduate enrollment over the previous year.
- 72.2% undergraduate
- 17% graduate students
- 5.5% other
- 5.2% OPT (Optional Practical Training)
Field of Study
The breakdown by field of study for Vietnamese students is as follows:
- Business/Management: 39%
- Other: 10.5%
- Undeclared: 9.8%
- Engineering: 9.6%
- Math/Computer Science: 7.1%
- Physical/Life Sciences: 6.8%
- Health Professions: 4.5%
- Social Sciences: 4.5%
- Intensive English: 2.9%
- Humanities: 1.3%
- Education: 1.1%
High School Completion Programs
Washington state, which ranks 11th nationally in international student enrollment with 20,198, has 1,515 Vietnamese students. (Vietnam ranks 3rd.) This means that nearly 10% of all Vietnamese students in the US last year were in Washington state. Many are enrolled in community colleges and, more specifically, high school completion programs at community colleges that allow students to kill two birds with one stone: earn a WA high school diploma and an associate degree in two years, assuming they meet the English requirement.
1) Open Doors data are collected during the fall semester of the previous academic year, meaning they are already a year old when released.
2) The above statistics refer to international students enrolled in regionally accredited institutions of higher education. There are also quite a few Vietnamese students attending high schools, boarding schools, etc. According to the last available SEVIS General Summary Quarterly Review from March 2012, there were 18,537 Vietnamese students in the US.