According to the August 2018 SEVIS by the Numbers update, Viet Nam once again ranks 5th among places of origin with 29,788 active students at all levels and in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, inching past Canada, which had displaced it in June 2018. (One always has to take summer statistics with a grain of salt, since there’s always a dip that coincides with the end of the academic year.)
1) China: 378,003
2) India: 227,199
3) South Korea: 64,022
4) Saudi Arabia: 43,413
5) Viet Nam: 29,788
6) Canada: 29,496
7) Brazil: 26,846
8) Taiwan: 24,429
9) Japan: 23,088
10) Nigeria: 16,042
That’s the good news in these troubled times. The bad news is that the number of student visas issued in FY18, which ended on 30 September 2018, was down from last year. (I’ll provide more information in a forthcoming blog post.)
My ballpark estimate is a 5-6% decrease, which is line with the decrease in overall numbers. This assumes that the US Mission in Viet Nam (Embassy in Hanoi and Consulate in HCMC) issued the same number of F-1s in September 2018 that it did in the same month last year. That information will be out soon.
Keep in mind that there were 31,389 young Vietnamese studying in the US, as of December 2017. This means that there are now 1,601 fewer students from Viet Nam, a 5.1% decrease. One obvious reason is the shift to Canada, which hosted nearly 15,000 Vietnamese students last year and recorded an unprecedented one-year increase of 89%.
Postscript: There are currently 27,061 young Vietnamese studying in South Korea, which means the top five host countries for Vietnamese students worldwide are 1) Japan (61,671, 2017); 2) the USA (29,788, 8-18); 3) South Korea (27,061, 4-18); 4) Australia (22,565, 7-18); and 5) Canada (14,095, 2017). This means that there are 155,180 in the top five countries alone, 57% of them in East Asia.