Project Atlas | United States | Institute of International Education
To reach Project Atlas' United States partner, please email

Fast Facts: United States

  • Over 1 million international students studied in the U.S. in 2015/16. China, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Canada were the top places of origin, accounting for over 55 percent of the international students studying in the U.S.
  • Over 131,415 U.S. students studied abroad for academic credit in 2014/15.
  • The Institute of International Education has reported annual international student mobility data for the U.S. through its Open Doors Report for over 60 years.

Source: Open Doors Report 2016, IIE

About the United States

Since the late 1940s, more internationally mobile students have studied in the United States than in any other host country. This trend continues to the present day, with over 1 million international students enrolled in its colleges and universities.


An international student is anyone studying in the U.S. on a non-immigrant, temporary visa that allows for academic coursework. These students include both degree and non-degree students.

The term study abroad refers to a U.S. national studying outside of the U.S. for any part of their academic coursework. Many U.S. students study abroad for only a semester or other short-term sessions, though some do attain full degrees abroad.

© 2016 Institute of International Education, Inc. All rights reserved.