Charting New Pathways to Higher Education: International Secondary Students in the United States

The global mobility of secondary students is a phenomenon that has been on the rise in the United States and throughout the world. This report describes the international secondary students who are currently in the United States, including their number, where they come from, and where they study, and assesses the relationship between international secondary enrollment in the United States and enrollment in higher education. A key feature of the study is a comparative analysis of international secondary enrollment in the United States as compared with other key Anglophone destinations. The report also discusses the implications of the findings and recommendations for the postsecondary and secondary education sectors and for exchange organizations in the United States

While many secondary students continue to travel to the United States to participate in exchange programs, large proportions of students are now enrolling in U.S. high schools to earn a diploma in the United States so that they can be competitive applicants to U.S. higher education institutions, particularly students from Asia among whom there is strong demand for education across the Anglophone countries. The increasing openness of secondary schools to international students is providing more and more opportunities for international students to pursue secondary education in the United States, thereby expanding the available pathways to U.S. higher education.

This report, the first in a new series on Key Issues in Academic Mobility, was produced by IIE’s Center for Academic Mobility Research with the support of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.