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International Programs
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2026

Release: Nov. 13, 2000

UI reports increases in international students here, UI students abroad

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa International Programs and Office of the Registrar report that numbers of UI students studying abroad and numbers of international students attending the UI have both increased in the latest reporting period. These increases are in line with national trends reported by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in its annual "Open Doors" report, released Monday, Nov. 13.

The Open Doors report shows a 14 percent increase in U.S. students studying abroad in 1998-99 and a 5 percent increase in international students studying in the U.S. in 1999-2000, the most recent years for which figures are available in each category.

In 1998-99, 671 UI students studied abroad, a 10 percent increase over the previous year. UI international student enrollment in the 1998-99 academic year increased to 1,697, a 6 percent rise. In 1999-2000, 705 UI students studied abroad, and as of fall 2000, international student enrollment stood at 1,797. IIE does not have national figures from these years for comparison.

Diana Davies, director of International Programs, said this year's increases reflect a commitment to internationalization at the UI. She said her staff would continue its dedication to helping students add international experiences to their education, but noted that the emphasis is on quality as much as quantity.

"It's important to understand that UI's International Programs units have been careful not to compromise on service, safety and quality in their efforts to expand international opportunities for UI students and for international students coming to Iowa," she said.

Mirroring national trends, most UI undergraduates studying abroad do so in Western Europe (63 percent) with smaller percentages of students studying in Latin America (18 percent) and Asia (7 percent). UI graduate students also study most frequently in Western Europe (63 percent). Other destinations for graduate students include Latin America (14 percent), Sub-Saharan Africa (8 percent), and Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia (7 percent.)

The IIE's Open Doors report noted that for the second year in a row China was the leading country of origin for foreign students. Japan is the second leading country sending students to the U.S., followed by India. At the UI, the five countries with the largest enrollment are China, 476 this fall, up from 436 in 1999-00; Korea, 242, up from 216; India, 224, up from 201; Japan, 93, up from 81; and Taiwan, 81, down from 94.

The IIE reports that although foreign students comprise only 3 percent of America's total higher education population, they contribute more than $12 billion to the U.S. economy in money spent on tuition, living expenses, and related costs. Department of Commerce data describe U.S. higher education as the country's fifth largest service sector export.

For more information about the UI, contact Phil Carls for study abroad figures (319) 335-0353, Gary Althen for international student enrollment figures (319) 335-0335, or Lois Gray (319) 335-2026. More information about the national trends will be posted Nov. 13 on the IIE Web site, <>.