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Ohio State ranked in top 15 for study abroad, international students

The Ohio State University is ranked in the top 10 nationally among doctoral institutions for the number of students studying abroad and is in the top 15 for its international student enrollment, according to a national report released today.

Ohio State ranks 7th among the nation’s colleges and universities with 2,255 students studying abroad in 2012-13, a 31 percent increase over the previous year. Ohio State ranks 2nd in the nation for the number of students participating in short-term programs with 2,139 studying abroad for one to eight weeks during the academic year. Of those students studying on short-term programs, 447 were first and second year students.

Ohio State ranks 14th in the nation with 6,800* international students enrolled in 2013, an increase of five percent.

These findings were issued as part of the 2014 Open Doors Report, an annual survey published by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Participation in study abroad at Ohio State rebounded from 1,716 students and a 25th national ranking in 2011-12 as a result of a few key factors. Ohio State developed new and innovative programming geared toward first and second year students, instituted a university-wide commitment to make international opportunities accessible and affordable and the switch to semesters in autumn 2012 gave students a new opportunity to study abroad during a May session. As an added incentive, students that attended spring semester full time could participate in a study abroad program during May session (earning three credit hours) without paying tuition. Close to 600 of the 2,255 students that studied abroad in 2012-13 took advantage of the four-week May session programs.

“May session provides students with an opportune moment in their college career to study abroad and gain international experience in their field of study or complete General Education requirements,” said William Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs. “Students can now more easily gain international knowledge and perspective and still have time over summer break to take advantage of internships and other types of professional experience that will prepare them for their future careers.”

The slight increase in international student enrollment follows the university’s strategy of steady growth to ensure the quality of its applicants continues to rise. Ohio State enrolled 6,478 international students in 2012. “Our recruitment strategy is geared toward gradual growth in our international student population to ensure we have enhanced programming in place that will help our students adapt to a new cultural environment, while supporting their academic success at Ohio State,” Brustein said.

International students at Ohio State hail from 109 different countries including, China (4,086); India (755); South Korea (514); Taiwan (185) and Malaysia (155). Nationally, the leading home countries for international students are China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada. The top fields of study at Ohio State for international students include business, engineering, biomedical and biological sciences, and mathematics and statistics similar to the national trend.

The most popular destinations for Ohio State students to study abroad include the United Kingdom, China, Canada and Ireland. Nationally, the leading destinations for studying abroad are the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and France. The top fields of study for Ohio State students studying abroad are business and management, social sciences and health sciences, whereas the national trend records science, technology, engineering and mathematics, social sciences, business and humanities.

The 2014 Open Doors Report is released as part of the nationwide observance of International Education Week (November 17-21), a joint initiative established by the U.S. Departments of Education and State. At Ohio State, the week is celebrated with a number of activities supported by the Office of International Affairs, which oversees Ohio State’s study abroad programs and international student and scholar services. The office also advances high quality international education programs, scholarships and service activities to promote global opportunities for Ohio State, its faculty, staff and students.

*The IIE’s collection of enrollment data for international students includes two categories of students who are not currently enrolled at Ohio State in classes for credit. They include “Optional Practical Training” students who are not taking classes, but are continuing their education through practical training in their field of study, and exchange students who are pursuing continuing (non-degree) education.

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