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Ohio State ranked in top 5 for study abroad, top 20 for international student enrollment

The Ohio State University is ranked in the top 5 nationally among doctoral institutions for the number of students studying abroad and is in the top 20 for its international student enrollment, according to a national report Monday, November 13.

Ohio State ranks 5th among the nation’s colleges and universities and 1st in the Big Ten with 2,886 students studying abroad in 2015-16, a 6.5 percent increase over the previous year. Ohio State ranks 2nd in the nation for the number of students participating in short-term programs with 2,774 studying abroad for one to eight weeks during the academic year. Ohio State ranks 17th in the nation with 7,684* international students enrolled in 2016, an 8 percent increase in enrollment from the previous year.

These findings were issued as part of the 2017 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 education abroad at Ohio State has demonstrated steady growth over the last few years. The percentage increase in study abroad participation in 2015-2016 can primarily be attributed to more than 230 students with the Ohio State Marching Band traveling on a short-term program to London. Other factors that contribute to more students studying abroad include: programming geared toward first and second year students, the Second Year Transformational Experiences Program, a university-wide commitment to make international opportunities more accessible to diverse student populations, involvement of more than 100 Ohio State faculty leading programs, and offering close to 60 study abroad opportunities during the month of May. Of the 2,886 students that studied abroad in 2015-16, close to 800 took advantage of the four-week programs in May.

“May and summer programming 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 Gifty Ako-Adounvo, assistant vice provost for global strategies and international affairs. “We have made a concerted effort to develop programs that focus on the history, culture and environment of particular regions that has made studying abroad more accessible to a variety of student populations.”

International student enrollment experienced an increase of more than 550 students; Ohio State enrolled 7,117 international students in 2015.

“Our goal is to ensure that international student enrollment levels remain in tandem with enhanced programming efforts to help our students adapt to a new cultural environment, while also supporting their academic success at Ohio State,” Ako-Adounvo said.

International students at Ohio State hail from more than 100 countries including, China (4,810); India (813); South Korea (437); Malaysia (298); and Taiwan (166). 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, social sciences, 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, Spain, China, Australia and Honduras. Nationally, the leading destinations for studying abroad are the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and China. The top fields of study for Ohio State students studying abroad are business, health professions, engineering, biological and biomedical sciences, social sciences and agriculture, whereas the national trend includes science, technology, engineering and mathematics, business, social sciences, and foreign language and international studies.

The 2017 Open Doors Report is released as part of the nationwide observance of International Education Week (November 13-17), a joint initiative established by the U.S. Departments of Education and State. At Ohio State, International Education Week is celebrated with a number of activities supported by the Office of International Affairs, which oversees Ohio State’s education 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. For more information, visit http://oia.osu.edu/.

* 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.