This is the final post in a five-part blog series focused on International Education Week.
International Education Week wouldn’t be complete without the central force that drives international education—international students. With a record 1.08 million foreign students enrolled in approximately 2,100 US institutions, education in America is as enticing as ever. Students from China account for nearly a third of foreign enrollees, with 350,000 students coming to the US in 2016—a seven percent increase from 2015. Indian students are the second most enrolled at 53,000 students, and Brazilian students come in at third with 13,000 students. Times Higher Education states that schools like our own Michigan State University have become “international powerhouses” regarding global education. According to Alyson L. Grunder, a deputy assistant secretary of state for policy, “The US higher education sector remains the global leader in welcoming students from around the world, and at the same time, we are committed to increasing opportunities to study abroad for Americans.”
One major benefit international students have when studying abroad is the access to a liberal education that provides significant intellectual enrichment—students are able to study and experience a wide variety of topics and events that better mold them into a citizen that can thrive in an increasingly global world. This education prepares students excellently for jobs in the workforce, where students display research skills, critical thinking, global communication abilities, and stout work ethics to employers. Students are even aided in the process of finding a job to minimize any difficulties they might encounter during their process. Students are also awarded financial assistance to the cost of coming to the US for schooling with a wide range of scholarships and step by step instructions on how to best apply to colleges. The presence of international students benefits US students as well, encouraging peer to peer learning and collaboration across cultures in a method that brings down societal barriers.
International Education Week is a great time to celebrate the opportunity and resources people around the globe have when it comes to pursuing an education, and it’s important to continue this phenomenal practice. In a world where connectivity matters more than ever, this week embodies many of the core principles that will be necessary to our society in years to come.