Studying abroad is becoming increasingly more popular with students all over the world and in every field of study. There are numerous benefits that a student can get from studying abroad including gaining knowledge of another culture, learning a new language, gain international job prospects, and meet new people. However, international students also offer many benefits to the economies of the countries that host them.
The United States is the most popular destination for international students, followed by the United Kingdom, France, and Australia. At Australian colleges and universities, international students make up almost 20% of the student population. In 2017, over 685,000 international students went to study in Australia, which is a 15% increase from the number of international students in Australia in 2016. Also, during the 2016-2017 academic year, international students contributed $28 billion to the Australian economy. International students have had the same effect on many other countries. In France, international students contribute €4.65 billion to the economy every year. Along with the spending money from international students during their stay and their costs of tuition, the French economy gains €466.7 million per year from friends and family visiting the international students. In the United Kingdom, international students added £13.8 billion gross value to the United Kingdom GDP. On top of the costs of attending school abroad, international students also spend a considerable amount on items such as food and clothing while staying in their host country. In the United Kingdom, international students have spent £750 million in the transportation industry and £690 million in the retail industry.
In the United States, international students make up approximately 5% of the student population. International students have made considerable contributions to the United States economy; during the 2015-2016 academic year, international students spent $32.8 billion dollars in the United States and contributed to the labor market by holding over 400,000 jobs. The number of international students studying in the United States is increasing, with there being 85% more international students than there were ten years ago and 45 states reporting an increase in international students in 2016 compared to 2015. Texas even increased its international student population by 18%. International students also contribute to the United States economy because they are very valuable to the technology industry. Approximately 40% of international students earn degrees in STEM fields and can provide great insight and ideas to the technology industry, where half of the startup companies in America are started by immigrants.