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USC leads nation in international students for 12th year

Merrill Balassoneby Merrill Balassone
The international student population at USC is highly diverse, according to the director of the Office of International Services. (Photo/Dennis Martinez)
The international student population at USC is highly diverse, according to the director of the Office of International Services. (Photo/Dennis Martinez)

For the 12th year in a row, USC accounted for more international students than any other American institution of higher education, according to the annual Open Doors report released on Nov. 11 by the Institute of International Education.

During the 2012-13 academic year, USC hosted 9,840 international students, according to the institute. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Purdue University were ranked second and third, respectively, in the report.

Chinese students represented the largest segment of USC’s international population with 3,771. Students from India were the second-largest group with 1,806.

USC officials attributed strong numbers of Indian and Chinese students to several factors, including its reputation along the Pacific Rim and its commitment to recruiting, which is supported by an expanding alumni base in several Chinese and Indian cities.

“USC continues to attract the most talented and creative students from all over the world — a point of tremendous pride for our community,” said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. “USC’s international students arrive on our campuses with a broad range of experiences and perspectives, as well as extraordinary intellect and creativity. Their time at the university will remain with them for life, and our domestic students will learn about cultures outside their own. Throughout their lives, both groups of students will benefit from their professional connections.”

Seventy-two percent of USC’s international student population in fall 2012 was enrolled in graduate-level programs, with the greatest number attending the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

“The international student population at USC is very diverse, with over 115 different countries of origin represented,” said Tony Tambascia, director of the Office of International Services. “The fact that so many students from around the world choose to come to USC is a great source of pride for the university.

“We also recognize that just enrolling large numbers of international students is not enough,” he added. “Great efforts are made to assist international students to make the most of their experience at USC and to encourage them to take full advantage of the many ways to engage with other members of the university community, both inside and outside the classroom.”

According to the report, USC ranked ninth for the total number of students — 2,065 — who participated in study abroad programs during the 2011-12 school year.

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