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USC leads the nation in international students

USC Leads the Nation in International Students

For the 10th year in a row, USC counted more international students than any other American institution of higher education, according to the annual Open Doors report released on Nov. 14 by the Institute of International Education.

During the 2010-11 academic year, USC hosted 8,615 international students, according to the institute. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was listed in second place and New York University ranked third in the report.

Chinese students represented the largest segment of USC’s international population with 1,951 people, a record enrollment for the university. Students from India were the second largest group with 1,499.

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’s international students contribute tremendously to the university’s vibrant community – and they benefit greatly in return,” said USC president C. L. Max Nikias. “Our campuses hum with diversity, fresh perspectives and a broad range of experiences. As a result, in addition to a world-class education, USC offers a truly unique experience for its students to learn and grow.”

About 70 percent of USC’s international student population in fall 2010 was enrolled in graduate-level programs, with the greatest number attending the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

“USC’s growing international student populations includes students from over 115 different countries of origin,” said Tony Tambascia, associate dean of Student Affairs. “Another very positive trend is how many of the university’s domestic students are choosing to spend time overseas as part of their degree program.”

According to the report, USC ranked third for the total number of students – 2,500 – who participated in study abroad programs during the 2009-10 school year.

“While USC has long been a leader in enrollment of international students, it’s exciting to see the university ranked among the top institutions in terms of study abroad participation,” Tambascia said. “The mix of international students alongside domestic students who share a keen interest in global issues makes for a very stimulating academic environment.”

More nationwide data from the report is available at

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