SF State tops national rankings for international study

SF State ranks fifth in the nation among master's institutions that hosted international students in 2010/11, according to rankings announced today by the Institute of International Education in its annual Open Doors report.

A photo of international post cards

The report reveals that the number of international students at colleges and universities across the U.S. increased by five percent during the 2010/11 academic year. SF State hosted a total of 2,426 international students.

Students from China enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities rose to a total of 158,000 students -- or nearly 22 percent of the total international student population -- in 2010/11, according to the report. This semester SF State is hosting 547 students from China. Hildy Heath, director of the Office of International Programs, said that SF State has seen a steady increase in students from China since it began actively recruiting from the country in 2006.

SF State international students came from 90 countries in 2010/11, including Japan (244 students), India (120 students), and South Korea (108 students) among the most popular originating countries. The most popular field of study among international students at SF State is business. During the fall 2010 semester, 850 international students were enrolled in business majors, the most popular of which were accounting, international business and corporate finance.

The number of U.S. students studying abroad has also increased according to the report, which included figures for the 2009/10 academic year. U.S. students studying abroad in 2009/10 numbered 270,604 compared to 260,327 the previous year. The report ranked SF State second in the nation among master's institutions for students involved in foreign study programs of a semester or more. 

Heath added that SF State's foreign study program is focused on access for all. "One important access issue is program cost," she said. "On our year-long programs students do not pay costly fees to the overseas university. They pay regular SF State tuition and fees as if they were staying here."

The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the leading not-for-profit educational and cultural exchange organization in the United States. IIE has conducted its annual survey on international students in the U.S. since 1919, and in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs since the early 1970s. The census is based on a survey of approximately 3,000 accredited U.S. institutions, which host international students. IIE has tracked the number of U.S. students studying abroad since 1985.

-- Denize Springer