Office of the Spokesperson
November 16-20, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education are celebrating the 21st annual International Education Week (IEW), a joint initiative to highlight the benefits of international education and exchange. International education – both welcoming international students to the United States and encouraging more Americans to experience the world through study abroad – is a cornerstone of the State Department’s academic exchange efforts.
Promoting educational exchange between nations is vital to our country’s economic well-being and national security, forging lasting connections between Americans and their peers in other countries, benefiting local communities, and generating knowledge to solve shared challenges.
During IEW, virtual events at schools, universities, and in communities across the United States and around the world, will focus on the importance of international education in fostering security and economic growth, and highlight why more students should experience international education.
To kick off the week, the State Department, in collaboration with the Institute of International Education, released the annual Open Doors report of data and trends in international academic mobility. In academic year 2019/20, more than one million international students studied at U.S. institutions of higher education for the fifth year in a row. The number of American students studying abroad grew by 1.6 percent from the prior year to 347,099 Americans.
International students have a major positive impact on American communities by enriching U.S. classrooms with new perspectives, contributing $44 billion to the U.S. economy, and supporting over 455,000 U.S. jobs last year.
The State Department’s global network of over 430 EducationUSA advising centers in nearly 180 countries promotes U.S. higher education to students around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive, and timely information about opportunities to study at accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States.
The data contained in this year’s Open Doors report provides a baseline indicator prior to the pandemic, showing that interest in international educational experiences is strong among both domestic and international students. The State Department remains committed to supporting and diversifying American student mobility including through participation in U.S.-sponsored exchange programs such as the Fulbright Program, the Critical Language Scholarship Program, and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.