Illinois a top global destination for international students, leader in international educational opportunities


Champaign, Illinois—The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign remains one of the most sought-after destinations for international students, according to the annual Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. The report, published on November 13, 2017, by the Institute of International Education (IIE), ranks Illinois as second in the nation among public institutions (sixth when accounting for private schools) for welcoming international students. The university also ranked in the top 25 universities in the country for credit-bearing study abroad participation in 2015-16.

“At Illinois, we are committed to fostering a global classroom that not only welcomes the best and brightest students from around the world, but also encourages students and faculty to engage on an international scale, whether through collaborative research or study abroad opportunities,” said Professor Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, Vice Provost of International Affairs and Global Strategies at the Urbana-Champaign campus. “These global learning opportunities allow our students to graduate from Illinois with the critical competencies and experiences needed to live, work, and lead in today’s global society.”

The 2017 Open Doors data revealed the following facts:

  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is second in the country among public institutions when it comes to its international student enrollment numbers and sixth in the country overall, welcoming more than 12,400 international students;
  • Illinois is 20th in the country for credit-bearing study abroad participation, with more than 2,000 students earning credit abroad in 2015-16;
  • Students from China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Canada make up the bulk of all international students in the United States, and
  • The United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany were the top host destinations for U.S. students studying abroad.

“Our land-grant mission of educational access and public engagement encourages us to seek and expand the opportunities for students, faculty and staff to learn, teach and work in a setting where global perspectives are not only celebrated, but truly integrated into the campus culture,” said Chancellor Robert J. Jones. “As we celebrate the University’s Sesquicentennial, we are proud to recognize the integral role that our international students, faculty, staff, and alumni have had in making Illinois synonymous with excellence around the globe.”

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a long been an international destination of higher education, dating from the early 1900s. In addition to the quantitative and qualitative benefits of enhanced learning outcomes for both domestic and international students, international students bring numerous economic benefits to the state of Illinois–including economic contributions of more than $1.6 billion and 22,270 jobs in 2016, according to NAFSA. The contribution to the Urbana-Champaign economy alone totaled $382 million.

The Institute of International Education has conducted an annual census of international students in the U.S. since its founding in 1919. Open Doors has been published by the Institute since 1949, and has received support from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the U.S. Department of State since the 1970s. For more on the IIE, visit:


source : Univesity of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

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Illinois a top global destination for international students, leader in international educational opportunities