Exchange students undertake formal studies at postsecondary institutions to increase their cultural exposure, expand their learning opportunities, and improve their language skills. These experiences enrich human societies by building greater understanding among peoples of different cultures and nationalities and often lead to collaborations that benefit organizations, institutions, and disciplines over time.
Since ancient times young people have traveled to other lands to acquire new languages, improve their existing language skills, broaden understanding of foreign customs, access historical sites and geography, and reflect about the meaning of these experiences. The rise of universities and particularly their expansion within the modern era, has created a context for these experiences to become more formalized. Under organized exchange student programs, students spend time in other countries with structured educational aims in mind for set periods of time and report back to supervisors within their home institutions.
The calamity of
Foreign students enter the United States by obtaining any one of three types of visas:
•F-1 visa for full-time academic education
•J-visa for cultural exchange for informal learning of professionals as well as student travel and work programs
•M-visas for nonacademic courses of study, such as vocational training
J-visas are often colloquially called “Fulbrights”; however, that name properly refers only to a specific program, not to all programs that merit J-visas.
During the academic year of 2007-2008, a total of 623,805 foreign students registered for full-time study at American universities. This figure represented an increase of 7 percent over the prior year and a substantial increase over the 481,280 students who had registered during the 1997-1998 academic year. Between 1997 and 2008, foreign students accounted for 3.5 percent of all students enrolled in American institutions of higher learning. Their numbers have been split about equally between undergraduate and graduate students. The states of
The numbers of American students going abroad for both short- and long-term study increased 8 percent in 2006-2007 to an all-time high of 241,791. That figure represented almost 1.6 percent of all American students enrolled in higher education during that academic year. Thirty-six percent of the students studying abroad were in semester-long programs, while 55 percent elected short-term programs. Almost 30 percent of entering freshmen at four-year colleges in the fall of 2008 indicated an interest in studying overseas. This positive trend seemed to be due to increases in the numbers of foreign-study programs, greater awareness that
Bhandari, Rajika, ed. Higher Education on the Move: New Developments in Global Mobility. New York: Institute of International Education, 2009. Authoritative treatment of global mobility of students, professors, and researchers and their financing. Haddal, Chad C. CRS Report for Congress. Foreign Students in the United States: Policies and Legislation. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, 2009. Regularly updated report for Congress on foreign students that provides demographic data and information about what foreign students are studying and where. Institute of International Education. Expanding Study Abroad Capacity at U.S. Colleges and Universities. New York: Author, 2009. Part of a continuing series of Study Abroad White Papers that deals with various topics related to overseas study for Americans. _______. Open Doors 2008: Report on International Educational Exchange. New York: Author, 2009. Definitive annual report published since 1948 that compiles and provides commentary on all relevant educational statistics from a global perspective.
Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992
English as a second language
9/11 and U.S. immigration policy