November 14, 2016

Purdue ranks 4th for international student population at public universities, places in top 25 for first time for study abroad

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue continues to support the higher education global experience as one of the leading U.S. university destinations for international students, as well as one of the nation's top 25 schools that send American students abroad.

Purdue has the fourth-largest number of international students among U.S. public institutions and is eighth among the more than 4,500 public and private institutions, according to a report issued Monday (Nov.14) by the Institute of International Education. Purdue's efforts to encourage more students to study abroad also were recognized as the university placed within the nation's top 25 for the first time at No. 24.

 "Reaching the top 25 in study abroad participation is a significant milestone because a critical component of the Purdue educational experience is the opportunity to develop intercultural competency. There's no better way to develop certain knowledge, skills and attitudes than to engage in an overseas educational programs," said Michael Brzezinski, dean of international programs. "For decades, Purdue has brought that diversity to West Lafayette, Indiana, as students from around the world interacted cross culturally daily in classes and in co-curricular activities with Hoosier and non-resident students alike. Recently, we've worked to see more students immerse themselves in educational learning abroad."

The 2016 Open Doors Report's study abroad ranking is based on the 2015-16 academic year. Purdue had 1,917 domestic students who studied abroad during that time. Previously Purdue was ranked No. 29 with 1,604 domestic students.

Brezinski Landscape sketch English landscape students at the Stourhead English Landscape Garden in May 2016. The students, who are studying landscape architecture and landscape horticulture, sketched and journaled after touring the garden. (Photo provided) Download image

"We credit this growth to the financial support from the Purdue Moves Study Abroad scholarship program and to the various faculty who have designed and led study abroad programs," said Brian Harley, associate dean of international programs and director of the office of programs for study abroad. "We've seen a growth in diversity in programming, including an emphasis on work or industry experience abroad. And, thanks to the Purdue Moves initiative, 70 percent more students studied abroad."

Purdue Moves is a range of initiatives designed to broaden Purdue's global impact and enhance educational opportunities for its students. The aspirational goal is for one-third of all undergraduate students to participate in an international study, internship or research credit-bearing experience before graduation.

Purdue offers scholarships for qualified undergraduate students who participate in a study abroad program.

Purdue is one of 18 American universities in the top 25 for matriculating the most international students and sending domestic students abroad for study.

The 2016 Open Doors also reports that Purdue had 10,563 international students, a 3.3 percent increase over the 10,230 in 2014-15. In addition to the 9,230 reported for fall 2015, this number also includes recent graduates who obtained employment eligibility in the United States and who are still affiliated with the university. This fall, Purdue reported 9,303 international students, an all-time high, from 127 countries.

Among public institutions, Arizona State University, the University of Illinois and University of California Los Angeles place in the top three, with international student populations of 12,751, 12,085 and 11,513, respectively. Overall, New York University is No. 1 with 15,543 students. The University of Southern California, Columbia University and Northeastern University - all private institutions - ranked second, fourth and sixth on the overall list. Purdue is one of eight U.S. institutions to host more than 10,000 international students.

Last year, Purdue ranked third among U.S. public institutions.

Nationally, the number of international students attending U.S. universities and colleges increased 7.1 percent to 1,043,839 from 974,926. This is nearly double from 564,766 in 2005-06. Indiana is a top 10 state for hosting international students. Indiana University is No. 17 with 7,159.

These students' spending in all 50 states contributed $30.5 billion to the 2015 U.S. economy, according to the NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The more than 28,000 students from abroad studying in Indiana contributed $919.2 million to the state's economy.

The Open Doors report is published in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and its publication marks the celebration of International Education Week. The Institute of International Education has conducted an annual statistical survey of international students in the United States since its founding in 1919 and in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs since 1972.   

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, 

Sources: Michael Brzezinski, 765-494-9399,

Brian Harley, 

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