Penn State remains a top school for global engagement

November 16, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State is among the top 10 schools hosting international students and the top 20 schools sending students abroad, according to the 2017 Institute for International Education (IIE) Open Doors report.

Ranked at No. 10, Penn State currently hosts nearly 10,000 international students across the Commonwealth, in addition to nearly 1,500 international scholars.

“We are thrilled that the vision of the Global Penn State is being realized,” said Michael Adewumi, vice provost for Global Programs. “We are involved in a wide variety of global engagement activities, both in terms of students’ mobility and also in research. It is a testament to the vision of the University’s leadership, who clearly identified global engagement as a foundational principle in the current strategic plan.”

Overall, new international student enrollment dropped nationwide by roughly 3 percent in fall 2016, the latest information available. Penn State saw a modest drop, as well.

“We are making deliberate efforts to ensure that international students know they are welcome here,” said Adewumi.

With regards to education abroad experiences, Penn State ranks 18th in the country. But that doesn’t tell the whole story, according to Brian Brubaker, director of Education Abroad.

“We always say we’re ‘one University, geographically dispersed.’ IIE only includes numbers from University Park,” which leads to a lower rank on the list, he said. “If you consider the active engagement of students going abroad from all our campuses, you would see that we sent almost 2,800 students abroad last year — which would put us squarely in the top 10 nationally.”

Embedded programs — in-semester programs which are led by faculty and tie directly in with a residential course — have seen marked increases nationally in the past years. It is a trend that also continues at Penn State.

Pennsylvania ranks 6th in the number of international students hosted in any state in the United States, a ranking bolstered by Penn State, which hosts the most international students among all institutions in Pennsylvania. It is estimated that international students bring almost $2 billion in revenue to the state.

“International students bring so much to our campus,” said Adewumi. “They bring diverse perspectives to our classrooms, our research and our community, and provide an international flavor for our campuses.”

The Open Doors report is published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE), an independent not-for-profit organization with a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide, and more than 1,200 member institutions.

The release of the report came during International Education Week (IEW) in November, a joint, annual initiative of the U.S. Department of State and Department of Education that aims to promote international understanding and build support for international educational exchange by encouraging the development of programs that prepare Americans to live and work in a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study in the U.S.

For more information, read IIE’s Executive Summary or dig into the Open Doors Data.

Last Updated November 17, 2017