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Vietnam Remains the Sixth Leading Country of Origin for All International Higher Education Students in the United States

According to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) annual “Open Doors” Report released November 16, the United States remains the top destination for international students, welcoming over 914,000 international students from over 200 places of origin in the academic year 2020-2021.  

Despite the global pandemic, Vietnam remains the sixth leading country of origin for all international higher education students in the United States, with 21,631 students studying at U.S. institutions of higher education in the academic year 2020-2021.  Among community college enrollment, Vietnamese students continue to constitute the second largest group of foreign students, accounting for almost 11 percent of all international enrollments.

Of the 21,631 Vietnamese students enrolled in higher education in the United States, 70.6 percent were undergraduates, 15.6 percent were graduate level students, 12.1 percent enrolled in Optional Practical Training (OPT), and the remaining 1.6 percent were pursuing non-degree programs. 

Vietnamese students continue to demonstrate a strong interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and business/management studies. The percentage of Vietnamese students pursuing STEM and business/management majors are 46% and 26.9% respectively.  Among all international students, engineering remains the most popular major with 20.9 percent of international students pursuing studies in this field, followed by math and computer science (19.9 percent) and business and management (15.9 percent).

The global pandemic affected international educational exchange and student mobility around the world, and the United States was not immune. The United States remained open and welcoming to international students, even throughout the pandemic. International students build life-long connections with American peers to maintain and grow America’s international partnerships and to collectively address current and future global challenges. International education for young Americans is essential to the future of our cross-border relations and our economic prosperity. The U.S. Government and U.S. higher education institutions have implemented a number of flexibilities to safely welcome international students in person, online, and via hybrid learning methods, providing opportunities and resources to students during a global crisis. These efforts exemplify our shared commitment to international student mobility and global higher education.

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