As a student attending a university with nearly 2,000 international students from more than 140 different countries, I know firsthand how much their experiences add to the richness of my education. As an intern in the International Trade Administration (ITA), I realize how crucial international education is as one of America’s leading service exports. In fact, international education is our fifth-largest service export, bringing in more than $17.8 billion each year from tuition and student living expenses (not including the number of students attending private universities, short-term training, and the like).
Therefore, the Department of Commerce is zeroing in on India for its next education mission October 10-15. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Promotion and Director General for the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (CS) Suresh Kumar will lead the delegation of representatives of 21 U.S. graduate schools and four-year undergraduate schools to learn more about the market and to recruit bright, promising students. The education mission will stopover in New Delhi, Chennai, and Mumbai where delegates will participate in student fairs to recruit students and develop relationships between U.S. institution and Indian consultants and institutions. According to an Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchangein2010, nearly 105,000 international students from India studied in the U.S. last year. The majority attended graduate school programs, but the department expects a greater influx into U.S. undergrad programs in the coming years as well.
India’s enormous youth population is beginning to exceed the capacity of its current higher education system. Yet, higher education is a top priority within Indian homes. Accordingly, the Government of India expects its higher-education student population to nearly triple to 40 million students by 2020. Therefore, many Indian families are sending their children out of the country to finish their education, and their top choice is the United States.
U.S. institutions value diversity and varying prospective and insight from students around the world. On behalf of the ITA, I’d like to welcome international students to American universities. You’re in for the academic and personal learning experience of your life!