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NYU proves to host third-highest international student population

Posted on December 3, 2012 | by Veronica Carchedi

NYU hosts one of the largest international communities among U.S. universities, according to a study conducted by Open Doors, a research program of the Institute of International Education.

“The goal of the Open Doors project is to help policy makers and educators better understand the full scope of international student mobility to the U.S., including which states and institutions are the top hosts of international students,” IIE’s senior counselor Peggy Blumenthal said.

In the 2012 Open Doors data from earlier this month, NYU ranked third with an international student population of 8,660 students, trailing only the University of Southern California and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Even though NYU’s ranking was the same as in 2011 rankings, this year shows an 8 percent increase from last year’s enrollment.

The IIE is an independent, nonprofit international education and training organization. For the past 40 years, Open Doors research has been supported by a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs from the U.S. Department of State. The study was based on data collected from annual surveys sent out to approximately 3,000 U.S. institutions of higher education.

Blumenthal said the United States’ diverse programs that attract the most international students and that the institutions with the highest international student populations have common traits.

“Many of the leading institutions that draw a large number of international students have a global reputation for outstanding research and teaching, as well as distinguished faculty and alumni,” Blumenthal said. “They make significant outreach efforts to attract students and also offer targeted services to support the international student population on their campuses.”

David Austell, director of NYU’s Office for International Students and Scholars, said the university’s academic reputation, as well as the allure of the New York City location are the main attractions for international students.

“Unquestionably the first reason that international students are applying to NYU is the quality and the power of the academic programs that are here,” he said. “Secondly I think New York City itself is a big attraction. A world-class university in a world-class city is definitely an attracting force.”

Austell added that the growing international community has both an academic and cultural impact on the university.

“It’s certainly true that the international students contribute to the academic endeavors of the university,” Austell said. “The students typically are brilliant. They are the best and the brightest from their own countries.”

International students also pointed to the diversity of NYU’s student body as a major draw of the university.

“NYU is really diverse and that’s probably one of the main reasons it was attractive to me,” said Steinhardt senior Scarlett Wang, who is from China.

Wang, who is studying applied psychology and sociology, said her program is very culturally aware. She also said she has been able to connect with other NYU students despite being from another country.

“We’re not completely the same, but part of us connects, part of us makes each other’s story more exciting,” Wang said.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Dec. 3 print edition. Veronica Carchedi is a deputy university editor. Email her at 


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