Author: Christine A. Farrugia, senior research officer
Organization: Center for Academic Mobility Research, Institute of International Education
Summary: The report, the first comprehensive look at global mobility among secondary-school students, says that more than 73,000 international students were enrolled in American high schools in 2013. Two-thirds of those students were seeking an American diploma, rather than participating in traditional cultural-exchange programs.
- The number of foreign students pursuing an American high-school diploma has more than tripled in the last decade.
- Almost all diploma-seeking international students are enrolled in private schools, including those with religious affiliations. That’s because U.S. visa policy restricts foreign students to no more than one year of study in public schools.
- As at the college level, Asian countries, including China and South Korea, are the top sources of international high-school students in the United States. But there are some distinct differences: India and Saudi Arabia, leading senders of college students, account for only small numbers of high-school students from overseas.
- Students from Asia typically seek to earn a high-school diploma, while those from Europe and South America come for shorter-term exchange programs.
Bottom Line: A growing number of international students may be seeking out an American education at a younger age in order to give themselves a leg up in the competitive American college-admissions process.