The United States Remains the Top Choice for Indian Students Pursuing Higher Education Abroad

New Delhi, November 13, 2023:   For the third year in a row, a record number of Indian students traveled to the United States to pursue higher education. According to the Open Doors Report (ODR) released today, the number of international students from India to the United States increased by 35 percent and resulted in an all-time high of 268,923 students in academic year 2022-23.  Indian students constitute more than 25 percent of the over one million foreign students studying in the United States.  The release of the Open Doors Report marks the beginning of International Education Week (IEW), which celebrates the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.

Open Doors Report Data 2021/22 2022/23 % increase
Indian international students in the United States 199,182 268,923 35%
Undergraduate students 27,545 31,954 16%
Graduate students 102,024 165,936 62.6%
OPT 68,188 69,062 1.3%

According to Open Doors Report data, India surpassed China to become the largest source of international graduate students in the United States for the first time since 2009/10.  The number of Indian graduate students rose by 63 percent to 165,936 students, an increase of nearly 64,000 students, compared to last year, while Indian undergraduate students also increased by 16 percent. ODR data also shows India leading in the number of individuals (69,062) who pursued optional practical training (OPT), a type of temporary work permission that allows eligible students to get real-world experience related to their field of study.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India issued record high numbers of student visas during the main student visa season of June-August 2023.  Consular officers across India issued 95,269 visas in the F, M, and J categories.  This is an 18 percent increase over 2022 during the same timeframe.

U.S. Ambassador Eric Garcetti remarked: “You did it, India!  Each and every Indian student in the United States and the families supporting their success deserve recognition for this achievement.  The decision to study abroad, and your choice of the United States, represents a valuable investment by you and your families.  You are bringing our countries closer together and leading us towards a bright future.  We celebrate the strength of the Indian educational system that prepares students to compete globally and look forward to seeing India continue to lead.  We also look forward to balancing these record numbers.  We want to see equal numbers of women pursuing studies in the United States and see more U.S. students coming to experience all that India has to offer.”

To assist Indian students in finding the right study opportunity, the U.S. Department of State offers free advising services to prospective students, both virtually and in-person, at six EducationUSA advising centers throughout India in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, and two in Hyderabad.  All six centers are staffed by EducationUSA advisors who offer accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date information about opportunities to study in the United States, helping Indian students find the best program and fit from among more than 4,500 accredited U.S. higher-education institutions.

Students and families seeking additional facts about studying in the United States can download the EducationUSA India app, available for free on iOS and Android devices.  The app provides the latest information about the college application process and is a quick and easy first step to planning higher education in the United States.  Or visit https://educationusa.state.gov/country/in.

About Open Doors

The Institute of International Education (IIE) publishes the Open Doors report.  IIE conducts an annual statistical survey on international students in the United States since its founding in 1919 and in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs since 1972.  Open Doors also reports on the number of international scholars at U.S. universities and international students enrolled in pre-academic Intensive English Programs.

Open Doors 2023 report includes international students enrolled at U.S. higher education institutions in the United States and online from abroad, and those on Optional Practical Training (OPT) from Fall 2022 to Spring 2023.  For more data, infographics and resources visit www.iie.org/OpenDoors.

About the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State builds relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional and private sector exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs.  Approximately 50,000 participants annually embark on these exchange programs, including the flagship Fulbright Program and the International Visitor Leadership Program. ECA also sponsors the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships for U.S. undergraduates with financial need, the Critical Language Scholarship Program in support of U.S. foreign language study abroad, and the EducationUSA network of over 400 advising centers worldwide, which provides information to students around the globe who wish to study in the United States. For more information on the Department of State’s educational and cultural exchange activities, visit eca.state.gov.

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