Indians and Chinese comprise half of 11.7 lakh international students in the US

Nearly 75% of the Indian students are studying for a Masters degree, 11% are enrolled for a Bachelors degree, and the rest are pursuing Doctorate.

Student education expenses in the US

The US is one of the most premium destinations for students wanting to study abroad. Recent data revealed by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has quite a few interesting insights. Of the total 11.7 lakh international student in the US, half of them come from India and China.

This essentially means that as of March 2019, there are about 5.8 lakh students currently studying in the US from these two countries. Further bifurcation reveals that 2.09 lakh of active students are from India and the rest are from China.

The DHS data is based on SEVIS figures. SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, which is the database used to maintain information on international students. The raw data released by DHS has been analysed by The Times of India.

Related: How to plan for child education expenses 

Which is the degree of choice?

While students from both these countries covet the US, their interest is drastically different. While Indians prefer to go to the US to gain their Master's degree, Chinese students enrol for a Bachelor's course.

Nearly 75% of the Indian students are studying for a Master's degree, 11% are enrolled for a Bachelor's degree, and the rest are pursuing a Doctorate.

On the other hand, 37% of Chinese students in the US are there to get their Bachelor's degree and 31% are pursuing a Master's degree.

Related: Using mutual funds to plan for and fund your child’s education 

What subjects are the students studying?

There are no surprises here. Majority of Indian students in the US are there for the coveted STEM stream. STEM refers to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM refers to any subjects that fall under these four disciplines.

Most Chinese students in the US are studying engineering, aviation, robotics and high-tech manufacturing. This could be a result of the Made in China 2025 Industrial Policy that has made the aforementioned priority areas. However, as per various media reports, the Chinese students have lately been facing visa-related challenges. Reports say this is due to the trade war between the US and China.

An interesting insight is that the number of students going to the US is seeing a decline. While there are 11.7 lakh international students in the US as of March 2019, this is 3% lesser than March 2018. The total number of Indian students has shrunk by about 1% from approximately 2.12 lakh students in 2018 to 2.09 lakh students in 2019. The number of Chinese students have declined by 2% from 3.77 lakh to 3.69 lakh. 

This could be a result of various issues such as the screening process becoming tougher or students opting for friendlier overseas destinations such as Australia and Europe. As per education counsellors, incidents of racism have also pushed the US further down on the list of students.

Related: Your child’s foreign education: can you afford it? 

Can students work in the US post completion of studies?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is that getting an H-1B visa is becoming challenging by the day. Only 85,000 visas are issued annually. So the probability of getting one is small considering there are lakhs of students studying in the US. Additionally, 20,000 of these visas are reserved for those with a Masters degree. To make matter even more difficult, the selection process also involves a lottery. Read this to know how prepared are you to meet your child's education cost?


Related Article

Premium Articles