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USC leads nation in enrollment of international students

An article by Andrew Good and Merrill Balassone in the USC Chronicle talks about USC's position this year as the top enroller of international students.

November 27, 2012

For the 11th year in a row, USC accounted for more international students than any other American institution of higher education, according to the annual Open Doors report released on Nov. 12 by the Institute of International Education.

During the 2011-12 academic year, USC hosted 9,269 international students, according to the institute. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was listed in second place and New York University ranked third in the report.

Chinese students represented the largest segment of USC’s enrolled international population with 2,515 people, a record enrollment for the university. Students from India were the second largest group with 1,265.

USC officials attributed strong numbers of Indian and Chinese students to several factors, including its reputation along the Pacific Rim and its commitment to recruiting, which is supported by an expanding alumni base in several Chinese and Indian cities.

“USC is so proud of its exceptional international students, as well as its ability to continually draw such talented students from all over the world,” said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. “These students arrive on our campuses with a broad range of experiences and perspectives, as well as tremendous intellect and creativity. They benefit enormously from their time at USC, while our domestic students learn about cultures outside their own. The bonds our students form — and the professional connections they establish — remain with them for life.”

About 71 percent of USC’s international student population in fall 2011 was enrolled in graduate-level programs, with the greatest number attending the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

“At USC, international students from over 115 different countries participate fully in both the academic and co-curricular aspects of campus life,” said Tony Tambascia, associate dean of Student Affairs. “The university’s leadership is dedicated to helping international students have a great Trojan experience, and I think this is part of why so many students from around the world enroll each year.

“International alumni are also very involved in the life of the university,” Tambascia added, “and current students look forward to joining the network of USC graduates around the world upon completion of their degrees.”

According to the report, USC ranked sixth for the total number of students — 2,340 — who participated in study abroad programs during the 2010-11 school year.

More nationwide data from the report is available at



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