As an international student, choosing where to attend school in the U.S. to attend can be a major – and majorly stressful – decision: at nearly 10 million square kilometers, the United States is the third largest country by area in the world, with settings ranging from snowy mountains, to warm and sunny beaches, and numerous others in between.
But when it comes to location, international students definitely have a favorite spot: the U.S. state of California. As a state, California attracts more international students than any other states.
For the past 12 years, the University of Southern California (USC), located in Los Angeles, has had the highest number of international students of any school in the country. This past school year, they boasted over 10,000 international students. Not far behind is the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), with 8,424 international students in the 2013-2014 school year.
But why California? Soung Hyun Park, a student at California’s Santa Monica College, cited the many top global universities focusing on international education, and the draw of technological innovation happening in California’s in Silicon Valley.
Park said other students come to California because it’s “an international state,” boasting a large Asian community. This may be a big draw, as more than half of the international students coming to the U.S. are from China, India, and South Korea.
After California, the U.S. states of New York, Texas and Massachusetts top the lists of states with the most international students.
Jeonghyun Kim is a VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University.