There is unprecedented demand among international students for U.S. educational opportunities. Scholars, administrators and government agencies are working together as never before to keep our academic doors open.

With the world still recovering from the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, international educators at U.S. colleges and universities may be in the best position to respond. However, these educators are still facing Dickensian "best of times, worst of times" conditions.

International education contributes directly to the health of the U.S. economy and the prospects for sustainable world peace.

The positive demand trends we’re seeing are stronger than any we experienced coming out of all previous pandemics since our organization began its annual census of student mobility in 1920. International students studying at U.S. colleges and universities contributed $40 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 368,000 jobs during the 2022-2023 academic year, according to NAFSA. Higher education institutions nationwide benefit through the tuition students from abroad pay and their expenditures in local communities. The Department of Commerce considers these revenues to be one of the pillars of our National Export Strategy.

With the global impact of the pandemic receding, the number of student visas issued in 2023 saw the highest number since 2016. At IIE, we’re seeing unprecedented increases in international student mobility trends to the U.S. and forecast that "by 2030, the number of internationally mobile students will grow from 6 million in 2023 to over 10 million. As much as one-fifth will aim to come to the United States." This means that in every corner of the globe, we are likely to have friends with whom our next generation of leaders in commerce, science and diplomacy can work to make the world a less dangerous place.

International students deeply enrich American businesses by adding diverse perspectives and ideas, fostering cultural fluency and understanding, and building longer-term business relationships in new markets and networks.

Read the full article about international education by Allan Goodman at Forbes.