Whether it’s travelling the globe or simply experiencing diversity while at school, a recent study suggests that Ohio State is one of the best places to study.
A national report ranks OSU seventh in international student population and 18th in the amount of students studying abroad among the nation’s colleges and universities in 2010. The study was done as part of the Open Doors Report 2011, an annual survey published by the Institute of International Education, and was released on Nov. 14.
William Brustein, vice provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs at OSU, said in an email that the academic prestige and wide range of majors at OSU account for its popularity internationally.
“Academic prowess is indeed No. 1, for international students have many choices for where to study and earn degrees and the quality of academic programs is seen as critical for preparing students for career opportunities,” he said.
Specific programs that attract international students include the College of Engineering and the Fisher College of Business.
Brustein is currently on university business abroad in India, the country with the third-most international students at OSU with 872 students in 2010. China and South Korea are the top two countries, with 2,432 and 932 students, respectively. A total of 116 countries are represented in the student body at OSU.
OSU had 6,082 international students in 2010, a 26.8 percent increase from the previous year, when they ranked 15th among colleges and universities.
Mabel Freeman, assistant vice president in Undergraduate Admissions and First-Year Experience, said she has a four-person staff that travels abroad, visiting with school counselors, students and parents. Brazil, China, India, the Middle East and parts of Europe are areas that OSU targets.
“What you’re looking for is students who both are able to meet our competitive standards, but also to international students who can afford to come to this country,” she said.
Sudeep Nigam, a spring 2011 graduate of OSU with a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, is originally from India and came to the U.S. on student visa.
“I chose Ohio State because it was cheap,” he said. “It was a good decision at the time and it still remains a good decision. With Ohio State, I pretty much got the chance to do everything that I wanted to do.”
OSU’s study abroad program also ranks among the nation’s best, with 1,945 students studying abroad in 2009-2010, 18th most in the country. The amount of students on short-term study abroad programs at OSU ranks third in the U.S. with 1,702.
Maria Thomas, a second-year in finance, went on a short-term study abroad program in Brazil this past summer through Global Gateways, a program at OSU.
The experience Thomas had is something she will never forget.
“It was always something that I wanted to do when I was in college,” she said. “I got to play soccer on the beach with Brazilians. It was really cool to be able to interact with people our own age, to see what their impressions are about Americans and how we could change those.”
Studying abroad is something every student should try to do, according to Brustein.
“Studying abroad is one of the most valuable experiences a student can gain while earning a degree,” he said in an email.
Brustein said in an email that the benefits of studying abroad include the ability to work well in an international setting and being able to communicate effectively across global boundaries, among others.
Thomas said she thinks OSU becoming more diversified in the global world is excellent.
“As we become more and more part of a global world, you’re going to need that experience,” she said