Ohio State student and a faculty resident pose at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy on a study abroad trip. Ohio State is ranked in the top 10 for international students and in the top 20 for students studying abroad. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State

Ohio State football isn’t the only nationally ranked program at the university. 

An Open Doors report released Nov. 18 ranked Ohio State in the top 10 doctoral institutions for the number of students studying abroad and the top 20 for hosting international students, according to a university press release. The report is an annual survey published by the Institute of International Education in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 

According to the release, Ohio State ranks seventh among the nation’s colleges and universities and third in the Big Ten, with a total of 2,941 students who studied abroad in the 2017-18 academic year — an 8 percent increase from the previous academic year. Ohio State is ranked second in the country for the number of students participating in short-term programs, with a total of 2,821 students studying abroad for one to eight weeks during the academic year.

“We are pleased with the numbers and the fact that there continues to be a lot of opportunities for students of all majors and all backgrounds who are interested in having an opportunity to study abroad,” Jeannie Simmons, associate director for education abroad for the Office of International Affairs, said.

Simmons said the length of time a student spends studying abroad depends on what they are looking for in the opportunity.

Destinations for students vary, but the most popular include the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Brazil and Canada, according to the release. The top fields of study for Ohio State students studying abroad include business, health professions, social sciences, biological and biomedical sciences, engineering and agriculture, the release states.

When it comes to hosting international students, Ohio State ranks 19th in the nation, with a total of 8,020 international students in 2018 — a 12.8 percent increase in enrollment from 2017, according to the release. The release credited its move into the nation’s top 20 and increase in enrollment numbers to more international students participating in Optional Practical Training last year.

“OPT is a program that offers international students the opportunity to continue their education through hands-on practical work experience that is directly related to a student’s major area of study. The training is authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for a total of 12 months,” the release states.

Ohio State had 928 students who participated in OPT in 2017 and 1,406 in 2018 — a 66 percent increase — according to the release.

Ohio State’s international population comes from more than 100 countries, including China, India, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan. The top fields of study at Ohio State for international students include engineering, business, mathematics, statistics and the social sciences, according to the release.

Carina Hansen, director of the international students and scholars office in the Office of International Affairs, said Ohio State’s rank in the top 20 for international student enrollment speaks to what the university provides for international students.

“It shows that Ohio State offers a lot academically, but I also believe that it shows that Ohio State does quite a bit for international students in other ways,” Hansen said.

International Students and Scholars provides different programs for international students to get involved and connect with the campus community. The programs include global engagement nights, the English Conversation Program, an international film series and trips, Hansen said.

Among the factors that may influence students to study abroad are the  involvement of more than 100 Ohio State faculty leading programs and the close to 60 education abroad opportunities offered during the first half of each summer session, according to the release.

“One of our institutional priorities is to ensure that Ohio State students are afforded an opportunity to study abroad, experience different cultures and gain a better understanding of their field of study in global environments,” Gil Latz, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs said in the release. 

Simmons said students should speak with the Office of International Affairs to find a study abroad program that suits them academically and financially.