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Minnesota's Global Reach


 
  • The number of international students studying in Minnesota increased by four percent in 2013.
  • Students attending Minnesota colleges have high participation rates in study abroad programs.

International Students in Minnesota

A new report from the Brookings Institute, The Geography of Foreign Students in U.S. Higher Education: Origins and Destinations details the impact of international students in the U.S. and offers comparisons among major metropolitan areas. Minneapolis-St. Paul ranks 18 out of 118 metro areas in terms of size of the foreign student population. Half of these students extended their visas and stayed in the metro area to work full-time after graduation.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, international students contributed over $24 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012-2013. In Minnesota, international students contributed $332 million to the state economy.

The Institute of International Educations Open Doors 2013 reported 13,232 foreign students attended Minnesota institutions during the 2012-2013 academic year. This number was up 3.9 percent from the previous year. Among the states and Washington, D.C., Minnesota ranked 19th in the number of international students in the state, unchanged from 2011-2012.

  • The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities ranked 16th nationally among institutions, hosting 2,652 international students in 2012-2013.
  • China was the leading country of origin for international students in Minnesota, accounting for 29.2 percent of all international students in the state. Nearly 50 percent of international students in Minnesota come from China, South Korea or India.

Ten Minnesota Institutions Accounted for 81 Percent of International Students in Minnesota, 2013
Institution Number
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities6,178
St. Cloud State University1,215
Minnesota State University - Mankato885
Minnesota State University - Moorhead528
University of St. Thomas448
University of Minnesota - Duluth349
Winona State University316
Macalester College294
College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University263
Carleton College186
All other Minnesota institutions2,570
Total International Students Attending a Minnesota Institution13,232

Source: Institute of International Education, Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange


Minnesota Students Studying Abroad

During the 2012-2013 academic year, 9,249 students attending Minnesota institutions studied abroad for academic credit.

  • The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities ranked third nationally in the number of students participating in study abroad programs for academic credit, sending 2,508 students abroad. The top two institutions were New York University and the University of Texas-Austin.
  • Five private Minnesota colleges ranked in the top 20 nationally in the percent of undergraduate students studying abroad.

Ten Minnesota Institutions Accounted for 76 Percent of Minnesota Study Abroad Students, 2012
Institution Number
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities2,508
University of Saint Thomas*815
Saint Olaf College*678
Hamline University*601
College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University546
Bethel University*407
Carleton College*390
Gustavus Adolphus College371
University of Minnesota - Duluth356
St. Cloud State University347
All other Minnesota institutions2,230
Total Study Abroad Students Attending a Minnesota Institution9,249

*Ranked in the top 20 nationally in percent of the institution's undergraduate enrollment studying abroad.

Source: Institute of International Education, Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange


Nationally, 283,332 American students studied abroad - an all-time high. This represented a three percent increase. The United Kingdom remains the leading destination for American students, followed by Italy, Spain, France and China.

The Institute of International Education has more information on international students studying in the U.S. and on U.S. students studying abroad.

Open Doors Fact Sheet for Minnesota