Despite a drop the rankings of international enrollment and the number of students studying abroad, some international students said it’s worth leaving home for an Ohio State education.
OSU was ranked No. 15 nationally for its international student enrollment and No. 25 for the number of students studying abroad in an annual report published by the Institute of International Education.
The data were released through a report called Open Doors, which, according to the IIE website, contains information gathered “through surveys sent to approximately 3,000 accredited U.S. higher education institutions, who report on the international students enrolled at their campuses. Separate surveys are conducted for U.S. study abroad, international scholars and intensive English programs.”
Although OSU fell to No. 15 from the previous year’s No. 10 ranking for the number of international students the university hosted, there was a 5.5 percent increase in 2012 to 6,478 students, said Maureen Miller, director of communications for the Office of International Affairs, in an email.
Yiqun Wang, a fourth-year biology and mathematics student from China, said OSU’s prominence is appealing to international students.
“It’s one of the biggest universities in the U.S. so I guess it has more opportunities,” Wang said.
Sandeepa Rathnayaka, a fourth-year chemical engineering student from Sri Lanka, said while she initially came to OSU because of a friend who decided to attend, she was also drawn to her major’s program.
“For engineering, the rankings are quite good and the price is lower compared to other good schools,” she said.
U.S. News and World Report 2013 rankings listed the OSU College of Engineering as the No. 29 Best Engineering School.
OSU’s tuition for international students was more than $26,700 per semester for the 2013-14 academic year, according to the OSU Undergraduate Admissions website.
Out of the top 25 institutions on the list, OSU was preceded by six Big Ten universities: University of Illinois, Purdue University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Penn State University and Indiana University.
Miller said OSU’s international program will continue to develop regardless of the rankings.
“Ohio State’s strategy with respect to international student recruitment is one of steady, gradual growth,” she said. “We want to have all the necessary programs and enhanced support services in place to ensure the success of our international student population.”
Ohio State also dropped in the rankings to No. 25 from No. 14 institutions with the highest total number of students studying abroad, with 1,716 students for the 2011-12 academic year. According to the report, it was preceded by Michigan State, Indiana, University of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Penn State, respectively.
Miller said the university attributes the drop in the rankings to the initial semester switch, as some study abroad programs were canceled because of the shortened summer session in 2012.
Miller said, however, involvement is believed to have improved since the semester switch.
“We now know that the semester system benefits students interested in studying abroad,” Miller said. “Participation rebounded with the switch to semesters and the advent of May Session.”
It was estimated that during the 2012-13 academic year, 2,200 students studied abroad with close to 600 of those students doing so during May Session, Miller said.
Yaqing Wei, a fourth-year human resources student from China, said no matter where OSU ranks on the IEE list, it will still appeal to other international students because of its “reputation.”
Wei also had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy through a program in the Fisher College of Business, an experience she said was beneficial.
“I really liked it … it was a good chance to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds,” Wei said. “I like learning from different perspectives.”
Because of a large number of inquiries following the release of the report, representatives for the Institute of International Education were not able to comment Wednesday.