A record number of foreign students are studying at U.S. colleges, and many of them are attending the University of Illinois. According to an analysis released by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the university is second only to the University of Southern California when it comes to foreign student population. The U. of I. says that’s not due to recruitment efforts, but rather the school’s reputation around the world.
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“Those students come here, they have a good experience, they go home, they tell their family and their friends, and more students come here,” said Robin Kaler, spokeswoman for the university. “We really are building upon the relationships that were established a very, very long time ago.” Kaler says the school isn’t planning on pushing to take the top spot. “Those kinds of rankings are lovely, but that’s not really how we measure our excellence,” she said.
More than 800,000 foreign students studied at U.S. colleges during 2012-13 school year. The highest numbers were from China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Canada.