China now leads the world in sending students overseas to study in the United States. An annual survey by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute of International Education released today, known as the "Open Doors" report, shows China has surpassed India, which dropped to second place in the 2009-2010 academic year.
Produced as a joint effort by eight academic institutions, the survey finds that the overall number of foreign students coming to U.S. schools this fall is slightly higher than the year before, reaching 690,923. This is unexpected news, according to Inside Higher Ed, which notes that many feared the economic downturn would stop the growth in international travel for education. It did not. While the number of U.S. students studying abroad declined slightly for the first time ever, the overall number of students attending college in another country reached a new peak and appears to be headed upward.