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Release: Immediate

More UI students studying abroad, fewer international students enrolling at UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Increasing numbers of University of Iowa students are studying abroad, mirroring a national trend. However, while international student enrollment in U.S. institutions is increasing nationally, fewer international students are enrolling at the UI.

The Institute of International Education's (IIE) annual "Open Doors" report, released Monday, Dec. 7, shows an 11.4 percent increase in U.S. students studying abroad in 1996-97 and a 5.1 percent increase in international students studying in the U.S. in 1997-98, the most recent years for which figures are available in each category.

At the UI, some 469 UI students studied abroad during 1996-97, a 16 percent increase over the previous year. UI international student enrollment in the 1997-98 academic year decreased by 4 percent to 1,586.

The Open Doors report also noted that Japan is the leading country of origin for foreign students followed by China and Korea. At the UI, the five countries with the largest enrollment are China, 385 this fall, up from 340 in 1997-98; Korea, 194, down from 200; India, 152, up from 151; Taiwan, 111, down from 146; and Japan, 73, down from 83. Still, Asian students make up more than half of UI international student enrollment (57.6 percent).

The most popular destinations for UI students studying abroad continue to be countries in Western Europe, but increasing numbers of students are choosing Latin American and Asian countries as their study abroad destinations.

Janis Perkins, director of the UI Office for Study Abroad, said the increasing number of students choosing to study overseas is encouraging, and she and her staff are working to continue that upward trend. "For the last few years, we've seen a dramatic increase every year in the number of students choosing to study abroad," Perkins said. In the five years between the 1992-93 academic year and the 1997-98 academic year, the number of UI students studying abroad has increased by 126 percent, she added.

"There is a great deal of emphasis placed on the value of studying abroad, especially by the central administration. President Coleman has made a point of emphasizing study abroad in many of her speeches," Perkins said. "In support of the institutional goal of increasing study abroad, my staff and I have done an incredible amount of work to get the word out that it is an option that is affordable and that is easily integrated into a UI degree program."

In 1997-98, 555 UI students studied abroad, an 18 percent increase. And as of fall 1998, international student enrollment stood at 1,599, down 13 from the previous year. IIE does not have national figures from these years for comparison.

For more information about the UI, contact Perkins for study abroad figures (319) 335-0353, John Rogers for international student enrollment figures (319) 335-0335, or Lois Gray (319) 335-2026. For more information about the national trends, visit the IIE Web site <>.