Brazil is the 10th leading country worldwide sending students to the United States

Number of International Students in United States Reaches New High of over 1.094 Million


According to the 2018 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange data released today by IIE and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Brazil is the 10th leading country worldwide sending students to the United States, increasing by 11.7 percent, the second largest percentage increase in international students from any country worldwide between the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years.  The total number of international students in the United States increased by 1.5 percent, reaching a record high of 1,094,792 for the academic year 2017-2018, while U.S. students abroad increased by 2.3 percent in 2016-2017 over the previous year.  The United States remains the top host of international students globally.

Celebration of International Education Week:

Chargé d’Affaires a.i. William Popp underlined the importance of international study for the U.S. Mission to Brazil – “Educational exchange between Brazil and the United States is a priority for us.  We are encouraged to see the increase in Brazilians choosing the United States as their study destination of choice and look forward to more.  Strong partnerships among U.S. and Brazilian institutions like EducationUSA, Fulbright, CAPES and others have helped make this increase possible.”

The U.S. Mission in Brazil will celebrate International Education Week, November 12-16, with several initiatives and opportunities for Brazilian students to learn more about studying in the United States.  EducationUSA hosted a Community College Fair at the JW Marriott in Rio de Janeiro on November 14 at 5pm.  EducationUSA will host a Webinar with Rice University on “Applying to Research Universities in the United States” on November 14 at 2:30pm and another Webinar with Pasadena City College, California Poly Pomona and UCLA on their institutions and on how to transfer credit from a California community college to a state university or college.  EducationUSA will also host a Facebook Live chat in Portuguese to highlight the official opening of the Opportunity Funds program on November 14 at 6:00pm (Brasilia time).  Much more information is available at  Many scholarship opportunities can also be found at Fulbright Brazil:  More information will be available on the Embassy’s website:

Open Doors Results:

The number of Brazilian students in the United States increased to 14,620 after having fallen the year before.  Brazil is the 10th leading country worldwide sending students to the United States.

The numbers reflect a steady increase in student mobility worldwide, while Latin American and Caribbean students increased slightly by 3.8%.  Undergraduate studies increased by 0.8%, graduate students fell by 2.1%, and non-degree students (mostly English enrollments) dropped by 18.7%, especially from specific government sponsored programs in Saudi Arabia and India.  However, for the third year, the fastest growing segment of international students were those in post-completion students pursuing Optional Practical Training (OPT) related to their academic fields.  Some factors driving the slowing of growth in some countries include a mix of global and local economic conditions, some cases expanded higher education opportunities at home, and declining populations.  For Brazilians, the greatest increases were in undergraduate studies with an increase of 16.6% and non-degree programs, including short-term exchanges and intensive English programs, with an increase of 17.1%.

 Top Places of Origin and Host States for International Students in the U.S.:

The top places of origin for international students in the United States were China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, and Brazil. The top host states were California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.  For Brazilians, the top five receiving states in the United States were Florida, California, New York, Massachusetts and Texas.

 Academic Programs and Levels of Study:

Open Doors 2018 reports that half (49.8%) of all international students study in the STEM fields with one in every five studying engineering. For the fifth consecutive year, math and computer science was the fastest growing field of study (+11.3%).  For Brazil, 50.3% of the 14,620 students in the United States pursued undergraduate programs, 28.8% graduate study, 8.9% non-degree programs, and 12% pursued OPT programs.

About Open Doors:

Open Doors is published by the Institute of International Education (IIE), which collaborates with a range of corporate, government and foundation partners across the globe to design and manage scholarship, study abroad, workforce training and leadership development programs.  The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State builds relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional and private sector exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs.  EducationUSA is a Department of State network of over 400 international student advising centers in more than 170 countries, and in Brazil there are 36 EducationUSA advising centers available throughout the country.  The network promotes U.S. higher education to students by offering accurate, comprehensive, and current information about opportunities to study at accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States.  More info on Open Doors:

Media Contacts:

U.S. Embassy Brasilia,
IIE, Sharon Witherell,
Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs,

For further information on this Press Release, please contact the U.S. Embassy Press Office in Brasília at or on (+55 61) 3312 – 7367 / 7350 / 7364.