For the 10th year in a row, USC has been named the leading host university of international student enrollment in the United States, with 8,615 students in the 2010-2011 academic year.
USC’s international student enrollment increased by 628 students from the 2009-2010 academic year, according to the Open Doors report, published annually by the Institute of International Education.
International student enrollment increased overall by 5.7 percent in the United States, with California as the top host state. China and India were the leading place of origin for international students, specifically at the undergraduate level.
Tony Tambascia, associate dean of student affairs and executive director of the Office of International Services, said the increased presence of international students speaks largely to an inherent goal, rooted in the fabric of the USC experience.
“Having such a large international student population at USC is something to really be proud of, but more important is what this [recognition] represents,” Tambascia said. “As an institution that values diversity, bringing students from over 115 different countries to our campuses is a big part of creating a truly global university.”
USC Dean of Admissions Tim Brunold said the large number of international students has always been an integral part of the USC experience, representing the university’s unique commitment to a diverse community, inside and outside of the classroom.
Tammara Anderson, executive director of USC’s Joint Educational Project, said the increased presence of international students has sparked a new Multicultural Mini Course, which taps into the vast amount of educational resources international students provide not only for the USC community, but the outside neighborhood as well. These students have a significant influence and voice in the community, which allows them to share a part of their culture with the greater-Los Angeles community.
“This year JEP decided [to] start something specifically for [international students],” Anderson said. “We see the importance of [these students] in the community, [where children in the community] can learn about different cultures and countries around the world. Students are not only able to share their own culture with the kids in the community, but learn from other international students on the team with them.”
Anisha Veer, a sophomore majoring in business administration and an international student from India, said it was USC’s acceptance letter and orientation that expressed this sense of Trojan spirit and community, which made her feel instantly welcome.
“The USC acceptance letter played an important role,” Veer said. “It included a manual, which gave firsthand accounts of other students, which was really welcoming and different from other college acceptance letters. USC’s orientation also made me feel at home, [along with] the sense of Trojan pride and community … This is my home now.”
USC’s pull of international students reflects the university’s dedication to reaching out to the global community, and the feeling of worldwide connectivity is something that is instilled in each one of USC’s domestic and international students, Tambascia said.
“The idea of the Trojan family is all about [the] idea of joining a university that offers lifelong connections of many kinds,” Tambascia said. “When you look at the combination of many international students studying at USC plus a strong interest by the domestic student population in global issues, you can begin to see what makes USC such a special place.”