American campuses are coming alive with international students after nearly two years of COVID-19 travel disruption. A new report by the Institute of International Education (IIE) shows that most international students in the US are studying in person on American campuses in Spring 2022.
The “Spring 2022 Snapshot of International Educational Exchange” report highlights in-person student mobility to and from the US and support to current and prospective international students affected by COVID-19 and the Ukraine crisis.
Over half of US institutions (55%) report that all their international students attend classes in person in Spring 2022, compared to just eight percent one year ago. An additional 34% note that most of their international students are studying in person.
This is largely in line with the desires of international students, as many prefer in-person study for their US educational experience.
Key findings on what’s new on American campuses
A focus on students’ safety
US-bound international students can expect to find many colleges and universities offering students COVID-19-related support.
IIE found that 89% of reporting institutions have continued to provide COVID-19-related communication on health and wellbeing and 61% have also provided mental health support and services.
A total of 40% of reporting institutions continue to provide COVID-related emergency student funding to their international students (40%).
Easier applications for international students to study in the US
In 2021, 43% of institutions noted an increase in 2020-21-22 applications. And in spring 2022, 65% of institutions report an increase in applications for the upcoming 2022-23 academic year.
American colleges and universities are also continuing their efforts to make the process easier for international students to study in the US.
This includes offering online submission of applications (84%) and immigration documentation (80%) to prospective students.
More than half of institutions (54%) allow online results instead of in-person testing (54%).
“A quarter of institutions have extended application deadlines (28%) and deadlines to accept admission (25%) as necessary. These measures, some of which were adapted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have made the application and selection process easier for international students and have streamlined processes to admit students,” it said.
American campuses to get busier in Fall 2022
American universities are preparing to welcome a new cohort of international students for the Fall 2022 semester.
“For all students on campus, including both US and international students, almost all colleges and universities (99%) plan to offer in-person or hybrid instruction in fall 2022, with most institutions (61%) planning to offer hybrid instruction. One-third of institutions (33%) plan to offer in-person study only,” it said.
Most colleges and universities in the US plan to offer in-person study abroad
Most reporting institutions have returned or anticipate returning to in-person study abroad in the 2022-23 academic year, said IIE.
As of summer 2022, 89% of reporting institutions only offer in-person study abroad or in-person and online options. This proportion increases to 91% for fall 2022 and remains high at 89% for spring 2023.