Boston College’s international population continues to grow prodigiously, having set new standards every year for the past decade, according to a recent report by the Office of International Students and Scholars.

This past year, OISS administrators said, the total international population increased by more than six percent to 2,856, compared to 1,276 in 2008-09. That figure includes undergraduate and graduate students, students working in their field of study after graduation (“practical training”), faculty and research scholars, and dependents.

Bucking national trends, BC’s international student population alone rose by more than seven percent to 1,878; the number for 2008-09 was 899. Of the 2018-19 student population, 1,015 are undergraduates—11 percent more than 2017-18—and 863 are graduate students, a rise of almost three percent.

These increases come at a time when numbers of international students are declining in the U.S. Last November, Inside Higher Ed, citing data from the annual Open Doors survey, reported that new enrollments of international students fell by 6.6 percent at American universities in 2017-18 compared to the previous year; the dip was continuing this academic year, Inside Higher Ed added, but apparently at a less severe rate.

China continues to have the largest representation among international students at BC with 927, up 17 percent from last year, and comprises half the total international student population. South Korea is second with 139, a 16 percent decrease from 2017-18. Spain (54), Canada (53), India and Italy (41 apiece), Brazil, France, and the UK (30 apiece), and Australia (29) round out the top 10.

The OISS report also shows 495 students in practical training and 313 faculty and research scholars, representing increases of, respectively, eight and 13 percent. In addition, there are 170 dependents in the international population. During 2008-09, BC hosted 123 students in practical training and 129 faculty and scholars.

The report is available at the OISS website.

—Sean Smith | University Communications