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Public Affairs

SF State a top choice for foreign students

November 17, 2006

Photo of Sal Palekar, a music major from London, speaking at a Nov. 13 reception for international studentsSF State has more international students than any other master's degree-granting institution in the United States, according to 2005-06 figures released Nov. 13 by the Institute of International Education.

This marks the second consecutive year that SF State is ranked No. 1 for international students. The University was No. 2 each year from 2000 to 2004.

The rankings are based on the most recently completed academic year, 2005-06. The number of international students at SF State last fall was 2,016.

Yenbo Wu, director of international programs, said that international students expose the entire academic community to new perspectives, languages and cultures, helping to better prepare SF State's students for careers in a rapidly shrinking global society.

"The paradigm of global thinking is impacted by our international students' experiences in the U.S.," Wu said. "In the long run, these students will be leaders in government, commerce, law, education. They will return to do business with us and look to us for collaboration. Through these exchanges, we can look forward to better understanding and fewer misunderstandings."

Last fall, matriculated international students represented 94 countries of origin. The University remains a top destination for students from Asian countries. They comprised nearly 74 percent of the University's international student body. Japan topped the list with 425 students, as it has since SF State began tracking countries of origin in 1994. The other top countries of origin were Taiwan (169 students), South Korea (134), China (117) and Mexico (82).

Business administration remained the most popular field of study (638 students), followed by computer science (99), biology (70), psychology (70) and teaching English to speakers of other languages (65).

The international student body last fall included 1,220 undergraduates and 499 graduate students.

For detailed nationwide data on international students, visit the Institute of International Education's Web site.

For more information on SF State international programs, call (415) 338-1293 or visit the Office of International Programs Web site.

-- Matt Itelson


San Francisco State University

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Last modified November 17, 2006 by University Communications