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California, New York and Massachusetts among top five destinations for Indian students going to the US

An analysis of the official international student flow to the US shows that while more than 27 percent of foreign students in Illinois are Indians, its almost 22 percent in Texas, about 18 percent in New York and 13.7 percent in California.

New Delhi / June 21, 2022 / 02:56 PM IST
Harvard University.

Harvard University.

California, Texas, New York, Massachusetts and Illinois are the top five destinations for Indian students pursuing higher education in the US.

Home to some of the top universities in the world including Harvard, MIT, University of California, Cornel University, UT Austin, University of Chicago and Northwestern University, these destinations are a top draw among Indians.

An analysis of the official international student flow to the US shows that, while more than 27 percent of foreign students in Illinois are Indians, it's almost 22 percent in Texas, about 18 percent in New York and 13.7 percent in California.

In Massachusetts, the Indian student population is almost 20 percent, Open Doors data, an official database of foreign students in the US shows. Moneycontrol digs out some of the nuanced data points of international students from the database to show which are the favourite destinations for Indian students within the US.


The province of California was home to 132,758 international students in 2021 of which 13.7 percent (over 18,180) are Indians alone. Of course, Chinese students’ cohort has a much bigger population than any other international grouping. Other than India and China, students from South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam are the other key foreign students pursuing higher education there.

University of Southern California Los Angeles, University of California-SanDiego, and University of California-Berkeley are some of the top varsities for foreign students including Indians. International students spent an estimated $4.83 billion in California alone in 2020-21.

Texas: This state was home to 67,428 foreign students in 2021. Of this 21.8 percent are Indian students, followed by Chinese students who comprise 18.9 percent of the foreign student population in Texas. Vietnam, Mexico and Nepal are the other three countries whose student population are sizable in Texas but much lower than the Indian student population there.

University of Houston, UT Austin and University of Texas-Arlington are some of the top draws for Indian students there.

New York: Universities in New York are home to around 18,600 Indian students, one of the top two foreign student groups.  Overall, New York is home to 106,894 international students including 17.4 percent from India. South Korea, Canada and Taiwan are the other nationalities of students who study in New York. This is the latest available official data, and the 2022 details are expected to be available in November.

New York University, Columbia University and Cornell University are among the top destinations for foreign students in this state known among other things for the cultural diversity and the Wall Street.

Massachusetts: At least 19.9 percent of the international students in Massachusetts are Indian students. The state was home to some 66,273 foreign students pursuing higher education in the US in 2021. Chinese students comprise 36.4 percent of these foreign students in Massachusetts.

The iconic global education brands like Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) draw students and their aspirations to this place. Besides, top names like Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University and University of Massachusetts-Amherst are good attractions for international students including Indians.

Illinois: At least 27.4 percent of foreign students studying in Illinois are Indian students. The province is home to an overall 44,000 international students. It houses universities like University of Chicago which has the famous Booth School of Business and Northwestern University which has The Kellogg School of Management. For those who do not know yet, former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan is a professor of finance at the Chicago Booth.

University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and Illinois Institute of Technology were among other top educational institutes there which attract a sizable portion of foreign students.

Other than these five key destinations, several other destinations, and cities in the US attract Indian students. Arizona, for example, is another favourite destination, where 31.6 percent of over 21,000 foreign students are Indians.

Prashant K Nanda
Prashant K Nanda is an Associate Editor at Moneycontrol .