They came first for religious freedom. Now, descendants of the ones who stayed behind, come for the education.
In the media telling, America during the Bush years has been an unpopular and insular country. But one group would seem to differ: young people. The U.S. remains the top destination for students from around the world, while Americans are studying abroad in record numbers too.
The New York-based Institute of International Education’s “Open Doors” report, published this week, shows that more foreign students than ever are flocking to American colleges and universities. International student enrollment increased by 7% to 623,805 in the 2007-08 academic year — the largest annual increase since 1980. The survey, funded by the State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, accumulates data from 3,000 institutions of higher education.
The easy answer is that American universities are the most liberal, anti-Bush places in America (maybe the world)–that if they don’t like us, they will find people sympathetic to their viewpoint at Berkeley & Columbia.
Of course, they aren’t attending universities in such high numbers in other countries they supposedly don’t like, or of whose leaders they so strongly disapprove.
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