More Saudi Arabians studying in the U.S.

Nov 26, 2013 by

The number of Saudi students in the U.S. last year grew to 44,566, a nearly 30% increase from 2011, largely fueled by a new scholarship program that encourages them to study abroad.

At first glance, the Facebook photo doesn’t look like a USC alumni gathering: No cardinal and gold in sight, not a single Tommy Trojan to be found.

 

But, on closer inspection, it’s apparent that half of the smiling men are flashing the Trojan “victory” sign.

“At USC, you quickly develop a sense of pride being a top university,” said Bahjat Zayed, the past president of the 120-member USC Alumni Club of Arabia, one of the university’s fastest growing graduate groups.

The club is one sign of the rapid rise of Saudi Arabians studying in the United States. Those numbers fell dramatically after the Sept. 11 attacks; the number of Saudi students dropped by almost a quarter in 2002 and continued to fall for the next two years.

But the numbers have grown steadily since 2005 and doubled from the 2010 to 2012 academic years, according to a recent survey. The number of Saudi students in the U.S. last year grew to 44,566 — a nearly 30% increase from 2011.

The country ranked behind only China, India and South Korea in the number of students studying in U.S. colleges and universities.

Experts say the change is largely fueled by a new Saudi Arabian scholarship program that encourages students to study abroad. Other countries have adopted similar programs. Of the four nations that made the biggest percentage gains in the recent survey, Kuwait and Brazil also offered government-sponsored scholarship programs.

via More Saudi Arabians studying in the U.S. – latimes.com.

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