The University of Virginia began its annual welcome to its international students this week with free bus rides from Dulles Airport, orientation programs and a large dinner for students and their parents. Just over 5 percent of the Class of 2019 comes from 76 foreign countries.
The students’ top countries of origin are China, India and Korea – consistent with national trends – followed by the United Kingdom and Canada.
In total, 196 international students are members of the Class of 2019. According to University statistics, that makes this year’s international student contingent 1.2 percent larger than that of the Class of 2018.
With 3,707 total students expected, the Class of 2019 is among the largest in recent years. Among its ranks are some of the best and brightest from around the world; 89 percent finished in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes.
The Association of International Educators, known as NAFSA, says international students and their dependents contributed about $487.5 million to Virginia’s economy in 2013-14 and $26.8 billion to the U.S. economy overall. NAFSA also reported that countrywide, three U.S. jobs were created or supported for every seven enrolled international students.
“We want to attract the best students from around the world: they raise the bar for all of us and help the entire University to thrive in a challenging global arena,” said Jeff Legro, vice provost for global affairs. “Our U.Va. global community has become stronger and wiser thanks to their presence and efforts.”
U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan addressed some of the new students and their families at a welcome dinner Wednesday evening.
“We’re delighted to have you join the U.Va. family. More and more international students are applying to come to U.Va. each year,” she said. “Students from across the United States and around the world work to get into this University through a very competitive admission process; you succeeded. Congratulations!”