Currently, there are approximately 30,000 Vietnamese students studying in the U.S., making Vietnam the Southeast Asian country with the largest number of students pursuing education in the United States.
Data shows that Vietnamese students are predominantly interested in STEM and business programs when they choose to study in North America.
At the 2023 Fall Educational Conference & Expo, which was recently organized by the American Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City in the first week of October, Graham B. Harlow, Acting Deputy Principal Officer of the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, reported that the number of Vietnamese students studying in the U.S. is around 30,000, spanning all levels of education.
With this substantial number, the Vietnamese student community ranks fifth among international student groups in the U.S., and Vietnam stands out as the Southeast Asian country with the highest number of students there.
Moreover, 47.1 percent of the Vietnamese students in the U.S. are studying STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects.
This means that for every two Vietnamese students in the U.S., one is pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math.
Business and management programs also appeal to Vietnamese students in the U.S., constituting 25.6 percent of the student body.
Harlow noted that STEM, business, and management are considered future-oriented fields because they not only provide learners with important knowledge and skills but also offer numerous potential employment opportunities.
Furthermore, these are subject areas in which many American colleges and universities excel.
|More than 60 American colleges and universities participated in 2023 Fall Educational Conference & Expo in October. Photo: Trong Nhan / Tuoi Tre|
A representative from Full Sail University in Florida, who had a look at Vietnamese students' majors, mentioned that in addition to the popular majors such as technology, engineering, and business, more and more young students have been opting for 'niche' disciplines in recent years.
Some students have chosen to study fine arts, music, graphic design, and game design.
The Full Sail University representative said that this is partly because many young Vietnamese have easy access to various sources of information, allowing them to explore their desired fields of study.
According to Ashley Tankersley, international student recruitment manager at Hillsborough Community College, there has been a recent trend in Vietnamese students' choice of schools.
Surveys indicate that about 50 percent of them have selected community colleges in the U.S. for their studies in recent times.
They believe this trend is driven by the fact that tuition fees at community colleges are only a third of what four-year universities charge.
Additionally, entrance requirements at community colleges are usually less demanding than those at universities, and students can accumulate sufficient credits if they plan to continue their studies at other colleges in the U.S..
"Some of the most popular majors that Vietnamese students prefer are computer science and business," Tankersley said.
"However, I have personally found that many of them select these subjects because of their parents' influence rather than their own interests.
"I often advise them that when they go abroad to study, they should opt for a field that they are enthusiastic about and that interests them the most."
The Educational Conference & Expo is an annual event organized by the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, bringing together more than 60 universities and colleges from 27 U.S. states.
These institutions provide students and their parents with essential information for studying in the U.S..