Getting a better picture of international enrollments

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

Surveys from international organization IIE provide data and help formulating strategies regarding international enrollments, study abroad

Over the last four years, there has been a historic decline in international student enrollments at community colleges (-18%). And that decline has only gotten worse during the pandemic.

The annual IIE Open Doors International Student Census and U.S. Study Abroad Surveys help higher education administrators better understand the level of international educational exchange at community colleges. Deadlines for the 2021 surveys are approaching.

IIE Open Doors is the go-to source for higher education data and analysis of student mobility in and out of the United States, according to Wayne Wheeler, director of international programs & services at the American Association of Community Colleges.

“It is more important than ever for community colleges to participate in the 2021 Open Doors surveys,” Wheeler said. “Survey results provide community colleges and their advocates with an accurate picture of the sector and sufficient information to help formulate a national strategy regarding international enrollments and study abroad.”

The compilation of data published in Open Doors is only possible with the assistance of international education and other higher education professionals at community colleges throughout the United States who provide their data for aggregate reporting in Open Doors.

The U.S. Study Abroad Survey collects data on U.S. students studying abroad for academic credit from fall 2019 through summer 2020. The deadline to complete the U.S. Study Abroad Survey is Thursday, April 15, 2021.

The International Student Census collects data on international students studying at U.S. higher education institutions during fall 2020.  The deadline to complete the International Student Census is Friday, April 23, 2021.

If your institution does not currently participate in the International Student Census or U.S. Study Abroad Survey, needs to update contact information, or has questions about the survey, please contact us at



AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.