The Collective Public Policy Voice of the Exchange Community

Navigating the Paradox: International Student Visa Trends in 2023

The dynamic landscape of international education has been marked this year by a powerful paradox: aspiring international students are displaying a renewed interest in studying in the U.S., yet this enthusiasm is met with a growing struggle to secure visas. A dichotomy emerges – while U.S. enrollments are surging for the first time since the pandemic, a shadow looms as visa denials rise. Collectively, these elements shape the trajectory of international student mobility, offering insights into the United States’ public diplomacy impact and its role as a competitive global player.

FY24 Appropriations Recap and Outlook

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have completed their subcommittee and full committee markups of their respective State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) bills in recent weeks. Educational and cultural exchanges were funded at $700.95M (approx. 10% decrease) by the House bill and $779.5M (approx. 0.25% increase) by the Senate bill. See the chart below for more details and a comparison with the President’s budget request and current enacted level.