Vietnam is becoming a leading importer of American education, which is to say more Vietnamese students are studying in American universities. Not only are they having an economic impact in the US; they’re also building connections in the long-term interests of both countries.
Nearly 15,000 Vietnamese students studied in the US last year and accounted for $416 million in spending, more than a third of a percent of Vietnam’s GDP. And the higher education trade partnership is growing: Vietnam now ranks 5th among countries sending students to American universities (after China, South Korea, India and Canada) and has surpassed Japan, Mexico and Saudi Arabia among others.
Last year alone, Vietnam’s presence in US higher education institutions increased 25%. Only China had a substantially bigger increase (43%).
Much of the credit for the strengthening US-Vietnam higher education link goes to Hanoi-based educator Mark Ashwill, director of Capstone Vietnam and key advisor to student-run nonprofit VietAbroader, both of which help Vietnamese students navigate the American education culture.