ASEAN Students Contribute $1.7 Billion to the US Economy in a Year
Almost 55,000 students from ASEAN studied in the US, comprising 5% of international students during the 2015/16 academic year. Over 20,000 students came from Vietnam, the most of any ASEAN member state and the 6th largest amount from any country globally. The top destination for ASEAN students was California, where eight universities have Southeast Asia Studies programs.
The number of Americans studying abroad in ASEAN countries has more than tripled since 2002/03 to over 5,700 in 2014/15. Students study in all 10 member states, but Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam are the most popular destinations.
In the 2014/15 academic year almost 700 students, teachers, and scholars participated in Fulbright exchanges between the US and ASEAN. Participants from all 10 ASEAN member states took part in the program. Since the program’s founding in 1949, over 11,000 students, teachers, and scholars from ASEAN have participated, including nearly 3,000 from Indonesia and 2,500 from the Philippines. US participants in the region have numbered over 5,000 since 1949, with the greatest number of participants taking part in the Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand programs.
The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI)
The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is a program focused on strengthening leadership development in ASEAN. Since 2014, more than 100,000 young people, ages 18-35, have joined the program, and over 80,000 are active on digital platforms. Through YSEALI, the US government has assisted over 19,000 ASEAN youth through regional workshops and exchanges, professional and academic fellowships to visit universities, businesses, and non-profits in the US, and community-focused grants in order to develop ties between the US and ASEAN.