Of the total figure, 68% were undergraduates, 15.6% were graduate students, 9% enrolled in Optional Practical Training (OPT), and the remaining 7.4% were pursuing non-degree programs, according to the annual Open Doors report by the US-based Institute of International Education, which focuses on international student exchange and aid, foreign affairs and international peace and security.
Vietnam remained the sixth leading economy of origin for all international students in the US.
China retained top spot, followed by India, while the Republic of Korea exchanged places with Saudi Arabia to stand in third and Canada came in fifth.
The rest of the top 10 was made up of Taiwan, Japan, Mexico and Brazil.
2016-2017 marked the second consecutive year that US colleges and universities hosted more than one million international students, reaching a record high of 1.08 million, said the report.
Engineering, business and management, and math and computer science remained the top fields of study for international students in 2016-17. Math and computer science were the fastest growing fields of study with a rise of 18% from 2015-16.
The top 10 states for international students were California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Michigan and Indiana.
The data also revealed that Vietnam is becoming a more popular destination for American students. In 2016-17, Vietnam welcomed 1,012 students from the US, up 9.8% on-year.
In his speech at the APEC CEO Summit in central Vietnam on November 10, US President Donald Trump noted, “Vietnamese students rank among the best students in the world. And that is very impressive.”