He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010 

Diaspora Missiology: Students - Dr. J.D. Payne

While I could spend a great deal of time addressing the topic of students studying in any given country of the world, I will briefly describe what is happening in the United States.


Between 2007-2008 the following nations of the world were the top “senders” of students to study in the United States. The corresponding percentages note the proportion of the overall international student population of that year in the country.



  • India (15.2%)

  • China (13%)

  • South Korea (11.1%)

  • Japan (5.4%)

  • Canada (4.7%)


These five countries represented 49% of all the international students sent to the United States that year.


Now I wish to direct your attention to the following table showing the top 20 places of origin of international students coming to the United States. This table is comprised of data from the Institute of International Education.





















































































































































































RankPlace of Origin2006/072007/082007/08% of Total% Change
WORLD TOTAL582,984623,805100.07.0
1.India83,83394, 56315.212.8
2.China67,72381,12713.019.8
3.South Korea62,39269,12411.110.8
4.Japan35,28233,9745.4-3.7
5.Canada28,28029,0514.72.7
6.Taiwan29,09429,0014.6-0.3
7.Mexico13,82614,8372.47.3
8.Turkey11,50612,0301.94.6
9.Saudi Arabia7,8869,8731.625.2
10.Thailand8,8869,0041.41.3
11.Nepal7,7548,9361.415.2
12.Germany8,6568,9071.42.9
13.Vietnam6,0368,7691.445.3
14.United Kingdom8,4388,3671.3-0.8
15.Hong Kong7,7228,2861.37.3
16.Indonesia7,3387,6921.24.8
17.Brazil7,1267,5781.26.3
18.France6,7047,0501.15.2
19.Colombia6,7506,6621.1-1.3
20.Nigeria5,9436,2221.04.7


From this table, we not only observe the top nations, but also the precent increases from the 2006-2007 academic year to 2007-2008 academic year. I want to draw your attention to the following increases:



  • India (12.8%)

  • China (19.8%)

  • South Korea (10.8%)

  • Saudi Arabia (25.2%)

  • Nepal (15.2%)

  • Vietnam (45.3%) (If you are interested in more information on the growth of Vietnamese students, you can download my podcast HERE.)


Before concluding this post, I need to challenge you and your missiological thinking. HERE is the link to the Joshua Project’s search engine. Let me encourage you to check out this amazing blessing, and search the unreached people group data sets by the countries represented in the tables above.


Do you believe that maybe, just maybe, one or two of all of the international students studying in the United States represent at least one of the world’s unreached people groups…or maybe, just maybe know someone in their homeland who does?


What do you think the Church’s response should be to this wonderful reality? How should Evangelicals in the United States, in particular, serve and love the world’s peoples who cross the globe to study in our neighborhoods? What are the missiological implications?






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