Record Number of Rwandan Students in the United States after 11.8% Increase

A record number of Rwandan students — 1,444 — studied in the United States during the recently-completed 2019-20 academic year, according to official U.S. government data released today. The new all-time high level is an 11.8 percent increase over the previous year and places Rwanda as sixth highest among all sub-Saharan African countries. Rwanda trails only Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Africa; sending more students to the United States than more populous neighboring countries including DRC, Tanzania, and Uganda.

“We are proud to welcome a record number of Rwandan students to the United States,” said Jeremy Jewett, Deputy Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali. “These talented students are making a positive impact on colleges and universities all around the United States. We can’t wait to see the impact they will have on Rwanda’s growth and development when they return with world-class degrees.”

The new data comes from the 2020 Open Doors report on international educational exchange, an annual report funded by the U.S. State Department and released every year during International Education Week. The report reveals that the United States remains the top destination for international students and hosted more than one million international students (1,075,496) for the fifth consecutive year. This year’s report provides a baseline on the state of international educational exchange prior to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic has created challenges for travel and international education exchange, U.S. institutions have worked to offer creative solutions and demand remains high.

The U.S. Embassy in Kigali and its EducationUSA student advising office will celebrate International Education Week from November 16 to 20, with virtual programs to encourage future Rwandan leaders to study in the United States. Prospective students are welcome to join free virtual college fairs on Wednesday, November 18 (undergraduate studies) and Thursday, November 19 (graduate studies). More information and links are available on the U.S. Embassy in Kigali’s Facebook page and website.

The United States is home to more than 4,500 accredited higher education institutions, including community colleges and public and private colleges and universities. “This vast range of choices means there are programs available to meet everyone’s needs,” said Richard Kaburente, the embassy’s EducationUSA student adviser. The EducationUSA student advising program offers free guidance and assistance to students interested in learning about or applying to U.S. colleges and universities. For more information, please contact


Press Release – Education Week