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International education in the United States is at an inflection point. There are positive forces shaping the field: we are riding the global wave of strong rebounding demand post-covid and in July 2021, the U.S. Departments of State and Education released the Joint Statement of Principles in Support of International Education.

But the challenges are formidable, including increasing global competition, rising costs and price sensitivity, and capacity issues. Although the U.S. has long been the largest receiver of international students in the world, it is also the only major destination country that does not have a national strategy for inbound international student mobility. To remain competitive in this dynamic landscape, the U.S. cannot be complacent.

In response to this unique moment, IDP held a think-tank event, Destination 2030: Re-imagining the Future of Student Mobility – Advocacy and Implementation of a U.S. International Education Strategy.”

The inaugural Destination 2030 was held in Washington, D.C. in February 2023, bringing together senior international education leaders, key government agencies, representatives of professional associations, and international students. The event created a forum to advance the conversation on U.S. international education and actively shape the future of U.S.-bound student mobility.

Destination 2030 included expert panels, presentations, interactive activities, and group discussions. It was a collaborative gathering where all participants engaged actively in meaningful and necessary conversation about the future of international student mobility in the U.S.


Several key themes emerged at Destination 2030. These themes matter to the future of the field and must be incorporated into any U.S. international education strategy.

  • Collaboration and cooperation

  • Growing the pie for all by increasing access

  • Diversity, in all contexts

  • Connecting the international and the domestic

  • Innovative delivery of U.S. higher education

  • Managing risks

  • Amplifying the student voice: student success and stories

Outcomes & Next Steps

IDP is committed to advancing conversation about the future of international education in the U.S. As a student-first organization, we are dedicated to improving the future of the field using our global scale, trusted experts, and innovations. As was made clear at Destination 2030, the creation and implementation of a national strategy for international student recruitment cannot be undertaken by any one organization. IDP fully supports the goal of creating a national strategy and commits to serving as a facilitator of the collaboration that is needed to achieve this goal.

Download the full report for a detailed description of the themes, outcomes, and next steps that emerged at Destination 2030.

Destination 2030: Reimagining the future of student mobility

Read the full report

CP - Image-Emma Sletteland
Emma Sletteland24 May 2023