By a 3-to-1 margin, international students studying in the United States versus U.S. students studying abroad. That imbalance, according to an organization that fosters student exchanges, threatens American students from developing global awareness.
In announcing it “Generation Study Abroad” initiative this week, the New York-based Institute of International Education (IIE) hopes to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad in the next five years.
Comparing the more than 800,000 international students in the United States with the approximately 283,000 Americans studying abroad, the IIIE’s Daniel Obst calls the difference “a fairly large trade imbalance.” Obst, the IIE’s Deputy Vice President for International Partnerships, said less than 10-percent of U.S. students choose foreign study.
There are many reasons for the lower number of Americans going abroad to study. But Obst says among the most common fears revolve around costs, concerns that foreign curricula won’t fit their academic needs, and the notion that studying abroad is a waste of time. “In many cases, those are myths, so our campaign seeks to dispel some of those myths,” said Obst.