More U.S. Students Are Studying Abroad, But Is It Enough?

“More U.S. Students Are Studying Abroad, But Is It Enough?”

by Sergei Klebnikov via “Forbes

We live in an era of viral globalization. And there’s so much talk about the necessity of a global perspective for success in just about every industry – healthcare, technology, manufacturing and entertainment, to name a few – that it is surprising the overall numbers of U.S. college students who study abroad is still relatively small. There are some pockets of strong growth, however, among students focusing on STEM degrees, many Asian destinations, and non-credit education programs.

According to the most recent Institute of International Education’s Open Doors report, nearly 290,000 American students received credit for studying abroad in 2013, a record high, and an increase of 2.1% over the previous year. The number of U.S. students studying abroad has more than doubled in the last 15 years. Despite these increases, fewer than 10% of all U.S. college students study abroad during their undergrad years.

Study Abroad Destinations

Not surprisingly, Europe is the destination for over half (53%) of the U.S. study abroad population. The three leading destinations – U.K. (13%), Italy (10%), and Spain (9%) – account for almost a third of students. They are followed by France and China, at 6% and 5% respectively.

While the UK had the largest increase in the number of U.S. study abroad students, there was also double digit growth in the number of Americans studying in South Africa, Denmark, South Korea, Peru and Thailand. There was strong growth in Costa Rica and Ireland, as well as a continued rebound in Japan. Asia and Latin America are fast becoming the new hotspots for U.S. higher education overseas, however. . . .

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Study abroad numbers on the rise

“Study abroad numbers on the rise”

by Jonathan Gass via “The Varsity

MALLIKA MAKKAR/THE VARSITY

When Meric Gertler began his term as the sixteenth president of the University of Toronto in November 2013, he referenced the need to strengthen and deepen international partnerships as one of the main priorities of the university. The need to enhance research links between Canadian and foreign education institutions was also sighted as a target of the new International Education Strategy launched by the Harper government in early 2014.

Despite concerted efforts to encourage more students to spend time overseas, it is relatively uncommon for U of T students to study abroad.

Five hundred and eighty-nine U of T students will participate in the Centre for International Experience (CIE)’s Student Exchange Program during the 2014–2015 academic year. This figure, which draws from students at both the St. George and Mississauga campuses, represents a 20 per cent increase from the 2012–2013 academic year. However, it remains a very small percentage of the 42,686 students at St. George and the 12,741 students at UTM.

Many students interviewed cited the perceived cost of studying abroad, including travel costs and the possibility of higher living expenses, as reasons for not studying abroad. Other students cited commitments to student groups on campus.

Still, many students are simply unaware of overseas study opportunities.

In the past, the CIE has undertaken efforts to enhance its outreach and inform students about the university’s exchange programs, as well as the scholarships and bursaries offered by various U of T offices for study abroad.

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