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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“Military pressure in Russia not expected to disrupt study abroad program”

Seems to be true of most programs currently going on in Russia, Ukraine, and the Crimea region. However, it isn’t clear yet how many of these programs will continue next year.  ** DB

“Military Pressure in Russia not Expected to Disrupt Study Abroad Program”

by Rebecca Fiedler via “Baylor Lariat

Vladimir Putin

Despite tensions built in the East between Russia and Ukraine over the past few weeks, the Baylor study abroad program in Russia isn’t turning back.

“I have absolutely no worries about sending our students right now,” said Dr. Adrienne Harris, assistant professor of Russian. “I suppose if things got very heated and there was some impact on visas, that of course would change the situation.”

There is only one Baylor student studying abroad in Russia: Highland Village junior Matt Brinzo. Brinzo is studying for the semester at Voronezh State University in southwestern Russia.

“One of the big advantages of studying in a place like Voronezch is that you’re not surrounded by other foreigners, like in St. Petersburg, so there are more opportunities for students to speak Russian and fewer opportunities to speak English,” Harris said.

He said since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Baylor has had no issues sending one to six students per semester to study in Russia. In general, Harris said, she doesn’t think there would be any animosity from Russians towards American students. Russians typically know Americans are interested in Russia and learning about the country, she said.

“Almost always the response is positive,” Harris said. “Maybe the Russian people will want to talk about politics with our students and defend President Vladimir Putin, but as far as animosity towards students, there’d be nothing serious.”

Brinzo said Americans have advised him that it’s potentially dangerous to be in Russia, but he feels safer in Russia than he did living in Waco.

“I haven’t even felt a glimpse of danger,” Brinzo said.

Brinzo said many Russian people talk to him about the Ukrainian issue and America’s involvement, but they are not hostile with him and he feels the same about some political issues as they do.

“I get an earful from every single Russian about how America is ridiculous for our views on the whole Ukraine situation, and on a lot of points I agree with them,” Brinzo said.

He said he sympathizes with the opinion that the U.S. has been inconsistent . . . .

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