46 Study Abroad Statistics: Convincing Facts and Figures

“46 Study Abroad Statistics: Convincing Facts and Figures”

by Ruth Kinloch via “Study.Smart”

Are you thinking about studying abroad, but are not sure if it’s worth your time? Or are you ready to participate in a study abroad program, but need some extra talking points to convince your parents that you’ve made a smart decision?

The number of American students who go abroad has more than tripled in the past two decades (304,467 students in the 2013-2014 academic year), and this increase is likely to continue. International education is on the rise, and for good reason: research has shown that students who study abroad have better career prospects and are more socially aware. Read on to discover more study abroad statistics, facts, and figures that reflect the latest trends in international education.

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Benefits of studying abroad

For many years, the benefits of studying abroad have been described in words like these: “It will completely change your life!” and “You will come back a new person.” But the exact long-term benefits were unknown. Now, though, the positive impact of study abroad experiences can be proven with study abroad statistics.

The Institute for International Education of Students (IES) conducted a survey to explore the long-term impact of study abroad on the personal, professional, and academic lives of students. Here are some interesting findings:

  1. 95% of the students who were surveyed admitted that studying abroad served as a catalyst for increased maturity, 96% reported increased self-confidence, and 95% said it had a lasting impact on their worldview.
  2. More than 50% of the respondents are still in contact with U.S. friends they met when studying abroad.

One of the goals of study abroad programs is to train future global leaders who will respect other cultures and political and economic systems and care about the world’s welfare. The survey reveals that study abroad is succeeding in this mission:

  1. 98% of the students stated that study abroad helped them better understand their own cultural values and biases, and 82% said that it helped them develop a more sophisticated way of looking at the world.
  2. 94% stated that their study abroad experience continues to influence interactions with people from different cultures.
  3. 87% of the students said that study abroad influenced their subsequent educational experiences. Nearly half of all respondents took part in international work and/or volunteerism since studying abroad.
  4. Three-quarters of the respondents said that they acquired skill sets that influenced their future career paths.

The survey results proved that studying abroad can greatly influence a student’s life. The results of the survey show that study abroad had a positive influence on the personal development, academic commitment, and career paths of the students who took part in IES study abroad programs.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results show that the longer students study abroad, the more significant the academic, cultural, and personal development benefits are. But the survey also suggests that study abroad programs lasting at least six weeks can also produce good academic, personal, career, and intercultural development outcomes.

The Erasmus Impact Study (2013) analyzed the effects of mobility on the skills and employability of students and on the internationalization of higher education institutions. The results of the study proved the benefits of studying abroad for the career development of mobile students. The study highlighted that mobile students are more likely to get managerial positions in their future careers and are less likely to experience long-term unemployment.

Here are some key findings.

  1. More than 85% of Erasmus students study abroad to enhance their employability abroad.
  2. More than 90% of mobile students reported that they improved their soft skills, including their knowledge of other countries, the ability to interact and work with people from different cultures, adaptability, foreign language proficiency, and communication skills. . . . .

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The Study-Abroad Solution

“The Study-Abroad Solution”

by Sanford J. Ungar via “Foreign Affairs

In the Internet age, the world feels far smaller than it used to. But many Americans still know little about the rest of the world and may be more detached from it than ever. Such a lack of awareness is, in certain respects, understandable. Once the Cold War ended, some 25 years ago, Congress, perhaps out of a false sense of security, cut the foreign affairs budget, which led to the closing of some U.S. overseas posts. The news media, especially the commercial television networks, took their cue and began to reduce overseas coverage—responding, they said, to the decline of public interest in such matters, which conveniently coincided with their own economic woes. Although the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq stimulated renewed attention to international events, that phenomenon proved short-lived. Consequently, as new global challenges have arisen in recent years, American discourse on world affairs has lacked historical context or deeper understanding. It has become difficult to stir thoughtful, informed debate on foreign policy issues during congressional—or even presidential—campaigns. Many politicians who aspire to lead the country seem not to understand what constitutes a foreign policy issue, let alone the complexity of dealing with one. A candidate who speaks a foreign language appears almost suspect.

One symptom of Americans’ new isolation is a sharp contrast between the positive, even zealous views they hold of the United States and its role in the world and the anti-Americanism and negative perceptions of U.S. foreign . . . .

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Falling in love while studying abroad

“Falling in love while studying abroad”

by College Tourist via “USA TODAY

bubbles, travel, fun, study abroad, love

You might not think that it will happen to you, because, well, what are the chances of falling for someone halfway across the world?

But believe it or not, I told myself the same thing and I was terribly wrong. The reality is that it can happen to anyone.

Falling in love while you’re studying abroad is kind of like living in a bubble. It’s all beautiful, fine, and dandy when you’re on the inside, but eventually, when it pops, the magic fades and it’s back to reality. That’s not to say, however, that falling in love on an exchange isn’t possible or something to give up hope on.

Before you ask, yes, I am indeed a victim of the study abroad love bug. My story is long and complicated, but it’s an experience I certainly wouldn’t go back and change.

Why, you ask? The answer is twofold. You’re caught up in a whirlwind of travel, excitement, and new opportunity and through meeting numerous new people in this elated state, it’s quite likely that you’ll end up “clicking” with someone you never knew existed. Chances are, they’ll even have a wicked accent to draw you in that much easier. Before you know it you might be making up failed excuses as to why you shouldn’t start a relationship while you’re abroad, but over time (even four months abroad is enough time), you might end up changing your mind completely.

Here’s what you might want to know about falling in love abroad before you let the love bug take over:

IT CAN TEACH YOU INVALUABLE LESSONS

If you start a romantic relationship while you’re studying abroad, chances are it will be with someone from a different country. Dating someone with a different vocabulary, accent, customs, and even values can teach you a lot about not only them but yourself as well and what you value in life.

YOU’LL FALL FAST AND HARD

Studying abroad can inflict a kind of illusionary state on a person at first. You’re in a new country, experiencing new things every single day and the excitement seldom ends. This means that it can be easy to get caught up in the moment and fall for someone because you’ll be less focused on the reality of everyday life and more focused on enjoying your time and meeting new people. . . . .

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From CEA Study Abroad

10 Reasons to Study Abroad

“From CEA Study Abroad”

Why Every College Student Should Study Abroad

“Why Every College Student Should Study Abroad”

by Dana Covit via MyDomaine

Why Every College Student Should Study Abroad

I was an early adopter of the school of adventurous escapism. I read the Harry Potter series ravenously as a child more for the idea of landing somewhere new and exciting than for the magic that lured most of my peers. Later in life, I read Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and pledged, in the way teenagers do, to always lean forward into that “next crazy venture beneath the skies.” So, when I was rounding out my second year in college and the possibility of traveling abroad presented itself, I didn’t hesitate one bit. So off to Buenos Aires, Argentina, I went for six months. And oh man—it’s a good thing I did. Here’s why every single college student should study abroad if they can, from someone who is very thankful to have had the experience.

It’s an incredible chance to see the world.

Having grown up in New Jersey and vacationed at a summer camp not even a mile from my house, I was anxious see it—see it all. Thankfully, studying abroad is a unique opportunity to live somewhere new, no strings attached, and explore the region with minimal responsibilities interfering. Academic requirements vary depending on exchange programs, but many build in three-day weekends to allow for plenty of weekend travel. In my experience, traveling as a post-grad adult is often wedged between stressful periods of work and responsibility. Getting time off is a challenge. Scrounging up the funds and coordinating conflicting schedules isn’t easy. Travel has never been as painless as travel while I was abroad.

My advice for when you’re there? Do it all. Go on that daytime excursion. Drop the money on that plane or train ticket. Squeeze as much out of a whirlwind 24 hours as you can. Every opportunity you have to travel while you are abroad is special and worthwhile.

It’ll extract you from your college comfort zone.

And, well, this is a very good thing. It can be scary to leave the comfort of home—of friends, a city you know well, a routine you’re accustomed to. That’s natural! When I first arrived in Buenos Aires, I was overwhelmed by the pollution in my neighborhood, by the bus schedule, by the language that I thought I knew how to speak. But as far as personal development goes, being surrounded by people who are just like us—from similar backgrounds, with similar belief systems—is stunting. The goal of college is very much to remove us from our comfort zone. Think of studying abroad as doing so tenfold. It’s totally unnerving, but worth it in every way. . . . .

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10 Reasons You Should Study Abroad

“10 Reasons You Should Study Abroad”

by Hannah McIntyre via “Huffington Post

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Step outside of your comfort zone and see the world.

1. Explore the world

When living abroad, you not only get to experience the country you’re living in, you get to travel to other far away places that aren’t so far away anymore. Studying abroad affords you the opportunity to hop on a train and get a quick and cheap Ryanair flight to get you anywhere in Europe in a few hours. Get out of your hometown, or your college town, and see the world.

2. Learn about the world – past and current events

It’s easy to get caught up in the little bubble that is your world, and to miss out on things much bigger than you that are happening around the world. Going abroad is a great way to open up your eyes to global happenings, and to become more worldly. There are so many countries with histories that you know nothing about, and so many events that you’ve heard of but couldn’t really explain to someone else. As college students and adults, it is about time that we start paying attention to what is happening around the world, not just around the corner.

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A watch tower at Auschwitz I. By: Madeleine Ackels

3. Experience new cultures

Living in a culture is the best way to experience it. Visiting a country for a vacation does have advantages, but being abroad and living in a new place for a few months really allows you to experience the new culture in depth. Enough for it to start to feel like home, maybe. One experience that goes hand in hand with culture is food. Food is a main asset to a culture. It is a main way for a culture to express itself. While abroad you will be presented with new dishes that will represent your new culture. Branch out and try new things, your hosts will love you for trying, even if you don’t like it.

4. Learn about your own culture

Being away from home really has a lot to show you about home. Experiencing a new culture that is totally different from what you are used to will highlight aspects of your own culture that you may have been blind to before or that you can appreciate more now that you’re not in it every day. Talking with people from your new culture about your home and hearing their perspective might cause you to view things differently as well. . . . .

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Can study abroad lead to an ‘enlightened form of nationalism’?

“Can study abroad lead to an ‘enlightened form of nationalism’?”

by Ellie Bothwell via “THE

Group of young people

Higher graduate earnings, better marks and a greater understanding of students from different nations and backgrounds.

The benefits of study-abroad programmes have long been cited, so I was surprised to discover the results of a recent study, which found that students that spent time studying abroad were no more likely to have a feeling of “shared international community” compared with those who had enrolled on a programme but had not yet departed.

In fact, according to the survey of 571 US study-abroad students, those who had already been overseas said that they felt they had significantly fewer values in common with the people in their host country.

However, despite seeming to challenge the theory that overseas study helps improve international relations, the research from Calvert Jones, assistant professor of political science at the University of Maryland, provides a reassuring conclusion.

Professor Jones argues that while students returning from studying abroad are more “nationalistic”, they are also more tolerant and less prone to viewing other countries as threatening. She says that this means theorists of international community “would be right about the main effect, but wrong about the mechanism”. . . . .

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