|University of Denver|
Regardless of which story you choose to believe, the study abroad movement has grown beyond the imagination of even the most ardent believers in global education and has become the cornerstone of “experiential” learning at most colleges and universities.
A new report by the Institute of International Education (IIE) shows that the number of U.S. students who studied abroad for academic credit increased to 289,408 during the 2012-13 academic year—a two percent increase from the previous year and an all-time high.
“International education is crucial to building relationships between people and communities in the United States and around the world,” said Evan M. Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. “It is through these relationships that together we can solve global challenges like climate change, the spread of pandemic disease, and combatting violent extremism.”
According to the 2014 Open Doors survey, the United Kingdom experienced the largest increase in U.S. study abroad students. In addition, there was double-digit growth in the number of American students studying in South Africa, Denmark, South Korea, Peru, and Thailand, as well as strong growth to Costa Rica and Ireland and a continued rebound in those going to Japan as programs recovered after the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011.
Despite these increases, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point during their undergraduate years. American students majoring in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields showed the largest increase in study abroad, up nine percent from last year, outnumbering study abroad students in the social sciences, the second largest field.
A number of local colleges and universities were among the schools with the highest undergraduate participation rates for study abroad. American University (59.7%), Georgetown University (48.6%), the College of William & Mary (45.8%), George Washington (47.4%), UVa (33.7%), and Catholic University (33.1%) were in the top 40 doctorate institutions. Loyola University of Maryland (68.6%) came in sixth among master’s institutions, and Goucher (102.3%*) and Sweet Briar College (65.6%) were listed as top 40 baccalaureate institutions.
Study abroad by American students has more than tripled over the past two decades. In fact, Open Doors reports that 35 campuses had study abroad participation rates of more than 70 percent of their total student population.
The following are the top 15 doctorate institutions by undergraduate participation:
- University of Denver (71.7%)
- University of San Diego (71.4%)
- Wake Forest University (63.4%)
- New York University (60.1%)
- American University (59.7%)
- Pepperdine University (59%)
- Stanford University (57.3%)
- University of Saint Thomas (56.9%)
- Dartmouth College (56%)
- Duke University (54.2%)
- Yale University (53.8%)
- University of Notre Dame (53.3%)
- Boston College (49.6%)
- Georgetown University (48.6%)
- Boston University (48.5%)
And the top 15 baccalaureate institutions by undergraduate participation:
- Centre College, KY (132.1%*)
- College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University, MN (119%*)
- Taylor University, IN (109.5%*)
- Wofford College, SC (108.9%*)
- Saint Olaf College, MN (104.7%*)
- Goucher College, MD (102.3%*)
- Carleton College, MN (92.5%)
- Colorado College, CO (92.2%)
- DePauw University, IN (91.3%)
- Susquehanna University, PA (90.6%)
- Goshen College, IN (82%)
- Grinnell College, IA (81.8%)
- Lafayette College, PA (81.8%)
- Lewis and Clark College, OR (81.7%)
- Bates College, ME (80.9%)
And once again, NYU wins the top award for sending the most students abroad—4,274. The University of Texas—Austin (2,799) and the University of Southern California (2,750) came in second and third respectively.
*Includes students who made multiple trips abroad