The mixture of remote studies, online courses, and a plethora of unique courses that become more accessible motivate students from all over the world to seek academic opportunities abroad. Choosing to study abroad is often conditioned by a student’s decision to explore the world, travel, and have more chances of getting enrolled in a specific program. The popularity of foreign studies is only increasing because most international schools also offer language courses for exchange students and keep things flexible. Before we continue with study abroad statistics, it’s safe to claim that students who choose to learn beyond the scope of their country have greater chances of becoming successful.
The Emotional Impact of Studying Abroad
According to researchers, studying abroad has a positive effect in most cases as the students who choose international studies usually tend to achieve higher high school GPAs and SAT scores among other things. In a certain sense, it is an indication of successful graduation since the general environment tends to push the learners to stand out and do better because of constant accommodation and the emotional factors involved. Although some students who are only planning to become American students study abroad believe that the challenges of living and learning in another country will be too much, things do not appear as grim in reality. The majority of exchange programs have been worked out to meet the needs of students far away from home.
Decrease and Diversification in Abroad Studies
Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, studying abroad has gone through an apparent decline. The NAFSA stats claim that the number of students who chose to study abroad during the 2019-2020 academic year has declined 53% from 347,099 learners to only 162,633 students in March 2020. The majority of universities all over the world took the online or remote learning route, which has paved the way for an increase in international learning. Still, it's not the same as it has been before in terms of physical logistics and the actual enrollment overseas.
Turning to the statistics provided by the Department of Education in the United States, we can see that one in ten students in the USA studies abroad during the undergraduate academic period. An interesting aspect here is diversification, which means that Americans appear in countries like the UAE, Japan, and Australia, which have not made it to the lists before. The number of learners than belong to racial or ethnic minorities is increasing as well from 29.2% during the 2016-2017 period. If we compare the same period of 2005-2006, the racial and ethnic minorities students were only 17% among those who chose to study abroad.
Why Do Students Choose to Study Abroad?
It would surprise an average American to learn that it is not easy for native English speakers to get enrolled in English courses or have luck with Business Management or Law. Since there are numerous English language programs worldwide, choosing to get enrolled in France for Fashion Studies or study Engineering somewhere in Germany is a great chance to learn from the best in the specific industry and enjoy the benefits of studying with global experts. Most importantly, it is a way to see the world and learn more about the different cultures as one trains social skills and makes new friends.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Studying Abroad
Learning abroad is always inspiring and beneficial for those who want to travel and feel the taste of another country and a totally different culture. Without a doubt, it has both pros and cons that you should consider:
- You learn differently and can access unique subjects and curriculums.
- You learn how to communicate with people from all over the world.
- You can get high-paid employment right after graduation.
- You have unique opportunities for research work and may receive scholarship funding.
- It can get expensive without scholarship funding or becoming enrolled in an exchange program.
- Independent accommodation costs for abroad students.
- Learning a foreign language may be challenging for some people.
- Your academic credits may not transfer correctly, compared to what’s being used in your native country. Always double-check this aspect before applying.
Statistics on Study Abroad
Let us assume the American University in Washington, DC for our statistical sample as we take a look at the US university. The District of Columbia represents over 110 countries worldwide. About twelve percent of undergraduate students are currently enrolled and nine percent of graduate students belong to international learners. It shows that foreign studies are both popular locally and in terms of global learning.
Now, how many students study abroad? The United States Department of State claims that in the academic year 2015-2016, a total of 325,339 American students have studied abroad with a 4% increase when compared to the past academic year. The number of U.S. students during the period of the 2019-2021 academic year saw a decline by making it to 162,633 students. Turning to a statistical survey, almost 40% of companies were looking for students who have been enrolled in international programs and missed specific business opportunities because they did not have internationally competent personnel.
The Popular Countries to Study Abroad
Now the top destinations for American students to study abroad include the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, China, Ireland, Australia, Costa Rica, and Japan. Speaking of the increase in interest, Japan has increased by 18%, the Netherlands became more popular with a 17.2% increase, and Denmark with New Zealand made it to 14.8% and 14.5% respectively. The new countries that became more popular among English-speaking students are the Czech Republic and South Africa. At the same time, it is also possible to study in Latin America or the UAE if your engineering curriculum provides you with the studies on location.
Students and Study Abroad Facts
- The most popular study abroad programs among students are those that include summer term studies, which is about 38% of all students enrolled during the last 7 years, as the Department of State reports.
- The same relates to short-term programs, which provide a great opportunity to understand whether the right choice has been made. It means that about 60% of students choose programs that are less than 8 weeks in duration.
- Only 32% of international students choose full semester studies with less than 3% of students choosing to live abroad during the complete academic year.
- The most popular study abroad trends for international majors include STEM subjects like engineering, agriculture, healthcare-based courses, and computer science.
- Business Management and Fashion Studies represent about twenty and fifteen percent of grads enrolled.
- The college that has the most foreign students in the United States is the New York University which reported 17,050 learners during the 2020-2021 academic year.
- According to Pew Research, the majority of international students in the United States are from China (35%), India (18%), South Korea (4%), and Canada (3%).
The Top 5 Popular Universities for Exchange Students
- London School of Economics and Political Science. If you want to study Business Management, Journalism, and Political Science the British way, this competitive school is one of the best choices. It hosts about 6,500 international students and is the alma mater of David Rockefeller.
- University of Salamanca. It hosts about 9,200 international students and poses one of the best ways to learn Anthropology, Sociology, English Literature, and relevant humanitarian sciences.
- RMIT University. According to the alumni census, about 46 percent of students come from beyond Australia. It is the best choice for technical and engineering programs.
- University of the Arts London. If you want to graduate in Arts, Theater, Fashion Studies, and even courses like Instagram influencing, this is the right choice for you!
- University of Strasbourg. It hosts 9,300 international students and offers one of the best scientific research labs. The benefits of studying abroad include programs for medical studies, Law, conflict resolution programs, and French studies.
Top 5 Countries With International Students
According to the reports provided by the Open Doors, the United States takes the honorary first place among the top countries with international students at 1,095,299 students. The other four countries include:
💂♂️The United Kingdom at 496,570 students.
🐉China at 492,185 learners.
🍁Canada at 435,415 students.
🦘Australia at 420, 501 students.
The other five countries on the top list include France (343,400), Russia (334,497), Germany (282,002), Japan (208,901), and Spain (120,991).
How to Choose University in Another Country
- Always choose those courses that inspire you and follow your academic objectives.
- Talk to your academic advisor to see whether you are eligible for grants, scholarships, and student exchange programs.
- Consider the boarding and transportation costs.
- Look into the translation of your medical and academic documents in advance.
- See what language requirements are necessary to become enrolled.
- Read online reviews by those who studied abroad to understand what other students are saying.
- Plan to visit the country and request university campus information in advance.
Why It is Worth Learning Abroad
It will always depend on your academic objectives and the plans that you have for your future career. Let us assume that you are coming from the state of California and have basic Spanish language skills. You may approach studying in Chile or consider Spain for Recreational Medicine or Physical Education by discovering the country and getting practical experience. As you might know, HR managers are always looking for those students who have international experience and have gone through specific programs that have offered internship opportunities.
Another important aspect related to facts about studying abroad is having more chances of getting enrolled and dealing with the guest lecturers. Even American universities like Harvard, Cornell University, and MIT offer international exchange programs for the final year of studies, which can also be a great option to consider. You will also gain a global perspective and earn credits for your future degree. If you consider international studies and want to see the world, take one step at a time, explore available programs, discuss the options with your academic advisor, and always follow your dreams!
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