The recession hit international student and study abroad programs hard. These programs were seen as luxuries, and students could no longer afford them.
An article in Inside Higher Ed (“Back on Track”) looks at this year’s “Open Doors” report—which examines study abroad and international student enrollment—and shows how these programs have bounced back.
- In 2010-2011 there are 5% more international students enrolled in colleges in the US and a 3.9% increase in study abroad participation.
- The total number of foreign students, 723,277, and students going abroad, 270,604, in 2010-2011 are both record high numbers.
- China is now the top country sending students to American schools, with 157,558 Chinese students accounting for 22% of foreign student enrollment.
- As for American students going abroad, more and more students are going to China, making it number five on the list of top places to study abroad.
- Britain, Italy, Spain and France are still the most popular study abroad locations, hosting 38% of all study abroad participants.
- When specific college campuses were asked about whether study abroad numbers were increasing, 53% of campuses said they saw higher participation.
While all these statistics look great, the fact remains that less than 1% of American college students are studying abroad. Allan E. Goodman, president and CEO of IIE, notes: “We have a long way to go and many, many more Americans, community colleges, baccalaureate and research universities ought to have an international component to their experience, and it’s really going to take every one of us to get there.”