Just like many other institutions, the world of higher education is not immune to the negative impact of the financial crisis. The Forum on Education Abroad recently released a report that shows fewer students may be studying abroad. 165 American schools, program providers, and international universities participated in the survey. Of them, 66% noticed a marked negative impact in their programs as a result of the economy.
While this is a staggering number don’t be deceived! There is no raw data available yet for how many students actually studied abroad during the past academic year. Therefore, it is not definite if there was a significant decrease in the number of students that studied abroad. 43% of reporting institutions said that the decrease in their students studying abroad was between 1% and 15%. Only 9% of respondents said their decrease was 26% or more. Also, while 60% of institutions have have budget cuts, 44% of the respondents said their budget decrease was 10% or less. Also, only 9% of institutions cited budget cuts in the student scholarship arena. Therefore, many students will still be able to get the same scholarships that were available to them before.
Additionally, 39% of institutions have found that they had an increase in students studying abroad. Program providers like New York University have noticed an 8% increase in their fall 2009 numbers for students interested in studying abroad this spring. NYU has opened up two new study abroad locations this spring to help make room for the increased demand. Other schools have found a marked increase in the number of students attending study abroad fairs and requesting more information about study abroad programs. One study abroad advisor attributed this to the fact that job markets are becoming increasingly competitive and an international education is a desirable characteristic.
The current economic climate obviously poses problems for students who want to study abroad. However, there are always scholarships available and cheaper alternatives to many study abroad programs. For information on scholarships click here. Also, do research before you go abroad, some destinations are always more expensive than others.