In this first chart we can see that students are overwhelmingly choosing to study in Europe, hosting 62% of our students. For about 25% of students, studying abroad will be their first time out of the United States. So it’s no wonder most choose romantic destinations within Europe, knowing how easy it is to visit a new country every weekend. Asia is a distant second with 11%. We’ll be keeping an eye on this growth, particularly in China over the next few years to track the impact of the 100,000 Strong initiative. Another region we should look out for is the Middle East. New Arabic programs are starting up at Universities like Tufts, and others are becoming stronger with the support of the government to send our students to be ambassadors around the world.
The numbers we’ve collected for top countries differ from the Open Doors report for the 2008/09 school year published by IIE.
This chart shows the top 15 country destinations from the Open Doors report, and the corresponding Abroad101 numbers for those countries. Open Doors has found the United Kingdom to be the top destination, on Abroad101, Spain has the most reviews.
Since there is such a difference in numbers of women and men going abroad, we investigated to see if there was a difference in where they chose to go. As you can see, 3 out of the top 4 are Spain, Italy and France. Women just can’t escape the notion of having a love affair around the Cafés of Paris, the Art in Italy and the Beaches in Spain. They can’t get enough of the European accent! The men are flocking to Europe as well, but they put Asia above Australia, while the girls are exploring the Outback, the men are keeping up with latest technology and economics in China and Japan.
How did these students choose where they were going to study abroad? Are they picking out of a hat? Throwing darts onto a World map? Few students said they wanted to learn more about their family heritage, and some are striving for fluency in another language. Many students have no idea where they want to go, or what to expect when they get there. If you’re a student, or knows someone who is looking to get abroad, check out the student reviews on Abroad101.com, see what they have to say about the country they spent a semester in. Do you like what they’re saying about the country you want to go to? Do you want to be in a central hub of thousands of years of history? Do you want to be surrounded by natural beauty? What about the road less traveled? Are you ready to take a risk and go somewhere that will challenge you? Do countries like Jordan, Morocco and Belize still seam scary after reading the reviews? Take your time choosing, and remember to make the most of where ever you end up, it is sure to be an amazing, life changing experience.