Study Abroad Statistics

The most commonly used study abroad statistics come from IIE and its annual survey of universities called Open Doors. This initiative tallies credit bearing experiences reported by universities in the year after they occurred. It is the bellwether measure of study abroad and provides the data most often cited in the field and by the media. The number of participants in study abroad in 2013 was reported as 289,408, which represents 1.3% of all American post-secondary students. Open Doors states that 9% of those who earned an undergraduate degree have studied abroad.

Please feel free to share this infographic with the following citation: "Institute of International Education. (2013).Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Retrieved from"

Please feel free to share this infographic with the following citation: “Institute of International Education. (2013).Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Retrieved from”


There are a lot of international experiences that the Open Doors report does not tally. These include non-credit bearing programs like adventure travel, volunteer and internships abroad, language immersions. By using university reporting, the Open Doors report also misses programs where the student doesn’t seek transfer credit, credit was denied, or the experience somehow bypassed normal university channels.

We do know one thing; students like to travel. According to a special report from StudentUniverse + Skift “The student traveler represents fully one-fifth of all international arrivals in the travel industry, today. They command a market value of some $320 billion and they are willing to spend to create experiences that go far beyond the backpack-and-party crowd that some would assert to have once characterized educational journeys abroad.”

According to the World Tourism Organization , Over one billion international tourists travelled the world in 2013, accounting for 9% of global GDP, 30% of services exports and 1 in every 11 jobs. At least 30 million students are reported to be included in these numbers.

Abroad101 is designed to encourage students to undertake an experience off-campus and outside their comfort zones. We have accounts of study abroad, study away, education abroad, internships abroad, volunteer, intensive language and even pre-college gap year programs. As the reviews attest, the maturing and learning that occurs has a profound impact on the individual student and a compound impact on society. Our hope is to demonstrate that there is opportunity worldwide in unique and surprising places and that the first hand accounts of students will pave the way for more students to challenge themselves and expose themselves to the world. Along the way, we have compiled our own statistics and view of the world based on reviews received and traffic patterns in our program directories. Here are a few more data points to think about:

Top Study Abroad Providers


Most Popular Foreign Universities (Direct Enrollment & Exchange)


Most Desired Countries to Study Abroad


Most Desired Cities to Study Abroad


Cities with the Most Study Abroad Programs


Most Popular First Names of Study Abroad Students


And from the Abroad101 Annual Rankings:

Top Rated Study Abroad Cities:


Top Rated Study Abroad Programs:


Top Rated Study Abroad Providers:


Top Rated non-traditional Study Abroad Countries:


Most Affordable Study Abroad Destinations


To students, parents and their advisors we say “Expose yourself to the world” then come back and share it by submitting a review.

To university administrators, we hope you will use Abroad101 as your official program evaluation tool to help us collect our data and help you capture your own data on study abroad