Big cities are in, programs are touring, and more American students are studying abroad on programs coordinated by their home universities. These are some of the statistics revealed in this year’s study abroad rankings by Abroad101.
New York (April 6, 2016) – Abroad101, producers of America’s first and largest study abroad review website, released the fifth annual Study Abroad Rankings today highlighting the success of international education. The rankings recognize the study abroad programs and locations rated highest by American students who have studied abroad in the last year. The rankings also reflect the dynamic nature of study abroad and identify up-and-coming destinations and program types in addition to top programs and providers.
Notable in this year’s rankings was a shift in popularity toward programs operating in big cities, especially in Europe, which hosted 12 of the top 16 programs. The broad reach of study abroad is reflected in the Top 5, which featured programs in China, Czech Republic, Spain, Costa Rica, and Australia. In addition to rating programs, the Study Abroad Rankings also identify the “Most Livable Cities.” Students are currently favoring large cities, contrary to last year’s rankings featuring smaller college towns.
The Top Ten Most Livable Cities for study abroad are:
- San Jose, Costa Rica
- Gold Coast, Australia
Since students often attend programs run by organizations outside of their home university, the Study Abroad Rankings also identify the Top Study Abroad Providers:
- The Education Abroad Network (TEAN)
- IES Abroad
- Sol Education Abroad
- API (Academic Programs International)
- The Asia Institute
- ISA (International Studies Abroad)
- Loyola University Chicago
- IBS (International Business Seminars)
- CAPA: The Global Education Network
- SAI Programs
- CISabroad (Center for International Studies)
With more than 1,700 evaluations published on Abroad101, IES Abroad has received the most reviews of any provider and an overall rating of 4.6/5. The quality and quantity of these student reviews demonstrate the success of IES Abroad, crowning the company as a top provider as well as host of two top programs. CEO of IES Abroad Mary Dwyer stated, “At IES Abroad, we are dedicated to increasing accessibility to study abroad, while maintaining the highest levels of academic excellence and student health and safety in the field. We greatly value student feedback, and appreciate so many of our alumni taking the time to share their authentic program experiences with others.”
Student feedback like this is used by advisors to help future students find programs. Each year Abroad101 highlights destinations for the budget conscious; these rankings are often dictated by shifts in currency.
This year’s list “Budget Friendly” Study Abroad Destinations:
- Czech Republic
Also highlighted in the rankings are “Top Non-Traditional Countries“ for more intrepid students:
- United Arab Emirates
The overall top program honors go to Loyola University Chicago and The Beijing Center. According to Katie Rooney, Senior University Relations Coordinator, “The Beijing Center has it all – top-notch academics, unique travel experiences, immersion with the local community, and an array of co-curricular activities that really round out the student experience. Students have the opportunity to make the most of their time in China, and they can’t stop talking about it when they come back.”
The Top Study Abroad Programs are:
- Loyola University Chicago: The Beijing Center
- UPCES – Study Abroad in Prague
- IES Abroad: Study Abroad in Granada
- Sol Education Abroad: Heredia – Universidad Latina de Costa Rica
- The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Gold Coast – Bond University
- API: Lorenzo de Medici , The Italian International Institute
- CEA: Rome, Italy
- Round River Conservation Studies – Patagonia, Chile Program
- CAPA The Global Education Network: Dublin – Study or Intern Abroad
- IES Abroad: Study in Amsterdam
- European Study Center: Study Abroad in the EU
- DIS Copenhagen: Semester
- Regent’s University London: Study Abroad in London
- University of Evansville: Study abroad at Harlaxton College
- PRESHCO: Study Abroad in Cordoba, Spain
- Sant’Anna Institute: Sorrento – Live, Learn and Immerse in Italy
The rankings also reflect the ongoing change in study abroad with the rise of several specialty programs and providers and a wide variety of program formats. “Study abroad continues to be a dynamic field with innovative offerings from a steady flow of new organizations” says Mark Shay, CEO of Abroad101. “This year’s rankings give prime examples of this shift as we see the popularity of touring programs rise as well as programs offered through partnerships between universities and providers. We also see the rise in popularity of internships as part of study abroad program formats.” To see the full list of Top Study Abroad Programs, click here – http://www.StudyAbroad101.com/rankings
Students continue to flock to summer study abroad programs, and this year’s “Top Summer Programs” list includes an incredibly diverse mix of options and destinations featuring The GREEN Program as the top choice. Founder Melissa Lee states, “As a millennial-driven company, we are thrilled that GREEN alumni champion our fresh take to study abroad. Created by students, for students, we strive to provide social impact-minded participants with the career-enhancing global experiences that not only fit into their rigorous academic schedules, but also allow them to check awe-inspiring adventures and authentic cultural experiences off their bucket lists.”
There is no better way to get to know a new culture than tasting fresh, local food, and with over 300,000 American college-age students studying abroad each year, Abroad101 pays homage to millennial foodie culture by highlight “Top Foodie Cities.” Four of the top ten cities were in Italy (Florence, Rome, Milan, and Bologna), another two were in France (Paris, Aix-en-Provence), and two were in China (Beijing, Shanghai). These delicious destinations go above and beyond by winning students’ hearts, minds, and mouths as part of this high-impact educational experience.
“We produce the study abroad rankings as a way to overcome some of the objections that parents and families may have and hope that highlighting other aspects of the experience will bring more students to experience different cultures and different perspectives” says Mark Shay, the CEO of Abroad101. “Young, open minds are the key to a peaceful and prosperous future and giving them the chance to have cultural immersion experiences is life changing. We need more students to study abroad and it is the mission of Abroad101 to capture these life-changing accounts and publish them. Our tools help capture these personal triumphs and turn alumni stories into examples of the benefits of study abroad so that we can draw more students abroad” concludes Shay.
Founded in 2007, Abroad101 is the first and largest study abroad review website and program evaluation software. This innovative platform serves past and future students, parents and advisors through its market-leading online evaluation tool. Under the direction of their academic advisors or program providers, students complete thorough online evaluations hosted by Abroad101 with both quantitative and qualitative responses. For the 2015 rankings, more than 6 thousand evaluations were processed and 1,262 different programs received reviews.
To learn more, visit http://www.StudyAbroad101.com/rankings