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Number of US students studying abroad doubles in 15 years

Staff writer ▼ | November 19, 2014
The number of American students choosing foreign education more than doubled in the past 15 years, the Open Doors Report, published by the International Institute of Education (IIE) revealed.
US students
Study   The International Institute of Education
“Study abroad by American students has more than doubled in the past 15 years, from about 130,000 students in 1998/99,” the report stated adding that the number of US students who traveled outside the United States for their academic credit in the 2012/13 academic year stands at 289,408.

The leading study destination for American students is the United Kingdom. Other top five host countries include Italy, Spain, France and China. The number of American students choosing destinations outside Europe, including Costa Rica, South Korea, Peru and Thailand is constantly increasing, the report revealed.

Most Americans studying overseas major in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) fields, with a focus on Health Sciences. The second largest group is working in Social Sciences. The study noted that though the number of students traveling abroad for academic certification is at an all-time high, it represents approximately 10 percent of the total.

“90 percent of American undergraduate students enrolled in U.S. higher education are graduating without an international experience,” the report stated.

The study also showed the number of international students in the United States reached a record high of 888, 052 in 2013/2014. This increase is led by Chinese undergraduates, whose enrollments to US higher education institutions increased by seventeen percent over the past year. India and South Korea also contributed significantly to the spike.