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10 Study Abroad Statistics for You and Your Student

 

study abroad statistics

Many students will be making the decision to study abroad in the spring. If you’re on the fence and wonder if the experience is worth the cost, these study abroad statistics should help.

For many years, the benefits of studying abroad have been described in words like these: “It will completely change your life!” and “You will come back a new person.” But the exact long-term benefits were unknown. Now, though, the positive impact of study abroad experiences can be proven with study abroad statistics.

The Institute for International Education of Students (IES) conducted a survey to explore the long-term impact of study abroad on the personal, professional, and academic lives of students. Here are 10 interesting findings:

1. 95% of the students who were surveyed admitted that studying abroad served as a catalyst for increased maturity, 96% reported increased self-confidence, and 95% said it had a lasting impact on their worldview.

2. 87% of the students said that study abroad influenced their subsequent educational experiences. Nearly half of all respondents took part in international work and/or volunteerism since studying abroad.

The Erasmus Impact Study (2013) analyzed the effects of mobility on the skills and employability of students and on the internationalization of higher education institutions. The results of the study proved the benefits of studying abroad for the career development of mobile students. The study highlighted that mobile students are more likely to get managerial positions in their future careers and are less likely to experience long-term unemployment.

Here are some key findings.

3. More than 90% of mobile students reported that they improved their soft skills, including their knowledge of other countries, the ability to interact and work with people from different cultures, adaptability, foreign language proficiency, and communication skills.

4. Young people who study abroad are half as likely to face long-term unemployment as those who do not study abroad. The unemployment rate of Erasmus students five years after graduation is 23% lower.

5. 64% of surveyed employers said that graduates with an international background are more often given greater professional responsibility.

The world is becoming increasingly globalized, and international experience is one of the most essential components of higher education in the 21st century. Just take a look at these facts:

6. The global number of students who study abroad continues to rise with an annual increase of 10%. There were almost 5 million international students in 2014. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has projected that, with demographic changes, the international student population is likely to reach 8 million by 2025.

7. Several traditional source countries are working hard to increase their attractiveness to international students. China hosted nearly 380,000 foreign students in 2014 but has a target to attract 500,000 students by 2020; Japan is aiming for a target of 300,000 international students in 2020; and Malaysia wants to attract 250,000 foreign students by 2025.

The number of U.S. students going abroad keeps increasing every year, a growth pattern that is likely to continue.

8. The most popular destinations for U.S. students studying abroad in the 2014-2015 academic year were the United Kingdom (38,250 U.S. students), Italy (31,166), Spain (26,949), France (17,597), China (13,763), Germany (10,377), Ireland (8,823), Australia (8,369), Japan (5,978), and South Africa (4,968).

9. 68,798 American students were studying science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) in different countries around the world in the 2013-2014 academic year. Another 59,687 American students were studying business, while 57,067 studied foreign languages and international studies.

Why is study abroad essential?

We live in an increasingly globalized world. New technologies have led to the international integration of national markets and businesses. To successfully compete in the global marketplace, multinational and small businesses need employees with cross-cultural competence and knowledge of foreign languages.

10. A recent survey found that almost 40% of U.S. companies missed international business opportunities due to a lack of internationally competent personnel.

It is clear that employers are seeking candidates with study abroad experiences on their resumes. Students who want to work in our deeply interconnected world must study abroad.

There is no doubt that studying abroad will change your life. It offers you a chance to experience other cultures, make international friends, learn new languages, improve your job prospects, contribute to your personal development…and maybe even find the partner of your dreams!

Content for this article originally appeared on SmartStudy, study and writing tips for students, and was written by Ruth Kinloch, a private tutor, language lover and traveler. Read the original article for even more statistics. 

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