Study Abroad Declines with Economic Downturn

For the first time in 25 years, fewer American students are studying abroad for academic credit. The Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange reported that 260,327 students studied abroad in the 2008-2009 academic school year, about 2,000 fewer than the previous year. While the decline is modest, it does mean that fewer students are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by a study abroad experience.
The report cites cost as the top reason students did not pursue a a college semester or year outside the U.S. The report further found that fewer students are choosing to go to the older, more traditional study abroad cities in Western Europe, while China saw a 19 percent increase. Fifteen of the top 25 study abroad destinations are not in Europe. Colleges who wish to make study abroad more affordable for students are targeting these non-European cities for future expansion, particularly in countries showing economic growth.
Many students want the ability to not only study abroad, but also to work abroad. Work experience or an international internship is seen as a major benefit to students and employers alike. Thirty-seven percent more students participated in work-study experiences in ’08-’09 than the previous year.
Via The Huffington Post.
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