Since 1986 the Institute of International
Education (IIE), a non-profit educational and cultural organization,
has conducted research on U.S. college students studying abroad. The
group does an annual research report, entitled Open Doors, and the
efforts are funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau
of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The statistics included here
are from Open Doors 2003.
Research has shown that despite
post 9/11 concerns and a weak economy, U.S. college students still
regard international study as important. This shows through the increasing
number of students investing their time and money in such endeavors.
Over the 2001/2002 school year a record 160, 920 university-level
students received credit for studies done abroad. That is a 4.4% increase
from the previous school year.
In the last 15 years the number of U.S. students choosing
to study for a term abroad has more than doubled, going from 71,154
students to 160,920. That is a 126% increase.
|Patricia S. Harrison, Assistant Secretary for
Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, said,
"We are gratified by the continuing increase in the number of U.S.
students studying abroad. A 4.4% growth is extremely encouraging, and shows
that American students continue to recognize that preparation for success
in a global future needs to include overseas study. And the reports from
American campuses suggest that the trend is toward even greater growth ahead.
Overall, the numbers demonstrate quite clearly that students realize that
the world of tomorrow will require everyone to be globally aware and conversant."
|"The continuing and strong increase in study
abroad is especially important against the backdrop of today's headlines.
Having our successor generation learn more about other countries and societies
-- while serving as cultural ambassadors to their peers -- enables young
Americans to contribute directly to creating a more peaceful world,"
said IIE President Allan E. Goodman.
A higher number of students signals a higher number of students with
the chance of experiencing depression and anxiety as they go through the
culture shock and adjustment of returning home.