Study Abroad Locations

I always find it interesting where people go abroad and for what reasons. Working in the Champlain Abroad office has definitely allowed me to speak with students to discover their motivations. I’ve heard countless people want to go to Argentina or Spain for the language, Montréal for the gaming programs, Ireland for their heritage, and New Zealand “just because I want to.” I would then be led to believe that the three most popular destinations for Champlain students would be Dublin and Montréal (because we have campuses there) and New Zealand.

I’ve recently read some data from the Institute of International Education about the leading destinations for all American study abroad students. The top 10 places are:

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Italy
  3. Spain
  4. France
  5. China
  6. Australia
  7. Germany
  8. Mexico
  9. Ireland
  10. Costa Rica

These top ten locations account for 58.9% of all American study abroad students in 2008/9. Considering there are “195” countries in the world, 58.9% of American study abroad students only utilize 5% of the world’s countries. 195 is in quotations because the actual number of countries in the world varies depending on the source. Also, 6 out of the 10 countries are in Europe, 2 in the Americas, 1 in Asia, and 1 is Australia.

Knowing this list leads me to ask more questions about majors and locations and if certain majors are attracted to certain locations based on the current state of that location. I know Montréal is the third largest media convergence city and the second largest gaming city so media majors are attracted to there, but what about other locations? I hope to find out more answers concerning this topic very soon.

As a mini-side-note, at my position with the Champlain Abroad office, I decided to publish a poster for campus displaying an inspirational quote by Mark Twain, encouraging travel. I will leave you with that:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

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2 Comments

Filed under Thoughts on Abroad

2 responses to “Study Abroad Locations

  1. Annie

    This is an awesome post!! When you mentioned that students study abroad for language in Spain I noticed that some of the other popular destinations were primarily English speaking countries. Do you think those places are popular for study abroad because they don’t have to learn a new language?

  2. I think the whole language aspect is a huge factor in choosing a study abroad location. As Americans, we learn English, and unfortunately most people believe that no other language is needed. Europeans on the other hand know multiple languages because they are surrounded by them. You can drive 3,000 miles in the US, through English speaking land; however, if you drove 3,000 miles in Europe you can pass through 6+ countries with 6+ languages. Also, English is known as the language of business, so most of the world can either speak it or is learning to speak it–globalization at work.

    Thanks for the comment!
    -Tricia

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