Tag Archives: Italy

Location Influencers

So nearly 60% of American study abroad students study in only 10 different countries, but how does a student decide where to study? I have it narrowed down to a few factors, but I’m welcome to hearing your thoughts as well.

  1. Language –as discussed in the comments of my last post about study abroad locations, language is a huge factor in choosing a location. A student can either choose a country such as Spain, France, or Italy to learn the language by immersion, or intentionally choose an English-speaking country. I know people who have taken both routes and all of them have been happy so it really depends on the student’s preference.
  2. Heritage—I think this is the number one reason for American students to choose to go to Ireland. Over 36 million Americans claim Irish heritage, and it really is a heritage that is connected at the roots. Students are interested in seeing where their not-so-distant relatives lived and thrived for thousands of years.
  3. Causes—Certain locations around the globe attract more philanthropic students who travel to do work for a cause. I know a group of Champlain College students are travelling to an orphanage in Tanzania to help as much as they can for a few weeks.
  4. Industry—More students are travelling where their major is thriving. Champlain has set up a campus in Montréal because it is the 2nd-largest gaming center in the world hosting headquarters to major companies such as EA Games. We have three game majors (Design, Art & Animation, and Programming) and each is encouraged to travel to Montréal because that is where their job market it going. Also, more American students are studying in China than ever before, because of their business and economy.

These are the top four reasons and factors I see contributing to a student’s study abroad decision. Obviously finances are also an issue, but it is an issue with almost everything in college so it’s not unique to study abroad. What other factors do you think affect a student’s decision on where to study abroad?



PS. This post features pictures from my friend PK, his flickr.


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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.


Filed under Thoughts on Abroad