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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.