Brigham Young University is again among the top 20 schools nationwide that send students to study abroad programs, according to the 2008–2009 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange.
This latest report, published annually by the Institute of International Education with funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, ranked BYU 15th, with 1,957 students studying abroad.
For the first time in the 25 years the data have been tracked, the number of U.S. students studying abroad for academic credit did not increase.
However, the report found that there were notable increases in the number of U.S. students going to study in less traditional destinations: 15 of the top 25 destinations were outside of Western Europe, and 19 were countries where English is not a primary language.
Double-digit increases to host countries among the top 25 destinations include Argentina (up 15 percent), South Africa (up 12 percent), Chile (up 28 percent), the Netherlands (up 14 percent), Denmark (up 21 percent), Peru (up 32 percent) and South Korea (up 29 percent).
Double-digit decreases among the top 25 host countries include a 26 percent decline in U.S. students studying in Mexico (which experienced the swine flu outbreak that year), a 16 percent decline to Austria and a 15 percent decline to India. Large percentage declines were produced by relatively small shifts in actual numbers because many of these countries already hosted limited numbers of U.S. students during the prior year.
The report also noted a 37 percent increase in the number of students participating in practical work experiences as part of their study abroad, with 18,715 students now receiving academic credit at U.S. colleges and universities for internships or work abroad.
Allan E. Goodman, president and CEO of the Institute of International Education, said, “As educators, our challenge remains one of making international a part of what it means to become educated. International experience provides key skills needed by American graduates to succeed in the global workforce.”
BYU’s Study Programs
International Study Programs (ISP) at BYU offers students a wide range of opportunities for international study and has had students in programs on every continent, including Antarctica. In addition to traditional study abroad, students may opt for internships, field studies or direct enrollment in universities from Cambridge, England, to Nanjing, China.
“This latest report demonstrates the importance of international education on BYU’s campus,” said Lynn Elliott, ISP programs director at BYU. “With every college at BYU providing support for international programs, there are worthwhile international opportunities that any BYU student can take advantage of, regardless of his or her major.”
Interested BYU students are encouraged to survey the options and plan early to incorporate international study in their curriculum. For more information, contact International Study Programs, located in 101 Herald R. Clark Building, at (801) 422-3686 or visit kennedy.byu.edu/isp.
A full press kit and further details on the Open Doors surveysand their findings may be accessed on iie.org/opendoors. The full 120-page report may be ordered for $64.95 from IIE Books.
Writer: Lee Simons