BOONE—The 2013 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange finds the number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by 7percent to a record high of 819,644 students in the 2012-13 academic year, while U.S. students studying abroad increased by 3 percent to an all-time high of more than 283,000.
Participation in study abroad opportunities by Appalachian State University students remains high, according to the report, available at http://www.iie.org/Research-and-Publications/Open-Doors.
Appalachian was listed fourth among master’s degree granting institutions for the number of students who participated in a short-term study abroad program for 2011-12, the academic year on which the report is based. That year, 672 students from Appalachian participated in an international educational experience. Other schools in the top four are Elon University, James Madison University and Kennesaw State University.
The university was listed sixth for the overall number of students (809) who traveled abroad for academic credit on short-term and long-term programs during the 2011-12 academic year for master’s level institutions. Schools in the top five in that category are Elon University, James Madison University, Villanova University, California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo and Grand Valley State University.
In addition, Appalachian was listed 83rd nationally among all universities in the U.S. that reported 10 or more U.S. study abroad students. A total of 880 U.S. universities reported having 10 or more study abroad students in 2011-12.
At Appalachian, Europe remains the top study abroad destination, with strong interest in South and Central America and the Caribbean. Interest in the university’s new study abroad programs in Africa continues to grow.
“I am very pleased with the work that we are doing here at Appalachian to provide diverse opportunities for our students to study abroad, and the Open Doors data provides the evidence of these efforts,” said Dr. Jesse Lutabingwa, associate vice chancellor for international education and development.
“Even though Europe remains the main destination for many of our students, we have made tremendous efforts and have been successful in providing numerous opportunities to the many other regions throughout the world for our students,” he said. “Our faculty and staff do an outstanding job of encouraging and supporting students to study abroad, in addition to our return students who willingly and enthusiastically share their experiences with other students.”
The number of U.S. students who studied abroad for academic credit increased by 3 percent to 283,332 students in 2011-12. More U.S. students went to Latin America and China, and there was a rebound in those going to Japan as programs reopened in Fall 2011 after the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, according to the report.
Study abroad by American students has more than tripled over the past two decades, from approximately 71,000 students in 1991-92 to the record number in 2011-12. Despite these increases, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point during their undergraduate years.
The Open Doors report is published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
“International education promotes the relationship building and knowledge exchange between people and communities in the United States and around the world that are necessary to solve global challenges,” said Evan M. Ryan, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs. “The connections made during international education experiences last a lifetime. International students enrich classrooms, campuses and communities in ways that endure long after students return to their home countries. We encourage U.S. schools to continue to welcome more international students to their campuses and to do more to make study abroad a reality for all of their students.”
“The careers of all of our students will be global ones, in which they will need to function effectively in multi-national teams. They will need to understand the cultural differences and historical experiences that divide us, as well as the common values and humanity that unite us,” noted IIE’s President Dr. Allan E. Goodman. “International students coming to study in the U.S. benefit from access to some of the finest professors and research laboratories in the world, and Americans benefit substantially from the presence of international students who bring their own unique perspectives and knowledge to the classroom and the wider community.”