A survey of more than 200 students from public and private colleges in the US found that 72% are interested in studying abroad, with more than 60% planning to take a traditional semester abroad in the spring of 2024.
Research by global education technology provider Terra Dotta also found that, at 70%, Western Europe remains the most popular destination for American students to study abroad.
“This year’s survey confirmed that we are back to the familiar pre-Covid-19 foreign study,” said Terra Dotta CEO Anthony Rotoli. PIE News.
“Students are eager to travel – even more so given the impact of the pandemic on travel and other milestones they may have missed – but cost and availability are limiting factors.”
The vast majority of respondents (80%) identified personal growth and the desire to travel as the primary reason for their interest in studying abroad. According to the survey, “Students feel that studying abroad will provide them with unique, global perspectives and exposures that they would not have if they did not participate.”
However, Rotoli said the biggest barrier to participation remains cost, and institutions must address it.
“The survey reveals a real need for more financial support and programmatic education to provide potential student travelers with long-term career readiness,” Rotoli said.
“Survey shows real need for more financial support”
Both interested students (84%) and those not planning to study abroad (34%) cited cost as the main barrier and wished institutions provided more information about financial aid via email, website or through personal meetings with professors. .
In addition to financial barriers, physical and mental health were noted as barriers to participating in study abroad.
Survey participants were looking for more information about study abroad programs in general (30%) as well as virtual internship opportunities (44%). Terra Dotta noted that both virtual programming and study abroad can address the issue of access to study abroad.
The need for earlier involvement was also a key finding in the survey, with 45% of students expressing that they became interested in the idea of studying abroad in high school. In fact, 57% said it played a role in choosing a college.
Rotoli agreed, telling The PIE, “Institutions that engage students and parents earlier in the student life cycle have an opportunity to help increase the number of students who study abroad and ensure they have the resources to take advantage of this invaluable factor in student success.”