Student Interests in Study Abroad 

 
  • A majority of prospective first-year students plan to study abroad during college.
  • A majority of students intend to have a high level of proficiency in the language of the country where they plan to study.
  • 46 percent of students listed expanding their horizons by living in another culture as their primary motivation to study abroad.
  • 44 percent of students responded that it was very important to them that the college they attend offer foreign language instruction.
  • 44 percent of students responded that it was very important to them that the college they attend offer study abroad programs.
  • 61 percent of responding students report having already traveled in another country with family.
  • Of all prospective first-year students, 35 percent say they want to participate in an internship abroad during college.
  • Only 7 percent listed improving job prospects after graduation as their primary motivation to study abroad.
  • Of the students who plan to study abroad while in college, 47 percent preferred a semester-long program.
  • Students who plan to study abroad while in college want programs that immerse them in the language and culture of another country.
  • 72 percent of students strongly agreed that study abroad programs are the best way to experience another culture.
  • 65 percent strongly agreed you can learn things studying in another country that you would never learn in your own country.
  • 54 percent strongly agreed that studying and living in another country makes you a more well-rounded person.
  • 50 percent strongly agreed that successful people will have to be able to work with people from other countries and cultures.
  • 49 percent agreed that knowing a foreign language will help you find a better job.
  • 43 percent strongly agreed that international experience and education will give you an advantage in getting into graduate or professional school.
  • 43 percent strongly agreed that international experience and education will give you an advantage in your career.
  • 41 percent strongly agreed that you can understand your own culture more fully if you have studied or experienced the culture of another country.
  • 39 percent strongly agreed that studying and living in another country makes you a more mature person.
Results of survey by American Council on Education, Arts & Science, and CollegeBoard reported in College-Bound Students’ Interests in Study Abroad and Other International Learning Activities, 2008.