Open Doors Report tracks how many foreign students study at U.S. colleges and universities, and how many U.S. students study abroad.

As new technologies make communication easier and faster, and geography ceases to be a barrier to international cooperation, peace and prosperity around the world will depend on increasing people’s capacity to think and work on a global and inter-cultural basis.

That is why U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton have long stressed the importance of educational exchange and educational opportunity.

The Institute of International Education, a U.S.-based, non-profit organization promoting international exchange of education and training, recently released its Open Doors Report, which tracks how many foreign students study at U.S. colleges and universities, and how many U.S. students study abroad. The Report states that during the 2009-2010 school year, nearly 691,000 foreign students attended U.S. institutions of higher learning. The sharpest growth in enrollment came from the Middle East, which increased by 16 percent from the previous year. Nonetheless, Asian countries continue to send the highest numbers of students to the U.S. Enrollment of students from Asia grew by 5 percent overall, but that includes a nearly 30 percent increase in the contingent from China.

“We’re delighted that Chinese students are finding it valuable to study in our institutions of higher education,” said Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock.

“Today there’s a real global expectation that no major issue can be solved without the active engagement of the United States and China working in concert together. So our common effort requires that we work together, we understand each other, we know each other, we collaborate, and we connect.”

“By working together, we identify the next generation of China’s scholars, teachers, and experts,” said Secretary Stock. “We identify the next generation of the United States scholars, teachers, and experts that will know each other over their lifetime, and work together.

“We welcome students studying from abroad, from China and from all over the world,” she said. “We see that as an important asset for us in internationalizing our classrooms and our university campuses. It will help our students understand the more global economy, and together they’ll work on the challenges that they all face in the future.”

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By voanews.com, Editorials

Studying in Australia offers international students more than academic achievement and a globally recognized qualification. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience through which a student can develop independence, maturity, an understanding of other cultures, and the ability to see issues from different perspectives. If you are a student who is wondering what you can do to make your college degree and resume stand out from the crowd, you might want to consider a school semester study abroad. There are wonderful universities around the world, but if you wish to study abroad, Sydney, Australia makes a super educational destination. You can use your financial aid to defray the costs of a school semester study abroad program, while reaping the benefits that come from a multicultural overseas program.

Australia is the third most popular study destination in the English-speaking world, with more than 200,000 international students in Australian institutions across all education sectors: higher education, vocational education and training, English Language colleges, and schools.

Australia’s universities have made important breakthroughs in modern technology and science while Australia’s vocational training system, which is based on industry standards, is used as a model for other Asia-Pacific countries.

One of the best ways to get started is to get professional help from an educational program that offers study abroad opportunities in Australia. It is best to find a counselor at this sort of program who has a great deal of experience in studying in Australia, and as well understands all of the colleges and their programs that they offer. You are going to want to be able to converse with this counselor regularly, and most especially as you work your way through the application process.

There are many reasons why international students prefer going to Australia for higher studies over other countries. The first and the foremost reason is that Australian Universities offer to their students a high international standard of education system. The education received in Australia and the degrees, diplomas etc earned here are recognized worldwide. Australia is well connected to all countries in the world especially Asia and South Pacific. The multi-cultural society in Australia makes it very comfortable for students coming from diverse backgrounds to settle down here and assimilate in the Australian society.

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The University of Tennessee wants each student to have an opportunity to study abroad. 

Many students do not go because of the time and money, but there are countless opportunities to help students with these issues. 

Studying overseas enables students to develop maturity and independence, expand their knowledge of the world and increase their sensitivity to other cultures. 

Have you ever thought about studying abroad, but time and money have stopped you?  Fear no more, because the University of Tennessee will do everything in its power to help you.

During the regular school year, the cost for an exchange program’s tuition is the same as the tuition students pay at UT in Knoxville.

UT gives students close to $1 million in scholarships each year for study abroad, and the lottery scholarship can also be applied during the regular academic year. There are 14 different scholarships to choose from.

Students applying will either fill out an application or write a paper as to why they would be the best candidate for the scholarship.

“I don’t care where you go, when you go or how long you stay. Just go and do it,” said Sam Swan, director of international and outreach programs for UT’s College of Communication and Information. “Don’t worry about the money. Go for it,” Swan said.

The cost of the trip varies by the destination the student chooses.  Usually, direct exchange programs are the least expensive.  Because there is an even swap of students, you generally pay what you would pay if you were spending the semester at UT Knoxville: tuition, fees and sometimes room and board. 

“I was very close to not going abroad because of the money.  I knew that it was going to be expensive, and I didn’t know if I wanted to spend everything I had saved in one place.  All-in-all, it cost me about  $6,000 to be abroad for a whole semester.  I wouldn’t take a dime of it back, because it was one of the best experiences of my life,” said Danielle Richter, a senior who studied abroad in Italy.

There are around 200 programs to choose from, going to many different countries all over the world. Students can go for a whole semester, a summer session, a mini-term or even during spring break. 

The most popular destinations include the United Kingdom, Australia and Italy, mainly because of the language barriers.  However, Swan said language should never keep anyone from going somewhere.

“Don’t worry about the language.  We are so lucky to be born in America, and the whole world is now speaking English,” said Swan.

Studying overseas enables students to develop maturity and independence, expand their knowledge of the world and increase their sensitivity to other cultures. These traits help prepare them for graduate school or the job market.

“Studying abroad was one of the best experiences of my life.  I had the opportunity to meet new people from different cultures with a whole different perspective on life,” said Liz Goldstein, a senior who studied in Oxford, England.

“I also learned how to travel alone and fly internationally.  Everyone should open up to new experiences, and take the risk of going abroad,” she said.  “If you really want to find out about the ways of the world, staying in another country is the only way to do it.”

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By Sarah Bevis, The Tennessee Journalist

We have our own reason to learn a new language. For work or for pleasure, learning a new language can always be exciting. Speaking more than one language is always an advantage. It makes a big difference in how you see the world and how they see you. If you are looking forward to learn a new language and still wondering which one to pick first then, Spanish may be a better choice.

Why choose Spanish of all languages?
•    Spanish is currently the fourth most commonly spoken language globally. About 350 million people speak Spanish worldwide. There are also numerous countries with Spanish as their dominant language. By learning Spanish, you can communicate with millions of people around the world.
•    Understand it better. You must have encountered or bump into people speaking in Spanish. It would be nice to understand what they are saying. It can be a source of pleasure and surprise by connecting to people by the language they are comfortable.
•    Speaking one more language is an advantage. When you are traveling abroad, you can always communicate with people. Since there are many people speaking in the world, communicating won’t be a difference. Have a nice vacation experience. People often go abroad like Central America or Spain or Philippines. People speak Spanish in these countries. It would be great to commune with them instead of getting frustrated of not understanding them. 
•    Some job profiles require people to know more than one or two language. It is a plus point to learn more language and with Spanish being the most preferred choice, you can always benefit. Today being a multi lingual is a much-needed skill in most work sites. Many people are learning new languages such as Spanish in . Knowing Spanish can make you a valuable employee.
•    Connect with the Spanish culture. During the process of learning Spanish, you will know more about the Spanish culture. Discover new culture, tradition and language very different from yours. You will gain knowledge beyond the world you live in.

There are many available worldwide. Some offer interactive and interesting Spanish classes for students all around world. The Spanish immersion schools are one of the best to learn Spanish. They provide a Spanish-speaking environment that the students can highly develop their language quickly. Often these schools are located abroad mostly in Spanish speaking regions. By providing an environment where you can truly practice your Spanish, mastering the language becomes easy. is a fun way to learn study Spanish abroad. You can learn Spanish in Argentina, Chili, Peru and Buenos Aires.

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Mirroring national trends, Georgetown has seen a 10 percent increase in those studying abroad over the past five years, and an even greater increase in those studying abroad during the summer, according to Laurie Monarch, director of overseas studies.

According to a study by the Institute of International Education released Nov. 15, students nationwide are now choosing shorter, less expensive study abroad programs, a trend also manifesting itself at Georgetown. Monarch said the increase could be attributed to lower costs of summer programs and students’ desire to remain on campus during the year. Patricia Kehoe (SFS ’12) spent six weeks this summer in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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“I chose a summer program because I wanted to experience study abroad without missing out on important D.C. opportunities like internships,” she said.

Finance is a strong factor, according to Monarch, who said the average cost of a semester abroad matches the tab of Georgetown tuition, while summer program costs are significantly lower.

OIP also works closely with the Office of Student Financial Services to ensure that assured financial aid transfers over when students go abroad. Because Georgetown students pay home tuition for study abroad, financial aid is more easily transferable at Georgetown than at other universities, according to Monarch. The Office of Student Financial Services receives budgets from OIP and is able to keep family costs for a semester abroad about the same as tuition on the main campus.

Monarch also cited many Georgetown students’ focus on international studies as a factor in constant study abroad interest. “I think the primary [factor] is the curricular connection for study abroad,” she said. “When you look at the international character of the university … there are large numbers of students who are naturally, for lack of a better way to put it, attracted to study abroad and already come to Georgetown … with an interest in studying overseas and in international affairs.”

Despite a slight dip in the number of students studying abroad at Georgetown from the 2008-2009 academic year to the 2009-2010 academic year, the university has remained relatively immune to the poor economic situation and its impact on students studying abroad nationwide, while other universities are still reporting declines in students abroad. But Georgetown’s fluctuation in the number of students abroad also matches national trends on a larger scale.

In the 2008-2009 academic year, the number of students studying abroad nationwide fell for the first time in the 25 years that the Institute of International Education has been crunching these numbers. Yet, according to the Forum on Education Abroad, students studying abroad increased again for the 2009-2010 academic year.

The university has also seen a significant increase in the number of students studying in the Middle East, according to Monarch. She said that OIP added two new programs in the Middle East in the past three years — one in Jordan as well as a summer program in Egypt — due to an increased interest in Arabic and Middle Eastern studies at Georgetown.

Additionally, more students studied abroad in the fall than will in the spring for the first time in three academic years, according to Monarch. She attributed this increase partly to the Bologna process, in which European universities are standardizing calendars. Now, more students are able to study abroad at certain universities in countries like France, Spain and the United Kingdom because their semester schedules are more closely aligned with those at American universities.

Multiple students said they studied abroad in the fall so that they would not miss out on certain city and campus events in D.C.

“I love everything that goes on during the spring at Georgetown, and I have several good friends who are a year older than me, so I didn’t want to miss their last semester and graduation,” Laurel Charnetsky (COL ’12), who is currently studying at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, said in an email.

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By Caitlin Mac Neal, thehoya.com

Cindy Woods got a sneaking suspicion her bus was headed in the wrong direction.She was trying to meet a friend near the airport in Peru during a trip to study abroad last spring.

Woods, then a junior at the University of Oklahoma, turned to the woman sitting next to her to ask if she was on the right bus.

The woman said yes, but Woods had a feeling she didn’t understand the question.

Woods was on her third study trip abroad.

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Directors at OU and Oklahoma State University said students are getting more adventurous with their choice of study destinations. More students are opting to study outside of Western Europe, where English is not a primary language.

After studying in Mexico, then Spain, Woods decided to go to Peru, where she found herself stuck on the wrong bus.

Woods, an international security studies and Spanish student from Garland, Texas, said her earlier trips gave her the confidence to go to a less-traditional location and brave the “crazy buses.”

A wild ride

The bus rides in Peru were daunting, even without being lost.People packed together like sardines, and music was always blaring.

A man stuck his head out the window and barked destinations for people on the street and then yelled at them to hurry as they boarded.

Schedules were confusing and buses moved fast, swerving in and out of lanes. It was easy for Woods to get lost.

When she was in Spain, Woods could turn to most strangers on the street to ask for help. That was comforting, but it also had some drawbacks.

Many people who discovered Woods was from the United States wanted to practice their English with her, while she was trying to gain Spanish-speaking skills.

In Peru, it was rare to find someone who understood English, Woods said. Sometimes that was difficult, like during the trip to the airport.

Unsatisfied with the woman’s answer, Woods made her way to the front of the bus.

The music was loud, like usual, and the driver looked like he didn’t want to be bothered, but Woods mustered her courage to ask him for help.

It’s a good thing because her suspicion was right — she had taken the wrong bus. With the driver’s help, Woods got moving in the right direction.

Those wild bus rides became one of her favorite parts of the trip, which she described as the highlight of her life.

“You really learn to be confident,” Woods said.

Significant growth

Not only are students choosing to study in more exotic locations, but more students are choosing to study abroad in general. OU and OSU officials reported significant increases during recent years.About 16 percent more students from the University of Oklahoma studied abroad between 2008-09 and 2009-10, said Jack Hobson, director of Education Abroad.

About 756 students studied abroad for credit last year, compared with 652 students the year before, Hobson said.

Projections for the spring suggest the growth likely will continue to increase, Hobson said.

In 2008, OU President David Boren issued a challenge for the university to double the number of students who study abroad during the next few years, Hobson said.

The university also has worked to diversify its programs and offer more short-term programs.

OU has seen significant growth to its programs in China, Chile and Turkey.

OSU has had a 17 percent increase in the number of students studying abroad, from 487 in 2008-09, to 571 in 2009-10.

Gerry Auel, Study Abroad and National Student Exchange coordinator at OSU, said President Burns Hargis and Provost Robert Sternberg are big supporters of internationalism. The university recently created a new position, associate vice president for international studies and outreach.

Administrators, faculty, students and staff also are holding international experiences on campus, which helps spark interest, Auel said.

OSU has programs in Romania, Morocco and Egypt and other places.

“Those are places you wouldn’t have seen people going to in the past,” Auel said.

“ … I think students are becoming more adventurous. The first step is just to accept the idea of studying abroad at all. The next step is to think of studying abroad in a more unusual, less traditional site.”

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By Darla Slipke, newsok.com

Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Italian language program is experiencing a renaissance.

After two years of transition, changes in the program’s leadership and a decline in students studying Italian, there is a turnaround.

“From the late 1990s to around 2006, there were a large number of students taking Italian,” said assistant professor of Italian Chris Picicci (pronounced Pa-chi-chi).”After Dr. Silvio Covi retired, there was a transition in professors and there was a drop in numbers,” he said.

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Covi retired in 2008 after 30 years of teaching Italian and French at the university. He was instrumental in growing the Italian language program, developing a successful study-abroad program and creating an Italian endowment project.

The university offers a minor in Italian.

Picicci, who earned a doctorate from the University of Oregon in romance language and literature, joined CSU-Pueblo in the fall 2008.

 Since then, he has worked to build back enrollment numbers and opportunities for students to study abroad.

The number of students taking Italian is increasing — 116 students this fall,said Picicci, who shares teaching with retired Pueblo City Schools teacher Rosalie Caputo. Picicci also teaches Spanish.

The Italian program’s resurgence has come largely by word of mouth, Picicci said.”When students study abroad in Italy and come back and talk about their experience, others get interested,” he said.

The university has an exchange program with the University of Bergamo, which is in Pueblo’s sister city of Bergamo, Italy. There are three students from Bergamo attending CSU-Pueblo and next semester, three CSU-Pueblo students are scheduled to study in Bergamo.

Picicci also started a one-month intensive language and culture program for CSU-Pueblo students in Perugia, Italy. Students in that program take an entrance exam and then are placed in Italian language, history, literature and other similar cultural courses.

 In its first year, Picicci said three students participated; this summer, five students went to Perugia. And 10 students have expressed interest in a trip in June.

 “Students are excited about the opportunity to go to Italy and have an extensive experience,” Picicci said. “Not only do the students live in the city, butthey also attend classes and have the opportunity to visit with native speakers.”

Students enrolled in the program can earn up to six credits.

Picicci said the interest in Italian is growing as students understand the importance of learning a second language.”When you learn another language, you learn a lot about your own language,” he said.

“Personally, I think it’s important in order to be a worldly citizen,” he said. “The best way to understand another’s culture is to study language and communicate with them.”

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By Gayle Perez, The Pueblo Chieftain

UW-Madison students are studying overseas in record numbers, particularly in China, according to a report this week from a national group.

The Open Doors Report from the Institute of International Education ranked UW-Madison fourth among all U.S. research institutions for students studying overseas for a semester in the 2008-09 school year.

The report also placed UW-Madison sixth for studying abroad in year-long programs.

The two rankings add up to UW-Madison being eighth overall for studying abroad, with 2,230 total participants in the 2008-08 school year.

Europe dominated the destination list for UW-Madison students, but China came in third on the list of most popular countries in which to study abroad, with 191 students going to China in the 2008-09 academic year.

UW-Madison bucked a trend of fewer students from American universities studying abroad, the report said.

Students studying abroad from UW-Madison increased by 0.6 percent in 2008-09 compared to the 2007-08 school year, while the overall trend in the U.S. was a 0.8 percent decrease.

“We are especially encouraged to be placing once again so well in the mid- and year-long study abroad programs,” said Robert Howell, director of International Academic Programs at UW-Madison, in a release from the UW-Madison news bureau.

UW-Madison also hosts thousands of foreign students, ranking in the top 20 among research universities with more than 4,300 foreign students enrolled from over 100 countries in 2008-09.

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by Bill Novak, Capital Times

Every year, the Open Doors report provides a snapshot of foreign study – both students coming to the US and US students heading abroad. Among the interesting nuggets this year:

  • For the first time in the 25 years that data has been tracked, the number of American students studying abroad fell slightly, down 0.8 percent to 260,327 – a decline attributable mostly to the recession, and one that Ms. Blumenthal says has already started to turn around, based on preliminary numbers.
  • The top destinations for US students remain the same – Great Britain, Italy, and Spain – but those countries are declining in popularity as more students head to less traditional destinations. Peru, South Korea, and Chile saw the biggest increases. Others hosting more American students include China, Argentina, South Africa, Denmark, and the Czech Republic. US students are also studying a more diverse range of fields abroad, notes Blumenthal – so public health students may head to South Africa, or environmental studies students to Costa Rica – encouraging a broader array of destinations.
  • Together, the top five countries sending students to the US – China, India, South Korea, Canada, and Taiwan – account for more than half of all foreign students studying here.
  • For the most part, foreign students in the US study business and management or engineering; those two fields account for almost 40 percent of all the foreign students.
  • The institutions hosting the largest number of foreign students (all with more than 7,000) are the University of Southern California, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and New York University.

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By Amanda Paulson, Christian Science Monitor

 American students are increasingly studying abroad in nontraditional destinations like Chile and Peru, while U.S. universities are hosting a growing number of students from China, according to a report released Monday.

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Nearly 128,000 Chinese students studied in America in 2009-10, a 30 per cent increase over the previous academic year, the annual study by the Institute of International Education found.

Chinese citizens comprise about 19 per cent of the international students in the U.S., the highest percentage of any country. India and South Korea are next, accounting for 15 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.

“A global education prepares them to become leaders in their own countries and societies,” Ann Stock, assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, more than 260,000 U.S. students studied abroad in 2008-09, a slight dip over the previous year and likely due to the recession, said Peggy Blumenthal, the institute’s executive vice-president. Researchers expect the number to rise again next year, she said.

While most Americans study in Britain, Italy and Spain, those nations have declined in popularity since 2007-08. Countries with the biggest increases include Peru, South Korea and Chile, followed by Argentina and South Africa.

The growing interest in nontraditional destinations is partly because students with a wider variety of majors are deciding to travel, Blumenthal said.

Public health majors can go to South Africa to learn about the AIDS crisis, while business majors could travel to China and environmental majors might study in South America, Blumenthal said. Some of those countries are appealing because of their lower cost of living, she noted.

Also, the fact that English is more widely spoken makes it easier for Americans to study in more places, said Allan E. Goodman, the institute’s president and CEO.

“Ten or 15 years ago, you couldn’t go to France or Germany unless you were fluent,” Goodman said. “English has opened the world up.”

The U.S. hosts more international students than any other country — 691,000 last year, up 26 per cent in the past decade — which experts say shows the appeal of the higher education model here.

Most foreign students study business and management, followed by engineering, physical and life sciences, and math and computer science.

Overall, they contribute nearly $20 billion to the U.S. economy through tuition, room and board, and other expenses, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The top U.S. institutions hosting international students — with more than 7,000 each in the 2009-10 academic year — were the University of Southern California, University of Illinois and New York University.

About 9 per cent of the freshman class at Bryn Mawr College is from China, an increase from 6 per cent last year, said Jenny Rickard, the school’s chief enrolment and communications officer.

Rickard travelled to China last fall to promote the elite women’s college near Philadelphia. She said having a diverse student body “enriches the educational opportunities we are able to provide.”

“It really helps us grow as an institution as well,” Rickard said. “By bringing in different perspectives, you learn a lot about yourself.”

The Institute of International Education is a New York-based non-profit whose Open Doors 2010 report was produced with support from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

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By Kathy Matheson, opendoors

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