Trends in U.S. Study Abroad

 

The number of U.S. students studying abroad for credit during the the 2012-2013 academic year grew only 2 percent from 283,332 students to 289,408 students. The number of students studying abroad still represents just about 1 percent of all U.S. students enrolled at institutions of higher education in the United States and under 10 percent of U.S. graduates.

NAFSA has long advocated for policies to expand the total number of U.S. students studing abroad, increase the diversity of study abroad students to more closely match the undergraduate population, and encourage study in nontraditional locations.

State by State Data

NAFSA has broken down the total study abroad participation rate by state. See how your state compares to the rest of the country. Study Abroad Participation by State (51kb Icon PDF 16)

Percent of U.S. Study Abroad Students by Race/Ethnicity

Although the diversity of study abroad participation has increased in recent years, minority students are still greatly underrepresented in study abroad.

Race/Ethnicity U.S. Postsecondary Enrollment 2012-2013 U.S. Students Abroad 2012-2013
African American or Black 14.9% 5.3%
Asian/Pacific Islander 6.3% 7.3%
Caucasian 60.3% 76.3%
Hispanic/Latino American 15.0% 7.6%
Multiracial 2.5% 3.0%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0.9% 0.5%

Percent of U.S. Study Abroad Students by Host Region

An overwhelming majority of U.S. study abroad takes place in Europe with almost 40 percent of students studying in just four countries, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, and France.

  U.S. Students Abroad
Host Region 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013
Africa 5.3% 5.5% 4.3% 4.5% 4.6%
Asia 11.4% 12.0% 11.7% 12.4% 12.4%
Europe 54.5% 53.5% 54.6% 53.3% 53.3%
Latin America 15.4% 15.0% 14.6% 15.8% 15.7%
Middle East 1.4% 1.8% 2.6% 2.5% 2.2%
North America 0.5% 0.7% 0.5% 0.6% 0.5%
Oceania 5.5% 5.0% 4.8% 4.5% 4.0%
Multiple Regions 6.0% 6.5% 6.8% 6.4% 7.3%

The information in the charts above is based on the most current data from the Institute of International Education's Open Doors Report and the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics.