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The Study Abroad Possibility

Chances are that your student is hearing chatter about study abroad opportunities. This is a difficult decision for students. Should I go or stay? Whatever you and your student decide, make sure it's the right decision for your student. Here are five great reasons for students to study abroad:

  1. International experience can help students gain self-confidence, self-reliance and independence. Living abroad requires the development of certain life skills students can't nurture without this unique opportunity.
  2. International experience helps students gain fluency in another language, as they are immersed in the culture. Living abroad can also help them satisfy college language requirements.
  3. International experience is an impressive resume note, especially in today's competitive job market and global society.
  4. International experience helps students truly understand what it means to be a citizen of their own country, while gaining new world perspectives and exploring different belief and value systems.
  5. International experience offers a one-of-a-kind structured opportunity for students to explore a new country with their peers, while engaging from both an intellectual and a social perspective.

Be sure to encourage your student to talk with folks on campus — there are plenty of resources available to help you in making this big decision.

Current Top Study Abroad Destinations     Open Doors 2009, a report on international education published annually by the Institute of International Education, lists the 25 most popular destinations for U.S. students studying abroad as:

  • United Kingdom
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • France
  • China
  • Australia
  • Mexico
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Costa Rica
  • Japan
  • Argentina
  • Greece
  • South Africa
  • Czech Republic
  • Austria
  • India
  • Ecuador
  • Chile
  • Brazil
  • New Zealand
  • Israel
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland
  • Russia

According to Open Doors 2009, the leading fields of study of Americans studying abroad are the social sciences (21.5% of those studying abroad), business and management (20%), humanities (13%), fine or applied arts (8%), physical/life sciences (7%), foreign languages (6%), health sciences (4.5%), education (4%), engineering (3%), math/computer science (2%) and agriculture (1%).


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