The world of higher education has made great strides in the last 20 years in recognizing the increasing importance of globalization, and in preparing students for a new and dynamic world. In 1990, just 60,000 students were studying abroad. Ten years ago, that number was approximately 143,590. Now, the most recent numbers from the 2011 Open Doors Report conducted by the Institute of International Education tell us we’ve reached a new high: 270,604 American students traveling abroad.
That’s the good news. But this recent report also pointed out a stark deficit in our progress. The students traveling overseas represent just 1% of American students enrolled in universities.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses this issue in a video shared by the U.S. Department of State late this fall. In it, she encourages students and administrators to do more to bolster study abroad programs across the country. “I am asking all American students to think about expanding your own worldview by studying in another country. I hope the administrators of our American colleges and universities will support this study abroad experience,” she says. Watch the full video here:
Admirably, the Open Doors Report also found that most campuses had taken proactive steps to strengthen study abroad participation in the past year. Sixty-one percent of their respondents said they had added the kind of faculty-led international trips for which WorldStrides leads the industry in supporting. The report also found, as we have, that interest in Africa and the Middle East is growing.
For more than 35 years, our staff at WorldStrides (formerly Accent and TravelMBA) has been committed to offering students the kind of business study travel programs that open new doors. We are passionate about working with universities to provide more than 1% of their students with a life-changing global experience.