Study Abroad

Increasing numbers of international graduate students are enrolling in U.S. graduate programs, while the number of U.S. citizens enrolling is on the decline, according to a report recently released by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS).

A CGS press release on the new graduate enrollment and degrees data notes that:

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In a recent Huffington Post blog post, 100,000 Strong Foundation president Carola McGiffert calls for the diversification of study abroad to China. The general homogeneity of study abroad poses a disadvantage for not only underrepresented students themselves, but also U.S. businesses and the U.S. government, McGiffert writes.

Graduates with international experience gain both short and long-term employment benefits, as well as job mobility, according to a new impact study conducted on the Erasmus program. Both studying and interning abroad were found to improve students’ rankings on key skills deemed important by employers, and these experiences were also linked to lower unemployment rates.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa thus far has had only a modest effect on research and international education programs, Inside Higher Ed recently reported. The article notes that those countries affected by the virus “are not popular destinations for research or study abroad programs” and that “few students from the region enroll at American colleges and universities.”

In light of the ongoing crisis in Gaza and Israel, and the State Department’s updated travel warning advising U.S. citizens to “’consider’ deferring non-essential travel” to Israel, U.S. colleges are debating whether or not to evacuate their students in the region, Inside Higher Ed reports.

As studying abroad increases in popularity and importance, U.S. colleges are trying to find ways to provide access to an international experience for those students who may face social, financial, or cultural barriers, U.S. News and World Report writes.

Safety concerns, such as the threat of crime and drug violence, are deterring American students from studying in Mexico, prompting them to choose Costa Rica, Argentina, and Brazil as their study destinations in Latin America instead, the Washington Post reports.

A growing body of research indicates that study and work abroad experiences foster an “ability to think more complexly and creatively,” which can lead to more success as a professional, Time magazine reports. Time points to three different studies on the subject:

The optional practical training program (OPT), which allows international graduates in the United States on student visas to gain work experience related to their fields of study, lacks sufficient risk assessment and governmental oversight, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) launched earlier this week Generation Study Abroad, a five-year initiative aiming to double the number of U.S. college students studying abroad. 

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