New Frontiers: U.S. Students Pursuing Degrees Abroad

New Frontiers: U.S. Students Pursuing Degrees Abroad

A 2-year analysis of key destinations and fields of study (2013)

By Raisa Belyavina, Jing Li and Rajika Bhandari

New Frontiers: U.S. Students Pursuing Degrees Abroad, a new report from the Institute of International Education (IIE), presents findings from a 2-year analysis of key destinations and fields of study of U.S. students who choose to pursue degree programs abroad. The Survey on U.S. Students Enrolled Overseas in Degree-Seeking Programs was administered from May-April 2013 by IIE, the U.S. partner and Secretariat for Project Atlas®, a global network of 27 country and research partners collaborating on data collection and research in student mobility. Data on U.S. degree students was received for 14 countries from Project Atlas partners representing four world regions: Asia, Europe, Oceania, and North America. The countries that submitted data include the largest host of U.S. degree-seeking students, the United Kingdom, and a dozen other countries that host 100 or more U.S. degree-seeking students.

According to this report, of the more than 46,500 U.S. students who pursue full degrees abroad, about 84 percent are enrolled in Bachelor’s or master’s degrees and 16 percent are pursuing doctoral degrees. The top fields for degree study by U.S. students abroad are the humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences. Field preferences vary by level of study and host country.

The tens of thousands of students documented in New Frontiers: U.S. Students Pursuing Degrees Abroad are in addition to the number of U.S. students who receive academic credit for study abroad from institutions in the U.S., which is reported and published annually by IIE in partnership with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State in the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. This new 2-year analysis report offers data that complements Open Doors and helps to complete the picture of outbound postsecondary mobility in the United States. This year’s report builds on last year’s U.S. Students in Overseas Degrees Program report and includes comparisons for two years of data on U.S. students pursuing degrees abroad.

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