Many Students Pursuing Degrees Abroad

By Catherine Groux
Posted January 25, 2012 04:46 PM

A new report shows that many Americans are earning their degrees abroad.
A new report shows that many Americans are earning their degrees abroad.
It is probably no secret that many international students come to the U.S. every year to pursue a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree. According to a 2011 report by the Council of Graduate Schools, more than 14% of all graduate students are from foreign nations. Additionally, the report indicates that this figure is continuing to grow.

Still, other studies show that many American students opt to pursue degrees in other countries as well. The Institute of International Education states that more than 43,000 Americans are earning their entire degrees abroad. Most of these individuals, or 44%, are working towards a master's degree, while about 39% are enrolled in undergraduate degree programs. An additional 17% are percent are pursuing doctorates.

The report found that about 38% of these students opt to study in the U.K., while a large number of others earn their degrees in countries like Canada, Germany and France. In general, most of these students major in subjects like the humanities, social sciences, business and management. However, the type of degrees individuals decide to earn largely depends on where they study. For instance, in France, about 66% of students earn credentials in the humanities, but in the U.K., this figure is reduced to 26%. Similarly, while 18% of Americans studying in Australia major in physical and life sciences, only 2% of U.S. degree seekers in France do the same.

In order to attract American students to their schools, many international colleges have launched a variety of strategies. The report states that a large number of schools in Western Europe and Australia offer scholarships to foreign students, while China alone has given about 20,000 scholarships to international students in recent years. Additionally, the report states that nations such as France and New Zealand offer highly subsidized degree programs and relatively low tuition costs for foreign students.

Another factor that has influenced the number of Americans earning their credentials abroad is the number of programs offered in English. The report shows that in 2008, there were approximately 2,400 bachelor's- and master's-level courses of study taught in English throughout Europe. In January 2012, this number increased to about 5,300, according to a search on the database.

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