Aug 2, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

We know studying abroad has benefits that last well beyond the experience.

According to the Institute for International Education (IIE), 325,000 US students -- or about 1.6 percent of the US student population -- studied abroad in 2015-2016, an increase over previous years.

What's interesting? Even though Europe is still a top destination, with over 54.4 percent of US students headed in that direction, it's losing popularity. In 2004, 60.3 percent studied abroad in Europe. 

The most recent data from the IIE shows that US students, who once flocked to Europe in record numbers, are expanding their study abroad horizons. 

Between 2004 and 2016, six percent fewer US students went to Europe, favoring countries in Asia and Latin America. Outside of Europe, where are they headed? Costa Rica, China, and Japan comprise the bulk of destinations. 

Conversely, Asia comprises the bulk of students studying in the US. In 2017, six of the ten most-represented countries in the US are Asian. China made up 32. 5 percent of the total, India 17.3 percent, South Korea 5.4 percent, Vietnam 2.1 percent, Taiwan 2.0 percent, and Japan 1.7 percent all sent students to study in the US.

Learn more about studying abroad


Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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