China is the fifth most popular destination for US students studying abroad. In 2010/2011, 14,596 American students studied in China. However, all the other Asian nations fall far behind China in hosting US students.
In the East Asian and Pacific region the next country to attract nearly as many US students in 2010/11 was Japan with 4,134 students. Out of all popular study abroad destinations for Americans, it was ranked 14th.
Clearly China is offering a lot to prospective students: something is making them choose to study there.
I, too, studied in China in 2010/11. I makeup that statistic. And while I loved my time there, I feel like other countries in the region deserve more attention.
When you look at the Asian region compared to others around the world, it comes in third as a destination for US students. Europe clearly attracts the bulk of college students. A fact anyone at a US college can easily witness by the number of peers spending a “semester in Spain” or “London” or what have you.
But for those students looking for a more obscure semester abroad, Asia is a great choice.
I compiled a simple infographic showing the breakdown of where American students choose to study in Asia. All data is taken from the 2010/11 school year, courtesy of the Institute of International Education Open Doors Report.
As you can see there is a tremendous difference between East Asian leader China (making up 54 percent of the share) and Brunei (hosting only one US student– not even close to 1 percentage point of total US students studying in Asia.)
In some ways it surprises me that China is so much more popular than other Asian countries. But I guess when it comes down to it, it is the world’s second largest economy. That is certainly what drove me to study in China.
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Photo – Taken by me while studying in Shanghai, China in 2010/11.