This post (like the last) has relatively little to do with Asia. As the story goes, one thing led to another and next thing I knew I was putting together an infographic breaking down study abroad demographics and trends for American students. I figured I better finish it and not let all my hard work go to waste.

Side note: If anyone knows any education blogs I could pass this along to, please do tell!

I derived this data from the Institute of International Education Open Doors report. It is truly some of the only study abroad data available– covering both US students leaving the US and international students coming to the US.

US Study Abroad Trends

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As you can see above, it is becoming more and more common for US students to study overseas. Unfortunately most recent statistics only cover up to the 2010-2011 academic year. However, I am sure the number of US students going abroad has only increased.

American students studying abroad are typically female–composing 63.5% of the total. The majority of students overseas are also Caucasian at about 78%. Then about 8% of the students are Asian, 7% Hispanic and 5% African American. A table put together by NAFSA shows this.

Most commonly American students study abroad their junior year. And overwhelmingly most US students choose to study in Europe. While the following infographic does not delve into the most popular destinations specifically, the top five are:

  • 1. United Kingdom
  • 2. Italy
  • 3. Spain
  • 4. France
  • 5. China

I don’t think you need a report to come up with this conclusion. Just by looking around any college campus one can see that the UK, Italy and Spain are very popular options.

While China hosts impressively high numbers of US students, all other East Asian nations pale in comparison. I am no psychic, but I believe the tide of US students studying in all parts of Asia will pick up in years to come. (At least I hope!)



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  • Nomadic Megan

    Love reading this post! Study Abroad trends in the US are really interesting to me, as are any travel trend in The US for that matter. I myself have to admit I fit most of the above stereotype criteria… Female-check. Junior Year-check. Europe-check. At least I studied abroad in a not-top5 spot? Yay Prague!

    • Haha — thanks for checking it out! I went to Europe, too! I did Spain… but then I I later studied in China 😡 So I went twice! Lol