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Number of Americans Studying Abroad Continues to Rise

I’m Faith Lapidus with the VOA Special English Education Report.

Last week, in the United States, the Institute of International Education released its yearly report. "Open Doors Two Thousand Five" shows continued record growth in the number of American students who study in a foreign country.

The I.I.E. report says the number increased by almost ten percent in the two thousand three-two thousand four school year. This brought the number of Americans studying in another country to more than one hundred ninety-one thousand. The increase the year before was eight and one-half percent.

Interest in foreign study has increased for years. But I.I.E. officials say it has taken on greater importance since the terrorist attacks of September eleventh, two thousand one.

The newest report says sixty-one percent of the students went to Europe. But study in China increased by ninety percent from the year before. And study in India increased by sixty-five percent. Study in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, including Cuba, also increased.

The report says that while more Americans are studying abroad, they are staying for shorter periods of time. Six percent went for a full school year. Thirty-eight percent went for half a year. And fifty-six percent went for a shorter term.

The report says New York University has the largest number of students abroad. Michigan State University is second this year, followed by the University of California, Los Angeles.

Ten smaller schools each sent more than forty percent of their students abroad last year. The list includes Carleton College in Minnesota, Elon University in North Carolina and Lewis and Clark College in Oregon.

Recently, Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, announced that it will require all of its students to study abroad. Goucher will be one of the first American colleges to require at least three weeks of study in another country. Goucher says it will provide every student with one thousand two hundred dollars in travel money to help pay the costs.

The president of Goucher is Sandy Ungar, a former VOA director. Mister Ungar says American colleges must help students expand the ways they see the world. And, he says, colleges must help change the way other nations see Americans.

This VOA Special English Education Report was written by Nancy Steinbach. Listen next week for a report about foreign students studying in the United States. Internet users can read and listen to our reports at I’m Faith Lapidus.