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Posted at 11:05 AM ET, 11/15/2010

Study abroad declines for the first time ever

By Daniel de Vise

The number of college students studying abroad declined in the 2008-09 academic year, the first time the number has dropped in the 25 years it has been tracked by the Institute of International Education.

Fewer students studied in the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and France. Among the top five destinations, only China registered a modest increase.

The institute's lengthy release offers no explanation for the dip, although the difficulty of paying for world travel in a bad economy would seem the most likely reason.

Many colleges in and near Washington pride themselves on robust study-abroad programs, and several schools claim to have the largest such programs in the area by one measure or another.

The annual Open Doors report offers some answers.

Goucher College ranks first in the nation among baccalaureate institutions for participation in study abroad, with -- sorry for the odd math -- 130 percent of students participating. Goucher requires all students to study abroad, and some students go more than once.

Here is a partial ranking of all bachelor's institutions by share of students who study abroad, with an emphasis on local colleges:

1. Goucher College, Md., 130 percent participation
2. Centre College, Ky., 120 percent participation
3. Taylor University, Ind., 113 percent participation
6. Randolph-Macon College, Va., 96 percent participation
37. University of Richmond, Va., 63 percent participation

American University ranks fifth in the nation among doctoral institutions for share of students who study abroad, with 60 percent participating in AU's programs. Georgetown ranks 10th, with 53 percent of students studying abroad.

Here's a partial ranking of all doctoral programs, again with an emphasis on local schools.

1. Pepperdine University, 73 percent of students studying abroad
2. University of San Diego, 66 percent
3. Wake Forest University, 63 percent
5. American University, 60 percent
10. Georgetown, 53 percent
24. George Washington University, 43 percent
28. College of William and Mary, 40 percent

In raw numbers, New York University sends the most students abroad (3,524 in 2008-09), followed by Michigan State and UCLA. The University of Maryland ranks 21st, with 1,740 students sent abroad; Georgetown ranks 23rd.

James Madison University in Virginia ranks first among master's institutions in number of students going abroad, 859. The University of Richmond ranks second among bachelor's institution on this measure.

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By Daniel de Vise  | November 15, 2010; 11:05 AM ET
Categories:  Administration, Finance, Pedagogy, Rankings, Students  | Tags:  Institute International Education, fewer students going abroad, study abroad, study abroad declines, study abroad trends  
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Adam Galinsky at Kellogg/Northwestern has done some interesting research showing that people who live abroad are more creative.

Posted by: mnicholson1 | November 17, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

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