The number of U.S. college students studying abroad has jumped 45 percent in the last four years, a new survey says, with Latin American and African destinations gaining popularity.
The New York-based Institute of International Education said a record 129,770 American students received credit for overseas study in the 1998-99 academic year. European destinations, particularly Britain, Spain, Italy and France, were the most popular, the report said. But the percentage of students traveling to Latin America had doubled since 1985. And college student travel to Africa increased from 500 students to more than 3,500 during that period.
The school with the most students participating in overseas study was Brigham Young University, followed by Michigan State, the University of Texas-Austin, the University of Pennsylvania and New York University. The school with the highest percentage of students studying abroad at some point in their undergraduate careers was St. Olaf College, with an overseas study rate of 80 percent.
Institute President Allan E. Goodman applauded the trend but noted that those going abroad are "just a tiny fraction of the overall student population."
The study can be found at www.opendoorsweb.org.
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