Now-a-days, students have the opportunity to study in numerous countries. Each year, thousands of students travel abroad to enhance their academic and cultural experiences. Open Doors Institute of International Education’s 2009 International Educational Exchange was released on November 16th. It included everything from leading destinations and primary sources of funding to regions and popular fields of study.

Many international students choose to study in the United States because of the wide variety of programs offered by top universities. In 2009, roughly 671,616 international students sat in a United States classroom instead of one of their home country’s. This is a 7.7 percent increase from the previous year. Of those students, over 20 percent are studying business and management, which makes it the most popular field of study.

Program and participation numbers vary when it comes to United States students studying abroad. Approximately 262,416 students chose to study abroad in 2008, with the largest number of programs being offered by New York University and Michigan State University. Overall, the most popular destination was the United Kingdom and the top field of study was social sciences, with business and management as a close second.

In addition to being a wonderful education and cultural experience, studying abroad contributes to the economy in more ways than one. The hefty number of international students in the United States contributed $21.6 billion in 2008 alone! This is a combination of tuition, fees, and other living expenses. Of course, United States students studying abroad contribute to the economies of multiple other countries as well.

On the whole, studying abroad has many benefits. Not only do students gain academic knowledge and cultural awareness, but economies from all over the world are influenced in a positive way.

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