At StudentUniverse, we fundamentally believe that travel is an essential part of every education.
Increasingly, colleges and universities worldwide have been putting a stronger focus on the benefits of study abroad, and in some cases, they are making it mandatory. There are many reasons for this. Employers today are looking for résumés to include cultural experiences, and students who study abroad return more mature, with greater self-confidence and a stronger world view. In a recent report we conducted with Skift, 88 percent of students travelers cited travel abroad as a differentiator that helped them get their job and 75 percent cited travel abroad as having a positive effect on their career path.
It’s not just travel providers and universities that feel so strongly about the importance of studying abroad. At the Summit on Global Citizenship and Study Abroad last week, at the White House, the U.S. Department of State’s newly formed Bureau of Educational + Cultural Affairs was announced. The purpose of the Bureau is to encourage more students to study abroad, provide information about the grants that are available for students to study abroad and encourage travel to new destinations, including South East Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. The U.S. benefits when Americans understand different cultures and learn different languages. Currently, 65 percent of American students who study abroad study in Europe.
We were on the Frommer’s travel show yesterday: http://www.frommers.com/podcast/#sthash.RsvrsgXk.PkNFJaVd.dpbs (from the 19:25 mark until 27:22) discussing the student and youth travel outlook for 2015, and study abroad, specifically as it pertains to the newly formed White House Bureau.
We commend the White House for their recognition of the importance of the study abroad experience in preparing our youth for a global workplace and community. We look forward to seeing the effect that this Bureau has on the future of American students studying abroad and whether it will change the tide in the the rates at which students study abroad and where they choose to study. We look forward to continuing to work with students who study abroad to make global travel experiences possible for them.