Students Less Concerned About Safety When
Choosing Study Abroad ProgramsCHESTER, Pa.
Two years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks threatened Americans’ sense of security abroad and at home, student concerns about study abroad and safety have decreased. According to a recent survey, students stating that safety is very important when considering a study abroad program have declined from 54 percent of students in 2001 to 47 percent of students in 2003.
As safety concerns are declining, students are more comfortable with venturing outside the United States. “It is also clear from the survey that students are not only viewing their study abroad experience as a reason to travel, but they are serious minded about their program selection,” says Mark Shay, president and CEO of Educational Directories Unlimited Inc., the parent company of StudyAbroad.com. “They are looking to become fully immersed in another culture and truly expand the scope of their education.”
The survey was conducted by AHA International and StudyAbroad.com. AHA International, which operates study abroad programs in 14 countries, collected data from 2,065 prospective study abroad students over a 30-month period from its Web site. The survey asked students to state whether they felt certain factors were very important, somewhat important or not at all important when choosing a study abroad program.
In addition to the survey’s results on safety issues, 68 percent of respondents stated that the cost of a program is very important to them and 65 percent said receiving academic credit for their program was very important. In addition, 56 percent stated that financial aid was very important.
The survey also inquired about the importance of other common factors when choosing a study abroad program. Sixty-four percent of respondents stated that the courses offered are very important and 46 percent of respondents stated that language skills are very important. Only 38 percent said that relevance to their future career is very important, while 28 percent said that recommendation by an adviser is very important when choosing a study abroad program.
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