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Survey suggests “eagerness to study abroad”

A survey of 4,000 people in the US, UK, France and Spain, conducted in mid-July, has show student interest in study abroad despite the pandemic.

studyFrench and Spanish respondents saw more value in study abroad than US and UK respondents in terms of their career. Photo: Unsplash

"Face to face learning and learning the country’s culture are both highly valued among respondents”

“A year and a half on from the outbreak of Covid-19, the findings suggest the students’ eagerness to study abroad during pandemic, with around half of the students surveyed (25% of the total sample) considering studying abroad, with the UK and Spain as the top foreign destinations,” said the survey organisers IE University.

“Students consider that the experience of studying abroad will improve their employability”

“Students consider that the experience of studying abroad will benefit them in the future, improving their employability. The main reasons highlighted were the positive impact of immersing oneself and learning a new culture, a new language, and making new friends.

“These results highlight that, in addition to the growing interest in remote learning methodologies, students value the opportunity of studying abroad with peers from different nationalities to enrich their learning experience.”

Post-pandemic, 53% of UK respondents said the greatest benefit of working or studying abroad would be learning a new language, followed by meeting new people and learning about a new culture.

In the US, only 41% believed they could gain knowledge of a new language living abroad, compared to 59% of Spanish respondents and 53% French.

Respondents from the US and UK were also less likely to think study abroad could benefit them during a job search. While the majority of respondents from each country thought it could, 50% and 41% respectively, this number was far below 71% and 61% for France and Spain.

In the UK, 13%, and 11% in the US, thought it would make them a worse candidate.

“This year saw the global rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines. Our research confirmed that the shared experience of Covid-19 and self-isolation has resulted in most people putting aside other activities and just wanting to spend time with their families and friends,” said Patricia Gabaldón, professor of economic environment at IE Business School, IE University.

“For that reason, the majority of the surveyed citizens will wait before travelling abroad during this year’s summer holidays.

“Students see the benefits of travelling abroad for their education. Face-to-face learning and learning the country’s culture are both highly valued among respondents.”

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