10 US Schools With the Highest Number of Study Abroad Students

by Ryan Morris
Uncategorized - 3 years ago

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Studying abroad is said to be one of the most incredible experiences that a college student can have, not to mention function as a natural branch of college’s larger role in making students more aware of the world outside their borders, or at least outside of their doors.

But not every school is as friendly to the idea of its students studying abroad as others are. After all, travel is expensive, and schools in other countries don’t always follow the same educational initiatives as a person’s home school or be held to the same academic standard. Figuring out how odd study abroad classes fit into a student’s home curriculum can sometimes be a nightmare, particularly from a credit perspective, so it’s understandable that some schools might be a little wary of the whole study abroad process.

However, the fact remains that students are very interested in study abroad programs, and despite everything happening in the world right now, students continue to take every opportunity they can to get the heck out of the place they’ve spent so much money to be allowed inside of in the first place.

That got us wondering — which schools out there are the friendliest to the idea of their students going out into the world to find their education? We were curious, so using US News Data on student populations and college study abroad statistics, we put together a list of US schools with the largest study abroad populations in the country.

The full list can be found further down, but first, here’s a quick top ten.

  1. Miami University
  2. George Washington University
  3. Syracuse University
  4. Boston College
  5. University of Denver
  6. Clemson University
  7. American University
  8. Stanford University
  9. Elon University
  10. Villanova University

How We Did It

The website U.S. News frequently releases lists of information about colleges in the USA, and one of those lists happens to record the percentage of 2016 graduates involved in study abroad programs.

Using that percentage along with student body population sizes also found on the U.S. News website, we were able to estimate the number of students at each listed university who were actively participating in study abroad programs, which got us our final list.

Does your company make the top ten? Read on to the full list to find out.

1. Miami University

Location: Oxford, OH
Percent of Students in Study Abroad: 49%
Total Number of Students in Study Abroad: 9,652
School Description: A public university located in Oxford, OH, the confusingly named Miami University was originally created thanks to an Act of Congress by George Washington himself. With almost fifty percent of its large student population participating in study abroad programs, the school makes it to the very top of our list. It’s come a long way from a school that halved its entire student population after they were found to have covered an entire campus building in snow in protest of the school’s opinion on fraternities.

2. George Washington University


Location: Washington, D.C.
Percent of Students in Study Abroad: 35%
Total Number of Students in Study Abroad: 9,506
School Description: Another school founded thanks to the efforts of the USA’s founding president, this one went ahead and named the whole place after him. George Washington University is a private school located in Washington, DC. While it loses to Miami in overall percentage of students in study abroad programs, the school’s massive student population helps keep GWU in the second spot on our list.

3. Syracuse University

Location: Syracuse, NY
Percent of Students in Study Abroad: 37%
Total Number of Students in Study Abroad: 8,129
School Description: A private school located in Syracuse, NY, Syracuse University was originally founded as a Methodist Institution. The school today has stated that it is nonsectarian, but its ties with the Methodist church still remain.

4. Boston College


Location: Chestnut Hill, MA
Percent of Students in Study Abroad: 58%
Total Number of Students in Study Abroad: 8,034
School Description: Another private religious school, Boston College has maintained all of its original religious ties and continues to refer to itself as a Jesuit Catholic university. Over half of the school’s population is involved with study abroad programs, which remains impressive despite the school’s relatively smaller size.

5. University of Denver


Location: Denver, CO
Percent of Students in Study Abroad: 68%
Total Number of Students in Study Abroad: 7,898
School Description: A private university located in Colorado, Denver University is the oldest private university in the Rocky Mountains. Almost seventy percent of the school’s students study abroad before they graduate, which by percentage alone makes it first in the nation among other research institutions.

6. Clemson University

Location: Clemson, SC
Percent of Students in Study Abroad: 33%
Total Number of Students in Study Abroad: 7,724
School Description: Clemson University is a public school well-known for its Blue Ridge Mountain campus and strong military history, but it’s also impressive for the fact that over a quarter of its massive student population will be involved in some kind of study abroad program by their graduation.

7. American University


Location: Washington, DC
Percent of Students in Study Abroad: 53%
Total Number of Students in Study Abroad: 7,074
School Description: American University is a private school located in Washington, DC, whose location within the nation’s capital along with its status as one of the most politically active colleges in the US certainly contributes to the fact that over half of its students get involved with study abroad programs during their time at AU.

8. Stanford University


Location: Stanford, CA
Percent of Students in Study Abroad: 40%
Total Number of Students in Study Abroad: 6,766
School Description: One of the most selective private schools in the US, Stanford’s history is tied up with the history of the nearby Silicon Valley, one of the most famous tech and startup hubs in the world. Just under half of the student population of Stanford involves themselves in study abroad programs, a number that might be related to just how many internationally successful companies come out of Stanford’s graduates.

9. Elon University

Location: Elon, NC
Percent of Students in Study Abroad: 74%
Total Number of Students in Study Abroad: 4,987
School Description: A private liberal arts school founded in the late 1800s and located on historic campus grounds, Elon is one of the best universities in all of the south, not to mention NC itself. A staggering 3/4 of its student population becomes will be involved in study abroad programs by the time of their graduation.

10. Villanova University


Location: Villanova, PA
Percent of Students in Study Abroad: 42%
Total Number of Students in Study Abroad: 4,554
School Description: Villanova University was founded in the 1840s and remains the oldest Catholic school in Pennsylvania. The historic school puts almost half of their entire student body into study abroad programs by the time they graduate, landing Villanova the tenth and final spot on our list.

Wrapping Up

You’ll find our extended list below, but there’s more to see here at Zippia.

Are you a recent college graduate thinking about moving states? Find out which states college grads tend to stay in and which states they abandon.

Or are you looking for more articles like this one? Check out the schools that are friendliest to nontraditional students.

School City State Abbreviation 2016 Students Participating In Study Abroad Programs Total Study Abroad Students 2016 Total Enrollment 2016
Miami University–Oxford Oxford OH 49% 9,652 19,697
George Washington University Washington DC 35% 9,506 27,159
Syracuse University Syracuse NY 37% 8,129 21,970
Boston College Chestnut Hill MA 58% 8,034 13,851
University of Denver Denver CO 68% 7,898 11,614
Clemson University Clemson SC 33% 7,724 23,406
American University Washington DC 53% 7,074 13,347
Stanford University Stanford CA 40% 6,766 16,914
Elon University Elon NC 74% 4,987 6,739
Villanova University Villanova PA 42% 4,554 10,842
Wake Forest University Winston-Salem NC 57% 4,542 7,968
University of San Diego San Diego CA 51% 4,339 8,508
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland OH 33% 3,849 11,664
Lee University Cleveland TN 72% 3,817 5,302
Yeshiva University New York NY 60% 3,702 6,170
Quinnipiac University Hamden CT 35% 3,465 9,900
Calvin College Grand Rapids MI 75% 2,939 3,918
Dartmouth College Hanover NH 44% 2,820 6,409
Bethel University St. Paul MN 60% 2,769 4,615
Bentley University Waltham MA 50% 2,754 5,508
College of New Jersey Ewing NJ 32% 2,367 7,396
St. Olaf College Northfield MN 76% 2,310 3,040
University of Richmond Univ. of Richmond VA 62% 2,213 3,570
Goucher College Baltimore MD 100% 2,172 2,172
Ithaca College Ithaca NY 32% 2,137 6,678
Susquehanna University Selinsgrove PA 97% 2,129 2,195
SUNY–Geneseo Geneseo NY 36% 1,988 5,521
Fairfield University Fairfield CT 38% 1,952 5,137
Colgate University Hamilton NY 66% 1,907 2,890
University of Dallas Irving TX 80% 1,886 2,357
Florida Southern College Lakeland FL 66% 1,825 2,765
Denison University Granville OH 80% 1,822 2,277
Franciscan University of Steubenville Steubenville OH 64% 1,766 2,759
St. Lawrence University Canton NY 68% 1,676 2,464
Bucknell University Lewisburg PA 46% 1,668 3,626
Endicott College Beverly MA 33% 1,665 5,044
Bryant University Smithfield RI 45% 1,664 3,698
George Fox University Newberg OR 40% 1,656 4,139
Queens University of Charlotte Charlotte NC 67% 1,561 2,330
Providence College Providence RI 32% 1,537 4,804
Messiah College Mechanicsburg PA 46% 1,520 3,305
Middlebury College Middlebury VT 58% 1,484 2,558
Babson College Babson Park MA 46% 1,456 3,165
Skidmore College Saratoga Springs NY 54% 1,450 2,686
Taylor University Upland IN 66% 1,432 2,170
Carleton College Northfield MN 67% 1,410 2,105
Gettysburg College Gettysburg PA 58% 1,383 2,384
Dickinson College Carlisle PA 56% 1,355 2,420
College of St. Benedict St. Joseph MN 69% 1,351 1,958
Union College Schenectady NY 61% 1,344 2,203
Macalester College St. Paul MN 62% 1,331 2,146
Augustana College Rock Island IL 51% 1,294 2,537
Bates College Lewiston ME 70% 1,246 1,780
Centre College Danville KY 85% 1,216 1,430
Muhlenberg College Allentown PA 50% 1,204 2,408
Eckerd College St. Petersburg FL 62% 1,143 1,844
Smith College Northampton MA 39% 1,129 2,896
Colby College Waterville ME 60% 1,127 1,879
St. John’s University Collegeville MN 56% 1,035 1,849
Kalamazoo College Kalamazoo MI 70% 1,010 1,443
Bowdoin College Brunswick ME 54% 975 1,806
College of the Holy Cross Worcester MA 33% 971 2,941
Williams College Williamstown MA 45% 960 2,134
Drew University Madison NJ 45% 958 2,129
Washington and Lee University Lexington VA 44% 950 2,160
Hamilton College Clinton NY 50% 940 1,879
Grinnell College Grinnell IA 55% 934 1,699
Connecticut College New London CT 50% 933 1,865
Stonehill College Easton MA 37% 918 2,481
Mount Holyoke College South Hadley MA 39% 908 2,327
St. Michael’s College Colchester VT 40% 890 2,226
Illinois Wesleyan University Bloomington IL 50% 886 1,771
Concordia College–Moorhead Moorhead MN 41% 874 2,132
St. Mary’s College Notre Dame IN 50% 851 1,701
Occidental College Los Angeles CA 41% 845 2,062
Wheaton College Norton MA 50% 826 1,651
St. Mary’s College of Maryland St. Marys City MD 47% 787 1,674
Earlham College Richmond IN 70% 771 1,102
Pomona College Claremont CA 46% 764 1,660
Kenyon College Gambier OH 43% 734 1,708
Sewanee–University of the South Sewanee TN 39% 708 1,815
Gordon College Wenham MA 35% 701 2,004
Linfield College McMinnville OR 41% 669 1,632
Washington and Jefferson College Washington PA 45% 633 1,406
Beloit College Beloit WI 45% 627 1,394
Wartburg College Waverly IA 42% 622 1,482
Goshen College Goshen IN 71% 618 870
Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr PA 33% 564 1,708
Swarthmore College Swarthmore PA 36% 555 1,543
Alma College Alma MI 37% 537 1,451
Central College Pella IA 41% 512 1,248
La Roche College Pittsburgh PA 32% 498 1,555
Agnes Scott College Decatur GA 53% 491 927
LaGrange College LaGrange GA 47% 482 1,026
Soka University of America Aliso Viejo CA 100% 432 432
Cornell College Mount Vernon IA 43% 421 978
Franklin College Franklin IN 33% 338 1,023
Ripon College Ripon WI 32% 254 793
College of the Atlantic Bar Harbor ME 63% 217 344
Cottey College Nevada MO 42% 121 288
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