US is still the most desirable study abroad destination

Parents around the world say the United States is the most desirable place to send their children for study abroad programs, according to a report by international bank HSBC.

To create the report, researchers surveyed nearly 8,500 parents representing 15 countries and territories about their opinions on study abroad programs.

The most popular destination was the United States, with 47% of respondents listing it among places they would consider sending their children for college. Canada came in fourth, listed by 25% of respondents. 

International education is also growing more popular. This year, 42% of parents said they would consider sending their child abroad for college, compared with 35% of parents one year ago.

However, many parents underestimated the cost of higher education in the United States. Respondents estimated the cost of tuition at a U.S. college to be $11,000 or less. But tuition costs are actually closer to $33,000 per year. Unlike domestic students, international students usually pay full tuition at U.S. colleges.

Rajika Bhandari, head of research, policy, and practice at the Institute for International Education (IIE), says it's no accident the United States and Canada ranked so highly. The United States has a "strong track record" of offering a range of resources and activities that help international students build in-demand technical and soft skills, she says. Meanwhile, Canada has made it easier for international students to enter the workforce and eventually gain citizenship after getting their degrees (Petroff, CNN Money, 12/6; Kennedy, The Pie News, 12/6).

What international students want out of higher ed

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