Report Tracks Noncredit Educational Activities Abroad

March 31, 2016

A new report from the Institute of International Education provides data on the range of noncredit educational activities students are pursuing abroad, including volunteering and service learning, work or internships, research or fieldwork, study tours, religious missions, and travel for academic conferences, artistic performances or athletic competitions.

The report, based on a survey of 803 universities, 227 of which responded, stresses the difficulties of collecting complete data on noncredit experiences -- as opposed to for-credit study abroad, which is tracked in IIE’s annual Open Doors survey -- but nevertheless offers some general findings.

Among the universities surveyed, Latin America is the most popular destination for noncredit activities. (By contrast, the most popular destination for for-credit study abroad is Europe.) The most common activity is volunteer work or service learning. While universities did not have complete data on the gender and race of students undertaking noncredit activities, the data they did have show that women outnumber men and that white students account for 71 percent of participants whose race or ethnicity is known. The demographics are similar for for-credit education abroad.

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