January, 2014: Recent statistics show that American students learning
abroad have increasingly been attracted to Ireland as a destination for their
international academic experiences.
Numbers from the 2011/2012 academic year showed an increase of 9% in the number of American students choosing Ireland as their base for learning abroad and the trend was continued in the following two years. Figures for postgraduate students in particular, were subject to a massive increase in 2013/2014, rising by more than 50% with relation to the previous year.
These figures place Ireland as the ninth most popular destination for learning abroad among United States nationals, a fact which sources within the country attribute to a number of factors. According to these sources at the United States embassy in Ireland, Ireland offers unique study-abroad programmes at highly competitive prices when compared to similar initiatives in the United States, and this makes the country exceedingly appealing for students from North America. A member of the board at a prominent Dublin university has added that academic institutions in Ireland are attentive and accommodating to their students’ needs, and offer several appealing opportunities for post-graduate research, service-based learning and internships too.
Additional factors endearing Ireland to American students include the country’s prime position within the European continent, which allows for easy access to most of the main capitals within the EU and the UK. As such, students can enrich their already horizon-broadening experience of learning abroad with a spot of tourism and sightseeing, which might, in its own right, be highly educational. This further increases the appeal of the country as a home base for an educational experience abroad.
Numbers from the 2011/2012 academic year revealed that 9.4% of all American undergraduate students participated in study-abroad programmes as a way to acquire extra academic credit and engage in further research within their study areas of choice. This may have contributed to the number of postgraduate students choosing to study abroad in the following years.
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