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Ireland is now 7th most popular study abroad destination for U.S. students

Open Doors Report Shows Trends in Student Mobility between Ireland and the United States

Ireland is now 7th most popular study abroad destination for U.S. students
Students from Ireland to the U.S. increase by 3%
International Education Week runs 16-20 November 2015

November 16, 2015 – The 2015 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, released today, finds the number of international students at U.S. colleges and universities had the highest rate of growth in 35 years, increasing by ten percent in the 2014/15 academic year. The number of students from Ireland studying in the U.S. increased by 3%, while Ireland is now the 7th most popular study abroad destination for U.S. students. The Open Doors® report is published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The report found that Ireland was the 7th leading destination for U.S. study abroad, rising from 9th position in 2012/2013. The number of U.S. students coming to Ireland to study for academic credit at their home university in the United States has increased by 9% to 8,823. This figure has risen steadily from 6,798 in 2010. While global study abroad by American students has more than tripled in the last two decades reaching a new high, still only about 10% of U.S. students study abroad before graduating from college.

The new report illustrated that the U.S. is the 2nd study abroad destination for Irish students, with 1,192 studying in the U.S. in 2014/2015 up 3% on the previous year. Students from Ireland in the United States study primarily at undergraduate level (39%), with 29% at graduate level, 9% pursuing optional practical training, and 22% in non-degree programs. The top host U.S. universities for Irish students are the University of Notre Dame, Columbia University, Harvard University, New York University, and Northeastern University. A number of U.S. Institutions offer scholarships and financial aid for International Students – for example, Irish students have the opportunity for funded study at the University of Notre Dame through the Naughton Fellowship Program. The Fulbright Irish Citizen Awards provide grants for Irish citizens and E.U. citizens to research, study, or lecture in the U.S. on an annual basis.

U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley said “Study abroad is one of the best ways students can acquire the cross-cultural skills needed to succeed in today’s global economy, it’s wonderful to see so many U.S. students choosing to study in Ireland—and Irish students choosing to study in the U.S.—where they will make many personal and professional connections that will not only help them in their future careers, but also strengthen the bonds between our two countries for years to come.”


The release of the new Open Doors data marks the celebration of International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future international leaders to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.

As part of International Education Week 2015, running 16-20 November, students and guidance counsellors in Ireland can take part in a number of free online fairs and seminars to learn about study in the U.S. A free EducationUSA International Students Day virtual college fair, organized in partnership with CollegeWeekLive, will take place on Wednesday, November 18. Each year, over 20,000 students from around the world take part in this 12-hour virtual event and interact with international student recruiters from more than 100 U.S. institutions of higher education. Register to participate at EducationUSA.collegeweeklive.com. On 20th November, Guidance Counsellors are invited to attend a free workshop at the Fulbright Commission / EducationUSA offices in Ballsbridge, Dublin. The Director of International Admissions at Columbia University and the Director of International Recruitment at Northwestern University will provide information on their schools and on applying to highly selective universities in the United States. Registration is essential, see www.fulbright.ie to book and for further details on International Education Week events.

Each spring, EducationUSA in Ireland hosts an annual Seminar offering information about studying in the U.S. This event was held at IBAT College, Dublin in April 2015 with over 80 students, teachers and parents in attendance. EducationUSA staff also attended a number of events around the country including the GradIreland Fair, Higher Options, the Institute of Guidance Counsellours AGM & Conference and individual schools visits. See www.fulbright.ie and follow @fulbright_eire on Twitter to find out about upcoming EducationUSA events in Ireland.



Emma Loughney, Fulbright Commission / EducationUSA
+353 1 660 7670, emma.loughney@fulbright.ie
Sharon Witherell, Institute of International Education, switherell@iie.org
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, ECA-Press@state.gov


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EducationUSA is Ireland’s only official information source on studying in the U.S. Supported by the U.S. Department of State, EducationUSA in Ireland is based at the Fulbright Commission offices in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 and aims to provide accurate and unbiased information about all accredited higher education institutions in the United States. Please see www.fulbright.ie/educationusa for more information.

Open Doors is published by the Institute of International Education, an independent not-for-profit organization with a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,400 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE has conducted an annual statistical survey of the international students in the United States since its founding in 1919 and in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs since 1972. Open Doors also reports on the number of international scholars at U.S. universities; international students enrolled in pre-academic Intensive English Programs; and on U.S. students studying abroad. Further details on the Open Doors 2015 surveys and their findings is on the Open Doors website at www.iie.org/opendoors, and the full 100+ page report can be ordered for $79.95 from IIE Books at www.iiebooks.org.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State leads a wide range of academic, professional, and cultural exchanges that include approximately 50,000 participants annually, including the flagship Fulbright Program and the International Visitor Leadership Program, with the goal of increasing mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. ECA also sponsors the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships for U.S. undergraduates with financial need, the Critical Language Scholarship Program in support of U.S. study abroad, and the EducationUSA network of over 400 advising centers worldwide, which provides information to students around the globe who wish to study in the United States. For more information on the Department of State’s educational and cultural exchange activities, visit www.exchanges.state.gov.

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