The CSIET (Council of Standards for International Education Travel) is a nonprofit organization that defines a reputable international youth exchange program. They also help to promote the importance and educational value of international youth exchanges, as well as providing leadership and support for communities involved in exchange and education. They issue annual reports on statistics both at home (international students coming to the United States) and outbound (US students go abroad) exchange students.
Now we are talking about college students here. Not university students – it is not controlled or operated by CSIET. There are currently 60 programs on CSIET consultants that have a "full" listing, meaning they are fully respected organizations that send either US students abroad or host international students in the United States.
Well, here are handful statistics for 2009-2010.
* The top 5 countries that American students study abroad to: 1. Germany 2. France 3. Italy 4. Spain 5. Japan
* California was the state that sent the maximum number of students abroad: 200.  * The majority of Americans Foreign exchange abroad are from the West (CA, OR, WA, AZ, CO, UT, NV, MT, ID)
* The total number of US students sent for each school year or semester: 1,980. This is the lowest number of American high school teachers in the last seven years. Not counted in these statistics are many summer plans offered by US university students.
Now shrink the number of our students abroad with the total number of international students who came to the United States: 28,142. Again, this is a college. The majority of international students coming to the US at tertiary level do not pass that year; there is a lost year at the tertiary level for them. And yet they come.
According to the latest figures, the majority of these 28,142 students are hosted in the Midwest region of the United States (MI, WI, IL, MN, OH, IN, IA), mainly Minnesota and Michigan.
These statistics raise questions, at least for me.
Why would 28,000+ students from all over the world come to the United States this year in high school when that year does not give them academic results? Why are the majority of Americans traveling at western states, mainly California? Why are the main countries where Americans go first and foremost in Europe?
I have no proven answers but I have my own thoughts and teachings.
Why would 28,000+ students from all over the world come to the United States this year in high school when that year does not give them academic results?
Many international exchanges I met are very excited to live in another country. American culture has been broadcast to them through a variety of media, from television shows to rock band and pop star to snack food and fast food. They see America all the time. Or do they? They are pretty sure that American life is not like that. And they will look after themselves. They want to experience what it means to be American.
Why are the majority of Americans traveling from western states, mainly California?
California is one of the most populous states in the country. There were 2,013,687 students enrolled in CA high school for 2008-2009. But this asks another question. If there were so many million students in CA high school that year, why is it that only a few hundred of them were in exchange? From my experience in CA, many students have asked why they want to go abroad, their reasons are different. Some say that because they know someone who has gone abroad. Others had someone from a CSIET-identified app to come to the university and introduce them. Perhaps there is very little chance of graduating at California University. As stated above, the majority of international students are hosted in the Midwest. Students at university centers have more opportunities to get in touch with an international student and possibly encourage them to think about going abroad themselves.
Why are the main countries where Americans go first and foremost in Europe?
Europe has always been closely linked to our own culture. European history is generally taught at both upper secondary and tertiary level. European languages are taught in upper secondary schools, mainly French and Spanish. It would be wise for countries like Americans to learn more about France and Spain. It just happens that Germany, since the First World War, has made incredible steps to open up in other countries. The country's foreign immigration rate has increased significantly over the past four decades. It is a literally thoughtful scope for study abroad or working abroad. The Germans have high school or university students. In Germany, high school students are encouraged to study abroad, sometimes unlike their American counterparts.