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Research on Study Abroad Programs

USIEA is committed to providing access to study abroad opportunities to every Chinese student. In addition to providing access, one of our key functions is to conduct research on international education, particularly in the area of study abroad as it relates to student exchange programs.

Scope of International Education Research

China has recently experienced rapid development of international education exchange programs and cooperation between universities in China and abroad.  As a result, Chinese students have access to a greater variety of international programs than ever before; hence the need for greater research in this area. Nevertheless, there is a lack of research being done on this topic. USIEA has begun gathering data focused on government policy and trends in international education in higher education in China. The goal of the data collection is to identify factors leading to success when designing and establishing joint programs. This information will help both Chinese and foreign educational partners understand how to create an optimal program.

The sample is based on USIEA’s network of over 50 universities in China and thousands of students who have engaged in a study abroad experience. The scope of international education research conducted by USIEA had the following criteria:

● Self-financed direct enroll programs (not non-monetary bilateral exchange programs):Students were required to pay tuition to overseas universities; the sample included students who received aid in the form of home school scholarships or government scholarships;
● Short-term exchange programs: Students studied at overseas partner universities for one quarter, one semester or one academic year. Programs ranged from three to eight months in duration.  Programs that did not fall into the primary research criteria, such as programs for two weeks or more than one year, were excluded from this sample;
● Student visa: Regardless of whether students studied in a pure language program or university credit program, students were granted a student visa. Students who received a traveler or visitor visa were excluded from the sample;
● Geographic area: Research was focused on Chinese students enrolled in Chinese universities who participated in a study abroad or English language program at accredited institutions in the United States.

 Key Research Topics

● University perspective: Understanding the current status, overall environment and infrastructure of the globalization of higher education with an emphasis on international education policy and implementation;
● Student perspective: Comparative research on the impact or change that a study abroad experience has had on students in terms of cultural sensitivity, study skills, and other benefits;
● Project perspective: Advantages and disadvantages of different programs, cost effectiveness, areas of improvement, and dissimilarities caused by various intervention tools.

This research has limitations, as it is based on USIEA’s partner schools and programs. However, we believe the data presented is valuable to help understand the landscape of the Chinese study abroad market. We hope these research findings can help our partner universities to better understand the student experience while on study abroad programs, and that our research efforts contribute to the globalization of higher education in China. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with other institutions, organizations or individual scholars who are interested in the same areas.

We are pleased to share some of our research findings below:

1. Study Abroad Program Market Analysis in China – Students Perspective (2013)
2. Analysis on Demographics and Other Factors of Students on USIEA Study Abroad Programs (2014)

Study Abroad at University of California, RiversideStudy Abroad at Columbia UniversityStudy Abroad at University of California, San DiegoStudy Abroad at University of Wisconsin-MadisonStudy Abroad at Boston UniversityStudy Abroad at University of PennsylvaniaStudy Abroad at The George Washington UniversityUniversity of Cambridge International Summer ProgrammesStudy Abroad at The London School of Economics and Political ScienceStudy Abroad at University of TorontoStudy Abroad at The University of AdelaideStudy Abroad at University of Victoria

It was an amazing experience studying and living in sunny California. UCR is like a garden where the flowers of knowledge, freedom, respect, and happiness are in full blossom. Grab a cup of coffee, sit in the lovely sunshine, open my favorite book, and start my brand new day.
Xiaoxuan Zhang
Xi'an International Studies University

While studying at Columbia University, I was taken to the real science. This is not the "textbook science", but science at the frontier. With the inspiration from the professor, I started trying to solve the critical problem independently and the process has been full of excitement. No doubt the spirit of independence and the capacity of foresight would be indispensable for my future life. Columbia University is definitely an amazing place to improve you at the fundamental level.
Duo Guo
Xi'an Jiaotong University

The UC San Diego ELI(Intensive Business) program brought me not only the experience studying in a world class university, but also the friendship with all my Extension teachers, international classmates and some acquaintances who own super awesome working experience to share. Studying in this program, my English, especially business English skills, got improved, which will make my job hunting easier. I am just so glad to be in part of this program.
Yun Chen
Zhejiang Gongshang University

You live the same way as others and feel comfortable in home country.Only those who have studied in a foreign country understand the opportunities and the challenges you have to confront. Never give up and you will obtain not only knowledge but also the courage to face uncertain future.
Xin Zhou
Tianjin University of Finance and Economics

I had a really wonderful time at CELOP and made a lot of friends that I still keep in touch with today. My instructors were great and taught me a lot both inside and outside classroom. I also had a conversation partner who was very helpful in improving my English. My experience at CELOP really helped me learn more about American culture and schools which has allowed me to succeed in my current position. I wish I could go back and study there again and again. You will never forget your experience here.
Qian Wang

If you ask me what the most awesome activity is while I study at Metropolitan College Boston University in regards to academics, my answer is definitely networking events and professional conferences. Boston is home to many institutions of higher education like MIT, Harvard, and Boston College. Every year an increasing number of elite specialists in different industries from all over the world come to Boston for specific events. I joined Aite group for internship, and worked as a full-time employee. Even though the project I was assigned was a little bit tough for me, I learned a lot from my teammates. Thanks to this certificate program, I entered a small international arena to learn from different people from different countries.