An online survey conducted among 2,742 Canadian students aged 18 or older and enrolled in an undergraduate program in a Canadian degree-granting institution during the 2009-10 academic year has revealed a strong preference among them to go for studies abroad.
Over half among the students surveyed by Higher Education Strategy Associates said that they had either been on a period of study abroad or planned to go for it or were at least considering the option. An overwhelming 93 percent among students felt that the ability to work in culturally diverse settings that comes with studying abroad was important in getting a job after graduation; close to three quarters of them also felt that the knowledge of international affairs that it brings was another important factor.
UK and Australia were the most preferred destinations, followed by France.
Interestingly, students also seemed to be equally convinced about the value of two-way internationalization - in terms of having more international students on Canadian campuses.
According to the report, By a margin of roughly 2.5 to 1, they agree with the statement that international students enhance the in-class experience. Four to one, students think that hosting more international students enhances Canada's competitiveness and its 'soft power'. Only 23 percent - and more women than men - consider international students to be taking opportunities away from Canadian students.
The endorsement of, and even active participation in, global study among Canadian students is far more vigorous than among their American counterparts.
As The Chronicle of Higher Education reports, Of the nearly 3,000 respondents, 9 percent have studied abroad during the past three years or so. That level of interest appears substantially higher than in the United States, where the percentage of students who go abroad has hovered around 1 percent for several years.