Published: Nov. 18, 2019

CU Boulder students are traveling abroad in greater numbers to expand their horizons, learn more about other countries and cultures, and to take courses around the world that apply to their degrees, according to the 2019 Open Doors Report.

Each year, the Institute of International Education tracks the number of college students heading abroad to study around the world and international students coming to the United States to seek academic opportunities. 

According to the 2009 IIE report, 1,969 CU Boulder students earned credit through study abroad programs around the globe during the 2017-18 academic year. The university ranks 26th in the country among all doctoral universities for the total number of students earning credit abroad. Additionally, CU Boulder ranks fifth nationally for universities sending students abroad on semester-length programs, up from last year’s eighth-place ranking.

“CU Boulder students of all majors are eager to explore the world, and to take advantage of the multiple types of opportunities we offer for them to learn abroad, including internships, faculty-led Global Seminars, and more Boulder-based courses that now include an international travel component,” said Education Abroad Director Mary Dando.

“We work with hundreds of programs and partners around the globe to ensure our students receive high quality international opportunities designed to expand their perspectives and their education,” Dando said.

Popular study abroad destinations include Spain, Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Australia and the United Kingdom, with enrollment to programs in Asia and Latin America on the rise, she added.

The annual Open Doors Report also tracks international student enrollment at U.S. colleges and universities, and CU Boulder remains the state’s top draw for international students.

According to the report, CU Boulder welcomed 3,293 international students from 103 countries in 2018-19, with most hailing from China, India, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and South Korea.

The CU Boulder Graduate School saw a 20% growth in its enrollment of international students in doctoral programs.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators reported that international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities contributed nearly $41 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 458,290 direct and indirect jobs during the 2018-19 academic year.

For the same period, according to NAFSA, Colorado’s 11,888 international students contributed $470.7 million to the state’s economy and supported 6,029 jobs.

At CU Boulder, the impact of the university’s international student enrollment for the 2018-19 academic year totaled $169.3 million and supported 2,321 jobs.

“Students from around the world continue to be drawn to our strong academic programs and unique research opportunities,” said Diana Salazar, director of CU Boulder’s International Student and Scholar Services.

Clark Brigger, CU Boulder’s executive director of admissions, said, “The geographic diversification of our student body is very important. International students enrich our teaching and learning environments by bringing diverse perspectives.”

Each fall, he said, admissions officers visit many countries around the globe to share CU Boulder’s academic strengths and opportunities with students who are considering American colleges and universities for their postsecondary education.

Additionally, the admissions office this fall hosted 26 EducationUSA advisers from 26 countries for a day of professional development, which included opportunities to meet current international students, tour the campus, and provide first-hand impressions of CU Boulder.

The release of this year’s report coincides with the 20th anniversary of International Education Week, Nov. 18-22, which will include campus events and activities.