10 Universities Where the Most Students Study Outside the U.S

Devon Haynie

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matters to you in your college or grad school search.

There's bad news for parents who want to keep a close eye on their college kids: More and more American students are studying abroad.

The number of U.S. students studying in other countries has more than tripled over the past two decades, according to the 2013 " Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange," an annual survey of study abroad trends for U.S. and international students

During the 2011-12 school year, 283,332 students pursued academic credit abroad, a 3.4 increase from the year before, the report found.

The United Kingdom was the No. 1 study abroad destination, drawing 12.2 percent of all American students, the report found. Italy, Spain and France followed.

[Explore the world's top universities.]

At the 10 colleges with the highest percentage of students studying abroad, an average of 83.4 percent of 2012 graduates studied overseas. But those schools were the exception, U.S. News data show.

On average, about 22.8 percent of 2012 college graduates studied abroad at some point during their undergraduate years, according to data reported by 321 ranked schools in an annual survey by U.S. News.

Goucher College and Soka University of America had the highest percentage of students studying abroad. Both schools require undergraduates to study abroad and sent 100 percent of their students overseas.

[Learn what to ask about study abroad programs.]

Below are the schools with the highest percentage of 2012 graduating seniors who participated in a study abroad program. Holy Cross College is labeled RNP, or Rank Not Published, meaning it fell in the bottom one-fourth of its ranking category. U.S. News calculates a numerical rank for RNP schools, but does not publish them.

School name (state) Percent of 2012 graduates who studied abroad U.S. News rank and category
Goucher College (MD) 100 110, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Soka University of America (CA) 100 41, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Holy Cross College (IN) 90 RNP, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Centre College (KY) 86 49, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Lee University (TN) 84 51, Regional Universities (South)
Kalamazoo College (MI) 81 61, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Queens University of Charlotte (NC) 78 18, Regional Universities (South)
Carleton College (MN) 72 7, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Elon University (NC) 72 1, Regional Universities (South)
Eastern Mennonite University (VA) 71 180, National Liberal Arts Colleges

Unranked colleges, which do not submit enough data for U.S. News to calculate a ranking, were not considered for this report.

Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find schools with high study abroad rates, complete rankings and much more. School officials can access historical data and rankings, including of peer institutions, via U.S. News Academic Insights.

U.S. News surveyed nearly 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2013 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported myriad data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News' data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News' rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools . The study abroad data above are correct as of May 20, 2014.

Devon Haynie is an education reporter at U.S. News, covering online education. You can follow her on Twitter or email her at dhaynie@usnews.com.