Alumni Survey Results

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Studying abroad with IES Abroad is a world-shaking discovery that has long-lasting benefits—just ask our alumni. Our research findings show how their academic interests, cultural development, personal growth, and careers are impacted by their one-of-a-kind IES Abroad experiences.

Recent Graduate Survey

Our recent graduate survey found that study abroad may be one of the best ways for college students to find jobs sooner after graduation, related to their majors, and at a higher starting salary. Study abroad students also show success in being accepted to graduate and professional schools.

50-Year Alumni Survey

In honor of the 50th anniversary of IES Abroad, we conducted the largest quantitative survey of study abroad alumni—the IES Abroad 50-year Alumni Survey. This survey was conducted to assess the long-term impact of study abroad by exploring how our alumni perceive their study abroad experience and its impact on their careers, education, and world views.

Academic Attainment

  • 87% claimed that studying abroad influenced subsequent educational experiences
  • 86% said that it reinforced commitment to foreign language study
  • 80% reported an enhanced interest in academic study
  • 52% attained graduate degrees; of those, 15% received a Ph.D, Ed.D, JD, or medical degree

Cultural Development

  • 98% reported the study abroad experience helped them to better understand their own cultural values and biases
  • 94% stated that the experience continues to influence their interactions with people from different cultures
  • 90% said studying abroad influenced them to seek out a greater diversity of friends

Career Impact

  • 76% reported they acquired skill sets while studying abroad that influenced their career path
  • 62% said studying abroad ignited an interest in a career direction pursued after the experience
  • 48% Stated that they have worked internationally or participated in volunteer activities since studying abroad

Personal Growth

  • 97% Reported that studying abroad served as a catalyst for increased maturity
  • 96% Indicated that it increased self confidence
  • 95% Stated that it has had a lasting impact on their world view
  • 89% Said studying abroad enabled them to better tolerate ambiguity

Survey findings indicate that studying abroad makes a difference — a long-lasting difference — in the lives of its participants, and results demonstrate the far reaching affects the experience has on participants, not only academically but professionally and personally as well.

Articles about Our Findings

We invite you to explore our findings by accessing the many articles and presentations that highlight our research. Links to articles, where available, are included below. Links to back issues that can be ordered for a fee are also provided below in cases where the articles are not provided for free.

Journal of Studies in International Education

Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad

International Educator

Abroad View Magazine

Transitions Abroad

NAFSA Presentation Excerpts

PLEASE NOTE: Any and all uses of the 50-year Alumni survey results conducted by IES Abroad, Institute for the International Education of Students, must be accompanied by proper citation.