The University offers an abundant amount of study abroad programs for its students in many different fields of study and interests. In the 2010-2011 academic year a total of 1,926 students from the university studied abroad. While doing research on the different places where UVA students typically study, I found some other interesting statistics about who studies abroad.
The top five places people travelled to in the 2010-2011 academic year are as follows:
Spain was the top choice, with 192 students packing up and moving to Spain for a semester to immerse in the Spanish language and culture. This did not surprise me, seeing that the Spanish program at UVA is so large and many Americans choose to learn Spanish as their second language.
Next up on the list also came as no surprise – the United Kingdom. 136 students went to the United Kingdom in 2010- 2011. Of course this is popular because there are those who want to study abroad but are without a second language so why not just hop across the pond and experience the lifestyle of our fellow English – speaking land.
The third was Italia, with 113 students. Italy is popular both because of students that take Italian as well as the cultural and political knowledge that people seek to better understand – not to mention the hot Italian boys and the yummy pasta and gelato that comes with it.
Other places that people studied in were France, Fiji, Thailand, Tanzania, India, Russia, Israel, New Zealand, and so many more. Us WaHoos are covering the earth.
The most interesting thing that I learned was that in the 2010- 2011 academic year 71% of the students that studied abroad were female and only 29% were male. I had never even thought about this and when the information was shown to me I didn’t know what to make of it at first. Why is it that females are more likely to study abroad than males? I think there are many possible answers to this question. First of all, two of the more obvious answers is that there are a greater number of females enrolled in college and the majority are enrolled in humanities courses that tend to be a promoter for studying aboard versus math and science. But what else could be the reason?
I myself am studying abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia this upcoming fall. One plausible reason I think more females take part in study abroad programs is because the romantic side of travelling abroad and having experiences in unfamiliar lands stands out as more appealing and desirable for a female. We get these grand ideas in our head that we will find ourselves a little café in the center of some romantically foreign city, reading our Tolstoy (yes this is what I envision for myself), and dressed in an outfit that is culturally influenced by wherever we are located. We will be known by the town as that little American girl who is intellectual and influential and maybe one day the cute waiter will stop for more than a minute taking our order to have a conversation about life and we may fall in love.
Now, of course my daydream is a little extreme but I think many females whom are going to study abroad have their own daydreams about what life will be like in the unknown and we fantasize about our experiences. Along with that I think we see ourselves having a great impact on the world as a whole and in order to do that we must leave the comfort of our state side home and experience what the world has to offer. All in all it is exciting news to know that us girls have taken over not only the college scene but also the international scene. I am definitely not a feminist myself, but this news makes me all for some “girl power” fist pumping and my hat is off to you colligates of the future – make the world proud!