Hotcourses Survey of International Students Reveals US Most Favored Destination

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A survey of 5,000 prospective international students conducted by Hotcourses Inc in October 2010 revealed 55% would choose to study in the US as their first choice, followed by 50% indicating the UK as their second choice and in third place 36% would choose Australia, just above Canada at 34%.

Top countries to study in according to the Hotcourses International Student survey

A survey of 5,000 prospective international students conducted by Hotcourses Inc in October 2010 revealed 55% would choose to study in the US as their first choice, followed by 50% indicating the UK as their second choice and in third place 36% would choose Australia, just above Canada at 34%.

There were some country of origin differences, with 93.4% of Chinese students indicating the US would be their first choice, compared to 86% of Indians, whereas 92% of Malaysians would prefer to go to the UK as their first choice and 83% of Indonesians preferred Singapore as their first choice of study abroad destination.

When asked whether they had studied or lived abroad before, 80% of the students indicated they had not, leaving 20% who had. In funding their planned study abroad, a key factor for the US economy which generates $18.8 billion from international students, 37% of students said they would use personal or parental funds, 42% would aim for scholarship support and 21% aimed to get a student loan. In planning the process of which country, location and university to attend, 35% of those responding said they spent more than 12 months researching the decision before making an application. Over half of those surveyed (55%) said they spent 12 months or more in planning the process. Students between the age of 21-30 who are most likely to be planning for graduate study, spend longer than undergraduate students in making their decision – many commented that they are currently in work which affects their timescales.

When asked why they wanted to study abroad, 39% of students said to get a better education and a further 39% indicated they believed a foreign degree would lead to a better job in their home country. Only 8% indicated their motivation was to immigrate to the country in which they planned to study.

In selecting a country in which to study the top 3 factors indicated as being “very important” were the country’s education reputation, the cost of study and safety. The least important consideration was the desire to meet people from their own country. Similarly in selecting a university or college, international students said the most important factors were the quality of the program, tuition fees and the university ranking.

Choosing a university or college to apply to, 71% said they were doing so to a school they had never previously heard of before embarking on their research with 98.2% saying their primary method of research was online via search engines. Both the university website and advice from alumni and friends were mentioned as important factors in helping students come to a decision of where to study.

Despite the fact that the majority of schools do not have information in local (non English) languages on their websites, 79% of students said it was very important to have information in their native language, not least because 69% of these said their parents would require this information.

Mike Elms, CEO of Hotcourses commented: “It is perhaps not surprising students take over 12 months to make this decision as most of them have not studied or lived abroad before and it is a very significant emotional as well as financial commitment. It is surprising that so few schools invest in having information in local languages given the efforts they go to in recruiting international students and also because of the crucial role parents play in funding their children’s education.”

About the survey
The survey was carried out online during October 2010. It was marketed to international students through the Hotcourses range of international websites. 19% of participants were Chinese, 25% Indian, 12% Indonesian, 11% Nigerian, 8% Malaysian, 7% Vietnamese, 6% Pakistani and Iranian, 3% Taiwanese and Ugandan.

About Hotcourses
Hotcourses was founded in 1996. It runs websites aimed at making it simple for students to find the right choice of school and program all over the world. Currently Hotcourses covers the following destination countries: the UK, Australia, USA, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand. The company runs websites in 21 countries and 16 languages around the world. Hotcourses has offices in Massachusetts, USA; London, UK; Sydney, Australia and Chennai, India.

For further information – please contact:
Mike Elms + 44 208 600 5300
or visit http://www.hotcoursesabroad.com

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Mike Elms
Hotcourses
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