The charms of pandas, a delightfully colorful language and the world's second-biggest economy apparently aren't enough for study-abroad students from the U.S. and U.K.
Only 1% of American and British students contemplating study-abroad options want to go to China, a new report produced by Education Intelligence, the British Council's global higher education research service, says.
Among American students, China currently ranks 10th out of the most desirable study-abroad locations, down from 9th last year, the report says. (See full list below.) In the U.K., China ranks 11th out of most-desired locations, down from 9th in 2013.
'I think China still represents something which is quite challenging,' said Elizabeth Shepherd, Education Intelligence's research director, noting that for many students, study abroad might represent the first time they've traveled overseas, in which case they might prefer more familiar-seeming similar or physically closer destinations.
Education Intelligence's survey polled more than 10,000 students in both the U.S. and U.K.
For Americans, the top destinations of choice are the U.K. (19%), France (10%) and Italy (8%). Among non-Western countries, Japan (5%) and Brazil (2%) top the list as coveted destinations. Meanwhile among British study-abroad students, the preferred destinations are the U.S. (33%), Australia (9%) and France (5%).
Most study-abroad students, the report said, pick their study-abroad destinations for cultural reasons, or (perhaps not surprisingly) because they want to travel to the country. Cost is also a factor: In the U.S., for example, many students reported they were interested in Brazil or China because the tuition fees were cheaper, or because they were able to get related scholarships.
U.S. President Barack Obama has made encouraging more American students to study in China a priority, a message that his wife Michelle also stressed in a recent goodwill tour of the country.
While the number of Chinese study-abroad students headed to the U.S. has jumped, American travel in the other direction has stayed comparatively flat. In 2013, the number of Chinese studying in the U.S. grew by 23%, according to 100 Thousand Strong. By contrast, the number of Americans studying in China grew just 5%, according to the 100 Thousand Strong Foundation, a nonprofit launched to support Mr. Obama's move to boost the number of Americans studying in China.
In fact, according to Education Intelligence, appetite for overseas study experiences among American students has actually dropped over the past year. This year, the percentage of U.S. respondents saying they were interested in study abroad shrank to 44%, down from 56% in last year. Fear of the 'increasing cost of college education' in the U.S., the report suggested, might be contributing to a chilling of interest. By contrast, the number of U.K. students interested in overseas study rose by 17%.
Top Study-Abroad Destinations for U.S. Students
1. The U.K.
英国文化协会(British Council)下属的全球高等教育研究服务机构Education Intelligence发布报告称，在考虑国外留学的美国和英国学生中，只有1%打算前往中国。
Education Intelligence的研究主管谢泼德(Elizabeth Shepherd)表示，她认为到中国留学仍然有很大的挑战性。她指出，对很多学生而言，留学可能是他们第一次走出国门，因此他们可能更倾向于选择更熟悉或地理位置更近的目的地。
虽然到美国留学的中国学生数量大增，但到中国留学的美国学生却相对持平。根据十万人留学中国计划基金会(100 Thousand Strong Foundation)的数据，2013年，在美国留学的中国学生数量增加23%，而前往中国的美国留学生数量仅增加5%。十万人留学中国计划基金会是一个非营利性组织，旨在支持奥巴马鼓励美国学生到中国留学的行动。