Tracking U.S. College Students Who Study Abroad in Sub-Saharan Africa

map_outline_africaAccording to data from the Institute of International Education, more than 283,000 American students studied at foreign institutions of higher education during the 2011-12 academic year. This was up 3.4 percent from a year earlier. A majority of Americans studying abroad (53 percent) attended universities in Europe.

Open Doors 2013 copyOf all U.S. students studying abroad, 12,859, or 4.5 percent, attended universities in sub-Saharan Africa. The number of American students studying in sub-Saharan Africa increased by 8.3 percent from the previous year. Sub-Saharan Africa sends 2.4 times as many students to American universities as America sends to sub-Saharan African universities.

Among sub-Saharan African nations, South Africa was by far the most popular destination. In the 2011-12 academic year, 4,540 American students studied in South Africa. Ghana hosted 2,190 American students in the 2011-12 academic year. More than 1,000 American students studied abroad in Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda, Senegal, Botswana, Ethiopia, Namibia and Zambia hosted more than 200 American students. Rwanda, Malawi, Swaziland, Cameroon, Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Madagascar were the only other sub-Saharan African nations hosting more than 100 American college students.

While the data does not reveal what percentage of American students studying abroad in Africa are African Americans, we do know that of the 283,332 American students studying abroad in all areas of the globe, about 5.1 percent, are African Americans.


Leave a Reply

Due to incidents of abuse and harassment that have occurred in the past, JBHE will not publish telephone numbers or email addresses of individuals in this space. If you want to contact someone in a particular article, we suggest you contact them directly not in an open forum.