students abroad, although the latter has been growing consistently (IIE, 2010). Beyond the raw numbers, the characteristics of U.S. study abroad do not reflect overall U.S. international engagement and the overall U.S. population in significant ways. For example, Europe is the predominant study abroad destination, accounting for about half of the opportunities in recent years. In terms of subjects studied, social sciences, business management, humanities, fine and applied arts, and foreign languages combined make up about two-thirds of the total, with science, engineering, and related fields making up less than 20 percent. Over eighty percent of the students are white, and almost two-thirds are female.

Dr. Olsen encouraged GUIRR and its membership to stay engaged with the issue of international research collaborations, and to lead strategic thinking on how to maximize the benefit of these collaborations to the U.S. research enterprise.


IIE (Institute for International Education). 2010. Open Doors 2010. Washington, DC.

National Science Board. 2010. Globalization of Science and Engineering Research: A Companion to Science and Engineering Indicators 2010. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation. Available online at:

Jerry Thursby and Marie Thursby. 2006. Here or There? A Survey of Factors in Multinational R&D Location. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Available at:

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