The number of high school students who studied abroad in fiscal 2017 rose by more than 10,000 from fiscal 2015 to reach approximately 47,000, a record since the education ministry began conducting a survey on international exchange. There was a significant increase in the number of students who studied abroad for less than three months.
The education ministry has been conducting the survey almost biennially since fiscal 1986, targeting students at public and private high schools across the nation. A ministry official analyzes: “Efforts by municipalities and others to promote study abroad programs have been bearing fruit. I believe short-term study abroad programs are particularly popular because students do not need to stay in the same class for another year when they return to Japan.”
42,793 high school students studied abroad for a short period of time in fiscal 2017. Australia was the most popular destination, hosting 10,888 students, followed by the U.S. and Canada, which received 9,123 students and 4,438 students, respectively.
The number of students who studied abroad for a long period of time stood at 4,076. The U.S. was the most popular destination, welcoming 1,151 students, followed by Canada, where 937 studied. The number of high school students who participated in overseas school trips also increased by about 15,000 from fiscal 2015 to reach 179,910. (Abridged)