Destination-based learning is a concept that has recently been used in distance education as well as in traditional college courses. It is a way to offer students the opportunity to go on a “study abroad” program based on their chosen locations. The grant colleges and universities select the destinations chosen by their recipients, often highly focused on the programs offered and the student’s future career goals. The destinations selected by the awardees were also highly representative, with almost 80 percent of the recipients studying at three locations.
For the purposes of this report, we will focus on two destinations used by many of the DESTINATION study participants. They are Great Britain and Australia. Great Britain has traditionally had a high intake of international students, particularly from the United Kingdom. This growth in demand for higher education has led to a surge in the supply of university staff and student accommodation. In response, British universities have ramped up their planning and promotion of student travel. In turn, Great Britain has become a popular destination for students who wish to travel to Australia.
One of the reasons that Great Britain and Australia have become such popular study destinations is their relative isolation. Neither country borders any significant ocean or seas, so neither is subject to the influence of external factors. However, both of these countries do enjoy relatively low tourist tidal flows, which can make travel to them more expensive than more popular European and American destinations. Moreover, both of these countries have small but active tourism industries. These factors combine to make them attractive destinations for students seeking a higher education in the United States and other destinations outside of Europe.
Australia is another location frequently selected as a destination for international students pursuing a degree in the United States. Like Great Britain, Australia has relatively low immigration rates and has developed an efficient system for managing its large influx of tourists. As it is a land-based country, many of its citizens speak English, making it easy for tourists to communicate while visiting this destination. In addition, Australia offers excellent transportation links to major cities, making it a convenient gateway to many destinations across the world.
Canada, another popular destination for international students, is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination for those seeking an education in the United States. Like Australia, Canada is an isolated country with a limited number of destinations. However, Canada is emerging as a preferred destination for its global community of students, many of whom are looking for a place to obtain a higher education. In addition, Canada’s economy offers a welcoming climate for immigrants, both legally and otherwise, making it a popular choice for international students to pursue higher education.
The increasing number of destinations being chosen as study abroad options by American and European students is due, in large part, to the growing importance of the United States and its ability to provide a quality education to its students. As the cost of education continues to rise, colleges in the United States and Europe have been forced to look at other forms of accommodation as an alternative. While a great number of these destinations may be unfamiliar to most students, a greater awareness of them as tourist destinations will help visitors better choose which ones to visit while studying overseas.