Press Release

IIE and Lonely Planet Release New IIEPassport Study Abroad Book Series

New IIEPassport and Study Abroad Funding Books Offer More Than 9,500 Opportunities for Study and Travel in Africa and the Middle East; the Americas; Asia and Oceania; and Europe

NEW YORK, May 25, 2010—With interest in world affairs on the rise, students and learning travelers in every field and every stage of their careers recognize the importance of having an international experience to prepare them to live and work in a more global society. The Institute of International Education (IIE) has joined with travel expert Lonely Planet to publish new editions of the IIEPassport directories to help students find study abroad programs that meet their changing needs.

The number of American students studying abroad has risen by more than 8 percent per year in recent years, reaching a record annual peak of more than 250,000 students. More students are studying abroad for shorter durations than in the past, and they are going to a more diverse range of countries. According to Open Doors 2009, 13 of the top 25 study abroad destinations for U.S. students were outside of Europe in 2007/08, and 19 out of those 25 are destinations where English is not the primary language. The new IIEPassport guides include a new Lonely Planet section containing advice on living, traveling and studying in the specific world regions. They provide an intimate look at each geographic location, with vivid photos and detailed destination highlights.

The new IIEPassport directory series now consists of four separate volumes, listing study abroad programs by world region: Africa and the Middle East, the Americas, Asia and Oceania, and Europe.  They feature more than 9,500 programs offered by U.S. and foreign universities and providers, organized by country, and indexed by field of study, length of program, cost, and other criteria.   Each book also contains a special topic index which allows students to find internships, volunteer opportunities, and other practical experiences to meet their shifting study abroad priorities, which frequently include a desire to gain work experience abroad and find programs for gap years and independent study.

This year’s directories include expanded sections of listings in countries that are growing in popularity for study abroad, such as China and India, as well as comprehensive directories of programs in more traditional destinations like the U.K., Italy, and Spain.  Students can study topics as diverse as scientific collaboration in India, Intensive Arabic language and culture in Egypt, business in China, politics and economics in South Africa, aerospace in Germany, bioresources in Australia, health and education in Kenya, social justice in Brazil, European governance in England, and civil society and sustainable development in Indonesia.

Adult learners and professionals are joining college and pre-college students in seeking opportunities for education and cultural immersion far beyond the typical tourist vacation. While the IIEPassport guides are focused on higher education study abroad opportunities, they also contain programs -- such as short-term language immersion, arts instruction, volunteer opportunities, and study tours -- that accept pre-college students, teachers, and adult learners.

In addition to the four regional directories, IIEPassport has also published Study Abroad Funding, a comprehensive list of funding opportunities for students pursuing study abroad.  IIEPassport has been the premier resource for students, parents, and adult learners seeking international study opportunities for more than sixty years. The volumes are available for purchase individually or as a set.  To order the books, obtain an online discount code.

Learn more about IIEPassport

Study Abroad Fast Facts

According to Open Doors 2009, an annual census of global student mobility conducted by Institute of International Education with support from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State:

  • The top 25 leading destinations for U.S. study abroad in academic year 2007/08 were:  United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, China, Australia, Mexico, Germany, Ireland, Costa Rica, Japan, Argentina, Greece, South Africa, Czech Republic, Austria, India, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil, New Zealand, Israel, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Russia.
  • The number of students going to nearly all of the top twenty-five destinations increased, with particularly strong rises seen in the number of students going to less traditional destinations for study abroad.
  • Notable increases among leading destinations were in the numbers students going to China, Ireland, and India (up about 20%), as well as Costa Rica, Japan, Argentina and South Africa (up nearly15% each).

While this data reflects academic year 2007/08, prior to the economic downturn, it is likely that trends toward less expensive destinations and shorter stays will continue, reflecting the effects of the economy.

About the Institute of International Education

IIE is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of over 20 offices worldwide and over 1,000 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE conducts policy research and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.

About Lonely Planet

Established in 1973, Lonely Planet is one of the world’s leading travel media companies. With operations in Melbourne, London and Oakland, CA, the company employs over 400 staff worldwide. Lonely Planet travel information is available across all media platforms, including travel guides, TV programming, wireless products and an award-winning website. In October 2007, British Broadcasting Company Worldwide (BBC Worldwide) acquired a 75% share in Lonely Planet. BBC Worldwide is the primary commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).


Media Contact

Sharon Witherell
Director, Public Affairs
Tel: +1 212.984.5380

Shana Childs
Public Affairs
Tel: +1 212.984.5360

IIE Experts

IIE experts on international education are available for interviews or speaking engagements.

Dr. Allan E. Goodman
President and CEO

Peggy Blumenthal 
Senior Counselor to the President