School-leavers are becoming increasingly global in their outlook, with teenagers prepared to move thousands of miles to attend university.
Between 2000 and 2011, the number of international students more than doubled and the growth in students moving abroad does not seem to have been affected by the economic crisis, according to a recent report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The extra international students have mostly come from China, India and South Korea, and the top destinations are English-speaking countries. The most popular country for international students is the US, followed by the UK. Australia and Canada also attract large numbers of students from China and India.
But recently other countries have been successful in attracting overseas students, with Canada, Japan and Russia receiving significant numbers in 2011.
In the European Union, several non-English speaking countries, such as Finland, Poland and Spain, have started to offer courses in English, although a similar proposal by the French government for more universities there to do the same has caused controversy.
But in March this year, the European Commission said that complex and lengthy bureaucracy is putting students off. It is now proposing to allow more movement between EU states from 2016, and to increase the hours that students requiring visas or residence permits are allowed to work while they study.
67% of European universities say that they have increased the number of courses they offer in English.
30% of European universities say that attracting more students from abroad is a top priority.
12% of European universities say that giving their students opportunities to study abroad is a top priority.
Source: Internationalisation in European Higher Education: European policies, institutional strategies and EUA support, European University Association (2013). www.eua.be
Top countries of origin for international students in 2011