Minister Mitchell O'Connor TD launches "Understanding US study abroad in Ireland" report

25th October 2018

US Study Abroad
Minister Mitchell O’Connor TD launches ”Understanding US study abroad in Ireland” report

Ireland ranked as 7th most popular destination for American students – key finding in study

Ireland ranks as the seventh most popular destination for American students studying abroad and 1st in the world on a per capita basis, according to a new research report which highlights the attractiveness for American students studying in Ireland.

Conducted by Southern Cross Consulting in partnership with Education in Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the Association of Study Abroad Providers in Ireland, the report highlights an economic impact from these students at nearly €220M in Ireland, supporting 448 jobs.

Other benefits include an enhanced learning experience for other students in the classrooms and increasing Ireland’s reputation in the US, as the student’s experiences are overwhelmingly positive, attracting visitors from their families and opening up opportunities for returning to study and work in Ireland. A strong regional dimension also exists with many study abroad programmes run outside of the major cities across the Island.

Launching the report the Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD commented “It’s great to see that Ireland is one of the first countries to undertake detailed research into this topic, being able to put numbers around the value and more importantly, future potential of US students coming to Ireland. We have deep historic ties with the US on many fronts, education is clearly one of them, and something that we need to develop and nurture for the future”.

Giles O’Neill, Enterprise Ireland added “I am really pleased with the findings of this report which give us an insight into the trends in the US study abroad sector. This information will allow us to adapt and develop strategies for the marketplace as well as showing strong direction and leadership from Ireland around things that we feel strongly about, well rounded global citizens. Through the Education in Ireland brand, Enterprise Ireland currently promotes studying in Ireland to students in the US and worldwide as part of our strategy to increase exports of services and goods to €26bn per annum by 2020”.

Stephen Robinson, from the Association of Study Abroad Providers in Ireland (ASAPI), went on to say “a part of Ireland's success in the study abroad sector can be attributed to the wide variety of study abroad options available here, from being embedded in an Irish institution, studying at a US owned campus, an internship, or even a short study trip organised by a faculty member from a US university”.

Studying abroad for many American students is a very valuable and often life changing experience, as being immersed, even for a short period in full time higher education in another country with other nationalities, opens your mind to endless possibilities.

Notes to Editors

“Understanding U.S study abroad in Ireland: Economic impact and future possibilities” was published in September 2018 and based on a large study undertaken over a 12-month period between May 2017 and May 2018.

The study was conducted by Southern Cross Consulting and was commissioned by Education in Ireland (part of Enterprise Ireland) and the Association for Study Abroad Providers in Ireland (ASAPI).

The report was launched in the Davenport Hotel, where Irish Universities and Colleges, Study Abroad providers and other stakeholders were presented with the findings in a detailed presentation delivered by Ms Gill Roe from Southern Cross Consulting. A copy of the report is available to download from

Education in Ireland is Ireland’s national brand for the promotion of higher education internationally. Education in Ireland is managed by Enterprise Ireland, the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. See and

ASAPI – The Association for Study Abroad Providers in Ireland is a national grouping of providers in Ireland and includes U.S. Colleges with a campus in Ireland, third party providers and internship providers. ASAPI was formed in 2015 to raise the profile of the sector, promote best practices, raise cultural understanding between the two countries, and to lobby for sectoral recognition with the Irish government

Southern Cross Consulting is an Irish consultancy organisation whose associates specialise in international education with a particular focus on North America.

For further information relating to the launch of the report or its contents please contact Giles O’Neill in Enterprise Ireland

For more information on this press release contact;


Grace Labanyi

Corporate Communications

Enterprise Ireland

Grace Labanyi

+353 1 7272820