The number of American students travelling to India to study in colleges and universities there has dropped by 15% in the last one year, says a US report released on Monday.
Fifteen of the top 25 destinations for American students were outside Western Europe and 19 were countries where English is not a primary language, according to the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange.
But India, which has been experiencing more interest from American students in recent years, showed a drop this time, it said.
Four European countries continue to lead in hosting US students – Britain, Italy, Spain and France. China, as the fifth largest host country, was the only one of the top five to show any increase in numbers for 2008/09.
The United Kingdom remained the most popular destination, with a total of 31,342 students, though it witnessed a 6% decline. Italy is second, where decline was 11% to 27,362, followed by Spain (24,169, down 4%), France (16,910, down 3%) and China (13,674, up 4%).
India is ranked at 21st spot with 2,690 students (a drop of 15%).
The report said that 260,327 students studied abroad for credit during the academic year 2008/09, compared to 262,416 in 2009, a modest decline of 0.8%.
For the first time in the 25 years that the data has been tracked, the total number of US students studying abroad for academic credit did not increase.
However, the report found that there were notable increases in the number of US students going to study in less traditional destinations.
Double digit increases to host countries among the top 25 destinations include Argentina (up 15%), South Africa (up 12%), Chile (up 28%), the Netherlands (up 14%), Denmark (up 21%), Peru (up 32%) and South Korea (up 29%).