A dozen trendy places to study abroad [SLIDESHOW]

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Spending a semester — or a year — in some place far flung is so easy for undergraduates that it seems practically like a requirement these days.

There are nearly 200 countries in the world, of course, which means the path less traveled by is a very viable option. You could spend a semester in Oman, just for example, or Sri Lanka. You can even go to Antarctica.

Following the crowds is always fine, too. The United Kingdom will probably always be in vogue. It’s also hard to imagine a few other places, such as France and Australia, falling too far out of fashion.

The rest of the sovereign nations on the planet wax and wane in popularity among American students based on God only knows what factors.

Here’s a slideshow of the 12 trendiest destinations to study abroad, according to recent data from the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors Report. These locales aren’t necessarily the most popular; they are the ones that have seen the largest annual increases in academic tourism among American students studying abroad.

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Eric Owens