Honduras
Education

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-03-11

CENTRAL AMERICA  

Number of students studying abroad per UNESCO Student Mobility Statistics: 

Percent of Population under 24 years of age per CIA World Factbook: 

Place of Origin 

Academic Year 2018/19 

Undergraduate 

Graduate 

Non-degree 

OPT 

Costa Rica 

1,157 

563 

392 

39 

163 

El Salvador 

1,566 

1,175 

194 

72 

125 

Guatemala 

1,192 

765 

244 

34 

149 

Honduras 

2,191 

1,480 

389 

74 

248 

Nicaragua 

443 

235 

99 

29 

46 

Belize 

375 

225 

85 

58 

TOTAL 

6,924 

4,443 

1,403 

255 

789 

Source Open Doors Report 

The United States is a leading destination for international students from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. The number of Central Americans enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions reached a total of 6,924 during the 2018/19 academic year, representing a 2.1% increase over the previous year. Among the top receiving States are: Texas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, California, New York, and Virginia. OVERVIEW 

Number of International Students Per Country and Academic Level: 


Geographic proximity Key reasons why Central American students choose U.S. Higher Education Institutions: Source: 2018/2019 Open Doors Report 

  • High quality education system 
  • Wide variety of institutions and higher education programs 
  • Good and diverse living environments; possibility of living with relatives while studying 
  • Availability of intensive and short English Programs to learn or improve English skills 

In addition, studying abroad represents an opportunity to be more competitive and increases the possibility for better employment in national or multinational corporations. Among other country destinations hosting students from Central America are Spain, Argentina, Germany, France, Canada, Chile, and Brazil.  

Central Americans in general are interested in scholarships and financial aid when evaluating universities. Community College degrees represent an opportunity due to lower tuition fees and simplified application procedures. 

Undergraduate programs are preferred, followed by graduate studies. English language programs have strong potential as there is low to moderate English proficiency in most of the region. Although Costa Rica has a comprehensive program to become a bilingual country, it is ranked number 30 in the 2019 EF English Proficiency Index (which evaluates the English skills of 100 countries worldwide), followed by Guatemala in position 48.  

According to the 2019 Open Doors Report, a total of 406 students from Central America participated in Intensive English Programs in the United States, including 153 from Honduras followed by El Salvador (73), Guatemala (61), Costa Rica (69), and Nicaragua (39). 

SUB-SECTORS 

Central American students are primarily attracted to the following degree programs in the U.S.: 

  • Universities and Community Colleges with tuition fees lower than $20,000 
  • English Language Programs (from 1 month up to 1 year) for students, teachers, and adults 
  • Summer camps 
  • Undergraduate, Graduate and Master Programs 
  • Online programs 

In 2019, El Salvador ranked 24th among the top 25 places of origin of international students attending Associate’s Colleges. 

Among the top fields of study and majors are Business, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), and Social Sciences. 

OPPORTUNITIES 

The “100,000 Strong in the Americas” Initiative represents an opportunity to increase the number of exchange students between Central America and the United States. All U.S. Embassies and Education USA offices in the region are committed to work with the business community to promote professional development and increase the number of students studying in the U.S. Through grants competitions, the 100K Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund provides funds for innovative partnerships between U.S. and Latin American and Caribbean institutions of higher education.   

In July 2017, Honduras launched the government sponsored Presidential Program for International Scholarships “Honduras 20/20,” aimed at supporting graduate studies abroad for students with academic excellence. The program gives priority to areas under the economic development program “Honduras 2020,” which seeks to generate 600,000 new jobs and sharply boost exports by expanding and adding value to key investment sectors including textiles, manufacturing, tourism, and business services. In addition, Costa Rica has available five $40,000 grants for community colleges in the U.S. on students’ interest to start a STEM career. 

To enter the Central American market, it is highly recommended for U.S. universities, community colleges and/or technical institutions to: 

  • Seek partnerships or agreements with public or private universities to facilitate exchange programs for students and professors, recognition of credits and/or dual certification.  
  • Travel to the market to meet face to face with school counselors, parents, and higher education institution officers. 
  • Participate in local recruitment campaigns, fairs, trade missions, and outreach events in high schools, public venues, and universities. 
  • Provide in depth information about programs and the application processes 
  • Describe opportunities of scholarships and financial aid  
  • Provide information on the process to obtain a U.S. student visa  
     

It is preferred that all marketing material and program information be available in Spanish. 

EVENTS 

Central America Virtual Education Fair (VEF) 2020 

Date: March 5, 2020 

Locations: El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua 

For additional country-specific information, please reach out the U.S. Commercial Service contacts below for a list of events/activities in each location. 

RESOURCES 

Industry and Analysis, Office of Supply Chain, Professional & Business Services: https://www.trade.gov/professional-and-business-services 
EducationUSA (https://educationusa.state.gov/) 

U.S. COMMERCIAL SERVICE CONTACTS 

Roy Fernandez, Commercial Specialist 

U.S. Commercial Service – San Jose, Costa Rica 

roy.fernandez@trade.gov   

+506 2519 2263 

 

Lidia Sosa, Senior Commercial Specialist 

U.S. Commercial Service – San Salvador, El Salvador 

lidia.sosa@trade.gov 

+503 2501 2999, ext. 3144 

 

Antonio Prieto, Senior Commercial Specialist 

U.S. Commercial Service – Guatemala City, Guatemala 

antonio.prieto@trade.gov 

+502 2326 4310 

 

Rossana Lobo, Senior Commercial Specialist 

U.S. Commercial Service – Tegucigalpa, Honduras 

rossana.lobo@trade.gov 

+504 2236 9320, ext. 4842 

 Lilliam Baez, Economic Commercial Specialist  

Economic Commercial Section – Managua, Nicaragua 

BaezLAU@state.gov  

+505 22527100, ext. 7371