There are many reasons why a student might consider studying in the United States. The U.S. is one of the largest countries in the world, encompassing four different time zones, with fifty states the size, on average, of a European country, climates of all kinds, and extraordinary natural beauty. The U.S. maintains fifty-nine breathtaking national parks, wherein the natural beauty of the country is preserved. This country was founded on the promise of freedom: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of mobility, among others. In the U.S., this freedom of mobility is more commonly called “The American Dream.” It maintains that hard work and dedication can lead anyone to success. Indeed, there are many advantages to coming to the U.S., but why would a prospective student want to study there?
One significant reason a student may consider studying in the United States is to improve his or her English. Although the United States has no designated official language, the vast majority of the people who live there speak English fluently, so it is the perfect place for someone seeking to live fully immersed in the language. English is often the language of business, commerce, and diplomacy world-wide, so those with experience living and studying in the U.S and a high proficiency in English are considered more qualified in the global job market.
“The United States … is the perfect place for someone seeking to live fully immersed in the language”
The United States quite possibly offers the best higher education in the world. According to the Washington Post, which cited an annual report issued by the Institute of International Education, 819,644 international students came to U.S. colleges and universities during the 2012-2013 academic year — marking a 7% increase from the previous year. Why are more students choosing to study abroad in the United States? There are several characteristics of higher education in the U.S. that distinguish it as a truly unique system.
Higher education is decentralized in the United States, setting it apart from every other country in the world. Largely unrestricted by government influence, each college and university essentially has the freedom to teach its students whatever and however it chooses. This great diversity in educational approaches allows U.S. institutions of higher education to accommodate all manner of students, catering to their specific interests and learning styles. There are over 4,000 accredited colleges and universities in the country. Taking that into consideration, there is bound to be a perfectly-suited school for every kind of student, and students are encouraged to do a college search to look for the university that best suits them. When a student finds such a school, we call it “The Right Fit.”
“Students … have the freedom to customize their degrees”
In addition to being able to select the ideal institution for themselves, students in the United States have the freedom to customize their degrees, especially if they are attending a liberal arts school. This being said, there are many advantages to studying the liberal arts. Although certain courses are required for any given major, the curriculum can be extremely interdisciplinary; students have a lot of flexibility in choosing most of their classes. This flexibility in the curriculum empowers students with the ability to easily explore different majors if they develop an interest in another field of study.
In this way, the U.S. is unlike other countries where a student chooses an educational track sometimes as early as primary school, and changing the track, or later the major, is very difficult. In the U.S., it is unnecessary for one to change his or her major due to the discovery of an interest in another discipline. Declaring a minor is quite common among college students in the United States. A minor is a certain number of identified classes (usually five) clustered around a certain area of study. For example, Truman offers 48 majors and 59 minors, and the majority of students have both a major and a minor. Having a minor is useful for a student who either wants to pursue a casual interest or to expand upon his or her major with knowledge in a complementary discipline. An example would be a student majoring in Communication with minors in both Spanish and International Relations. This constellation of academic accomplishments would prepare the student to work effectively with the neighboring countries in Latin America and with the growing Spanish-speaking population in the United States.
“International students offer fresh perspectives about the world”
The United States has a lot to offer students from all over the world, and these same students have just as much to offer higher education in this country. When international students attend U.S. colleges and universities, they provide opportunities for domestic and other international students to learn about cultures, traditions, and beliefs different from their own. International students offer fresh perspectives about the world and about life, in general. In our experience, the more international students who become involved in U.S. higher education, the better the system becomes for all future international students.