It is a dream of every student to go abroad for higher education. Studying abroad provides the opportunity for students to polish their skills and make the most of their time. However, this process is not a walk in the park.
To make this transition successful, you need to seek the right approach. Just because your friends or your siblings had an amazing experience in a foreign land does not mean that you should get complacent and do things in haste.
The United States of America is one of the most sought-after destinations for foreign education. For international students, America is considered to be one of the best places to study and work.
So if you are in a dilemma of whether or not you should consider America as your destination for higher education, you should weigh in the following pros and cons:
The cultural change is among the first things that you experience in America. The American society introduces you to a different lifestyle, food, music and many other things. You will learn to adapt to a lot of things from this new society which will enrich you as a person.
The United States is comprised of 50 states that accommodate a plurality of people from various ethnic communities, so you can imagine the cultural diversity in terms of food, social norms, and lifestyle. Being in American society can widen your knowledge of the people and culture around the world.
- Make New Friends
If you are the kind of person who likes to make new friends, then you’ll find Americans the easiest people to make a friendship. In American society, you can easily make new friends and share their experiences. Having a diverse range of friends is a plus point when you are traveling to other countries.
- Learn New Languages
If you are not familiar with English, you will get to learn English. But, learning other new languages is also a charm. The best way to practice is to talk to native speakers and you will ace it in no time. By learning other languages like Spanish or Mandarin will help you in impressing people more.
- Another Traveling Base
Just because you are attending university, it doesn’t mean that you will not take weekend trips. You will be able to travel to your new home, and to the places that always seemed like a dream. Taking road trips around the states is the best idea.
There will not be just Christmas for you to enjoy but all the other festivities and New Year in US style. You can dance at Cinco de Mayo, watch fireworks on the Fourth of July and many other days to enjoy.
- Flexibility Of Education
As US education system is one of the most diverse systems in the world. Students have unlimited choices to choose from. The US universities let you experiment with different courses, this diversification allows you to gain a different perspective and you can easily avoid spending money on something you don’t wish to study.
Also, US education focuses on the development of an individual in 360 degrees. If you have any special talent, that will be recognized and nurtured by encouraging you to participate in extra-curricular activities, etc.
- Global Recognition
This is indeed a fact that US universities are highly regarding around the globe. In fact, candidates with a simple diploma from the US have better chance to be picked by employers.
- Diversity As A Negative Aspect
When talking about diversity about knowledge, each state follows a different curriculum of courses creating students of varying standards of education. The diversity creates a gap in the education and knowledge in general.
- Tuition Fees
No wonder people dream of USA and drop the idea immediately when they think of the tuition fees. This is one of the major setbacks of US education; the fees are among the highest in the world, reaching up to $50,000 per year.
- Holistic Admission Process
This is the part where most of the heart breaks. The holistic admission process, if compared to other countries. The admission process is complicated and students need to have more than good academic record to get into top universities.
Apart from studies, they need participation in competitions and contests as well. Other than that, in order to be eligible for their programs, you need to take tests as SAT, ACT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, TOEFL or IELTS, which are not always available in other countries or online.
- Social Benefits
Being an international student in the US doesn’t get you much except the experience and degree. Programs like social security, healthcare of other types of benefits offer are not for them. In order to obtain a social security, you need to have a social security number (SSN), which is issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In short, you need to either be patient or just let go of the dream of SSN. Each university offers its own healthcare plans which may vary in standard or in the provided services.
- Homesickness And Loneliness
This is a natural thing that every student would suffer through. Being in a different country, with no parents or siblings or real friends around can certainly make anyone miss their life. Luckily, homesickness is manageable these days because of apps like Skype and FaceTime.
Also, being in a foreign country can take you in an isolation mode. If you don’t get to meet people or make friends then it can hit you hard but then you need to make efforts to avoid the loneliness.
From university application from to flights, accommodation, travel and living costs. You need to have a budget for your expenses. It can be tricky in a foreign land to make the both ends meet.