Why International Students Choose to Study in USA

Why International Students choose to Study in US ? Money ?

In Decide MS - MBA in US by Kumar8 Comments

I still remember over a decade ago, when I was planning to study abroad, America was my first choice. I spoke to many for advice at that time, they all suggested that US is the place to be. In fact, many other countries offer more or less same quality of education and infrastructure, but still the perception of US as the destination for higher education and quality of life after education is quite high.  Many of my friends studied and lived in countries like Australia, Switzerland, Ireland, etc…Eventually, most of them ended up moving to America…Let me share my thoughts on why international students choose to go to America to study Abroad.

International Students Enrollment Trends in US

America has been able to consistently attract international students for decades, nothing speaks better than the graph below that has the trends captured by IEE Open Doors Enrollment Trends Report .

There were about 975,000 international students in US schools in 2014-15, just mind boggling!

The big question that comes to anyone’s mind is why is it the place for international students? Is it just the education and research in America or more than that?  If you look at the work visa options for international students like H1B visa, after completing their Masters or Bachelors, they have become less favorable in last few years…after graduation, students have to put all their eggs in the basket of luck and hope they get picked in the H1B visa lottery to continue working in US.  Despite this H1B lottery, the enrollment growth of international students in US schools increased by about 10% in 2014-15.  Below is a quite interesting graph that shows that US is still the place to be for international students.

International Students go to US to study abroad Trends

What is that drives International Students to America ? Education ? Jobs ? Freedom ? Money ?

In my view, there are few things that drive international students to study in US. Let’s look at each of them.

Higher Education System and Research : As a baseline with other developed countries, US offers very high quality education and infrastructure for research…You may read Bachelors, Masters education system in US vs India to understand more. Many of the smart students from top universities across the globe prefer to study in Ivy League schools or top 10 schools in US to fulfil their dreams of research and career aspirations…The key aspect to consider is that US education system gives them that infrastructure and support to shine and grow in their area of interest. Even if you are a mediocre student and choose to study in a low key school that is either state funded or private, you still get to experience some of the best education experience ranging from academics to student life activities.

Life as a student – Freedom:  The freedom that you get as a student to move around the large country and be the way you want is something that many thrive for. I still remember, when I was doing MS, we did a non-stop 31 hour drive from Houston to Miami…This cannot be even dreamt in smaller countries around the world.  Besides the freedom to move around and experience various weather conditions, exploring nature, etc…The freedom to be the way you want and express yourself either the way you dress or the way you express yourself is something that many thrive for. You can have a lifestyle that suits you…this is something that cannot be dreamed for many in their home countries due to various social circumstances…Some feel like they are a bird just let out of a cage to explore the world…

Career Opportunities during and after higher Education in US: One of the things that many students look for is their career prospects after higher education either BS or MS/MBA.  If you plan to make your career in Software products arena, Silicon Valley is the place to be for you to grow…if you want to be in banking and finance, New York City is the place to be…depending on what you aspire in career, America provides the opportunity for you to grow in your career. It is just the size of market and the great companies that make it lucrative for students to choose US for their education and use the same to build their career after that.  Many good brands have their headquarters in US and many aspire to work there as the decisions and strategy happens in those places… The experience gained in US will be of great value to anyone in their home countries, if they plan to return back…

Make Money !  Save more money : This is probably one of the most common reasons that many students from developing countries in Asia or Africa  would state as their reasons for studying in US. A dollar saved in US will be of more value in their home country.   Many students from these countries embark on their journey to study in US from middle class families with the American dream to live a decent life in US and save as much amount of money in short amount of time, buy a home or land in their home country and think about returning once they have some level of financial stability in home country…very few return, but that’s the idea one starts with when they plan to study…

Pride, Respect in Society and Family :  This may sound kind of strange for some, but the irony of life is that a good number of students pursue higher education in US, just for pride and respect in their family and society.  I know many students, who are just doing it for the heck of having a tag on their head that tells, I also studied in US…it is the limelight they want to have in their particular family or social circles they are in…

These are some of reasons that I can think of why so many students plan to pursue higher education in US… What do you think that drives so many students to study in US ?  Share your thoughts.

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Comments ( 8 )

  1. Sulthan Ahmed

    Girl friends bro… The girl who rejected me for 10 years in India, had no choice or any other reason accepted my proposal and we living together now.

  2. San Man

    They can study…but they wont find Respect in America. They are having a wet dream. It is good in many ways….definitely but be wary of the racist Americans in the whole of America. They throw the US constitution in the trash can and do whatever they want including treating you like a dirty scumbag. Where are immigrants safer? In Northeast and big cities where economy and innovation and research takes place and they are with educated peers from America and also all over the world. Thats usually on the edges of America..not in the heartland where all the good ol boys(whites) run to get away from the darkies ha ha ha and the competition.

      1. San Man

        It is happening. You cant call piss rain can you??? You have to call it as it is. Take it or leave it. Dont need your stamp of approval.

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