It is a common cliché that you should explore the world while you're young. Study Abroad, Mission Trips, Peace Corps and many other programs provide young adults this opportunity, and the popularity of these programs shows there is clear interest, yet when applying for university oftentimes students find themselves locked into a US based mind-set. It's time to break that habit and provide the greatest range of options when looking for colleges!
Why not America?
Did you know that of QS's Top 15 best Universities, eight of them lie outside of the United States? (World College Rankings) And of those, six are English-speaking universities. Schools such as Oxford, Cambridge, LSE and many more are just as accessible to American applicants through the Common App. Is the idea of an ocean too far away for you? Some of North America's top universities such as McGill and University of Toronto are in the top 50 and don't require a quick jaunt across the pond. The quality of these universities doesn't dwindle just because they are outside the United States, and the experience might be even greater. Many International Schools such as The University of St. Andrews or London Business School pride themselves as being International Schools first, drawing a large international population.
Diverse student bodies and staff don't just contribute to an interesting and authentic college experience, the diverse nature of international schools often open many post-college doors and job opportunities. While in American colleges a large portion of students end up heading to New York, Los Angeles or Washington DC for their careers, International Colleges bring a melting pot of networking opportunities, as well as show a job applicants willingness to try new experiences. Don't count Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Berlin and many others out of the equation for your post college job search.
International Schools Want You!
Let's face it; Universities are looking for your money. International Schools are no exception, however American students have a leg up in countries such as The United Kingdom. With citizens paying far less for college, UK Schools embrace international students due to their paying of full tuition. Don't let those words full tuition turn you off, however. At the University of Cambridge, a degree that is comparable to any Ivy League school costs slightly less than attending an out of State, State School. Going to an International School doesn't eliminate your ability to apply for FAFSA either. The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program was created specifically for Americans studying at an international institution and can help cover costs just as FAFSA would for an American College.
Beyond just UK Schools, many countries around the world are seeking American Students. Singapore, home to two of the world's top universities is looking for an injection of youth to their workforce, and Germany recently ditched tuition fees all together for US Students studying in Germany as long as they are willing to learn German and work in a German based company for a year after their degree is finished (Classes are still taught in English).
In an ever-connecting world, diverse backgrounds and willingness to leave one's comfort zone is becoming a premium. University is often the first step many young individuals take into this brave new world. With so many opportunities for higher education, why limit yourself just to The United States. Head over to Synocate to learn more about this process and read other posts about admissions!