American institutions are renowned for their diverse teaching skills which attract international students for higher education. As of 2012, there was a 31% increase in international students in the US colleges and universities compared to last decade. Likewise, an increase in new international students enrolling for the first time in fall 2012, confirms that the growth trend will continue. Precisely 64% of international students in the US are from Asia. The main contributors being China and India. Below are the reasons why students resort to the US for higher education.
The Education System
The American style of higher-education is popular world-over and many countries like Germany, Netherlands and Japan are adopting the American-university style of higher education. At the undergraduate level, excellent program options are available in usual subjects as well as specialized fields. At the graduate and doctoral level, students are endowed with the opportunity to work with and learn from premium researchers in the world. Students graduating from American institutions are recognized throughout the world for their academic standards. The American education system lays equal prominence in constructing a strong theoretical base with practical prominence and employment specific skill building. Graduate level international students gain experience in research and teaching through many available assistantships. These assistantships help students finance their courses and the practical experience is particularly useful for their career.
The education system provides many choices within a program and the opportunity to modify majors or select multiple specializations. At an advanced stage of an undergraduate program, a student can alter the program to meet detailed career objective. At the graduate level a student can create their own timetable and complete courses at ease within the stipulated time frame.
Though admission procedures vary from one university to the next, most decide admission based on certain criteria, counting a student's high school course of study, high school Grade Point Average (GPA), contribution in extracurricular activities, SAT or American College Testing (ACT) scores, a written essay followed by a personal interview.
Students pursuing a Bachelor's degree are called "undergraduates” and students pursuing a Master's or Doctoral degree are called "graduate students." The term "going to school" or "going to college," means the student is attending university. The term “major” means the field of study. The majority of universities provide undergraduate students liberal education, meaning students are required to take courses across several disciplines before they specialize in a major field of study.
At the university level, nearly all courses are one semester long and each course is assigned a set of credit hours. Credit hours are typically based on the time spent in a class each week. Majority of courses are 3 credits. On the other hand, some courses are 1, 2, 4 or 5 credits. All programs require students to complete a minimum number of credit hours before graduation. Majority of American programs don’t require students to write a final thesis. There are several criteria when it comes to graduate admission. Apart from completing a Bachelor's degree, coursework and GPA, students are likely to write an essay as part of their application. Most graduate programs require students to possess a minimum score in the Graduate Record Examination
(GRE). A final thesis is necessary for most graduate programs. Doctoral students take courses until they have earned adequate credit hours to attempt their qualifying exams, which are generally taken over several days and often consists of both a written and an oral test. Doctoral students after clearing their exams are advanced to candidacy and can commence writing their dissertation. Before the degree is awarded, the finished dissertation must be orally defended before the student’s staff committee.
Working On and Off Campus
The F1 Visa limits students allowing them to work a total of 20 hours a week on and off-campus, maintaining full-time status while attending school. Work will be allotted to students by student aide, restricting freshmen to work off-campus. Sophomores and seniors are allowed to work off-campus but only at places the university has instructed to work. Working past 20 hours a week will affect your credits leading to deportation and the ability to return.
Graduate level international students can gain experience in research and teaching through many available assistantships. These assistantships help students finance their courses and the practical experience is particularly useful for their career.
Credibility of Institutions
American institutions have support systems to help students fine-tune contentedly to life in America. The International Student Office at each institution aids students to accustom to the new cultural environment. Support is obtainable throughout the year in the form of orientation programs to support with academic writing and structuring résumés as students ready themselves to graduate. American institutions offer a varied option of educational, cultural and athletic activities to students. These activities accent the educational experience and also help students socialize. Also, some American institutions have cricket clubs in addition to sorority houses, fraternity houses and ethnic clubs.
Education and experience from an American institution has a good reputation in the international job market. American education noticeably develops a student’s long-term career aspirations and the experience builds significant logic, confidence and cross cultural skills and all of these qualities are highly appreciated by employers worldwide.
Good research and funding have made American institutions to be the world's most esteemed, making them predominantly attractive to international students in the pursuit of excellent education.
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