Coming to North America for Study
More than 800,000 international students travel to North America to study each year. While most of them are a long way from home, there are countless long-term benefits to becoming more familiar with a different culture while learning from one of the best education systems in the world. In fact, the most recent World University Rankings from Times Higher Education, a publication dedicated to education news, featured 15 North American universities in their top 20.
North American universities and colleges feature modern facilities, flexible schedules, a wide range of programs and diverse classrooms adapted to your needs. For an international student, having a North American education is also tremendously helpful when seeking work as the degrees are valued worldwide, and a potential employer is likely to view your international experience in a positive light.
A broad education
Part of what gives a degree from a North American university or college such value is that it usually provides you with broad academic experience. You’ll be taking courses from your major or concentration, but also additional courses related to math, history, philosophy or literature, among others. Though these courses may not directly relate to your concentration, you’ll be surprised at how handy they’ll come in when you least expect it, especially in the context of the global economy. Simply put, opening your mind to new subjects and disciplines makes you a more well-rounded candidate and a better person. You’ll learn different ways of thinking, which in turn will affect how you tackle problems and challenges in your chosen area of study.
A flexible schedule and education
The North American education system offers flexible schedules that can be tailored to your needs, instead of the other way around. Most programs will offer classes in the morning, during the day and at night, so that you can build your schedule around the timeslots that work best for you. Moreover, the North American system is designed to allow students to be able to move from one university or college to the next, such as transferring to a university for a degree after completing two years of study at a community college. Most universities and colleges will recognize the credits that you’ve accumulated in another institution and will allow you to transfer into their program to complete your studies.
Getting a student visa
To study in the United States or Canada, you’ll need a student visa, which you should make sure to have with you before departing for North America. In most cases, trained personnel from your college or university will be there to supply you with the documents you need and will provide guidance throughout your application process. In order to receive your student visa, you’ll need to list your school on the correct forms as well as a passport valid for at least six months, your acceptance letter from a college or university and proof of payment. Lastly, once you arrive on campus, you should make sure to report immediately to the office for international students, as they will be able to help you with orientation, school news and any questions you may have.