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Studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made. I learn new things every day, and not just in the classroom....
Meet David Paine
at Minnesota State University Mankato
There are many benefits to studying in the US, but don't just take our word for it! Each summer we survey UK students before they go over. Here are the top reasons they tell us they've chosen to study in the US.
1. Choose from the wide range of universities on offer: There are over 4,500 US universities offering undergraduate degrees. With such a wide range of universities and degrees on offer, there is bound to be one that is a great fit for you!
2. Experience American college life: US universities are known for their vibrant campus life. Cheer your university's football (American that is) team to victory or play intramural sports yourself. Join a club - there are hundreds to choose from. Become a leader in student government, or write for the university newspaper. Act or sing in the campus arts programme or volunteer in the community. There are so many ways to get involved in American college life.
3. Have the flexibility to explore your academic interests before choosing your major: Undergraduate degrees in the US are quite flexible. You can apply to US universities as "undecided" about your major (field of study). Under the "liberal arts philosophy", you will take classes from a variety of subjects during the first 1 - 2 years before specialising in your major field. Students who already know what they want to study can complete a "double major", degrees in two academic fields often completed within the normal four years of study. Students may also earn a minor qualification for completing 3-5 classes in one field.
4. Take advantage of funding opportunities: Many students are able to fund their studies through scholarships from US universities and external funding bodies. In fact, about 21% of international students report US universities as their primary source of funding for 2014-15 (Open Doors 2015). Scholarships are often offered to students based on merit, extracurricular achievement, financial need, talent and/or personal characteristics, such as country of origin, field, gender or ethnicity. If you look hard enough, there is a scholarship out there for you!
5. Internationalise and strengthen your CV: Studying and working abroad can make you stand out in the job market when you return to the UK. According to a Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) survey of 230 UK companies, one in three employers valued job applicants with international study experience, while 65% of employers favoured applicants with overseas work experience. International students in the US have the opportunity to gain work experience during their studies and to work in the US for up to one year after graduation on the Optional Practical Training scheme. Students in the sciences and engineering stay on for up to two years.
6. Travel in the US and learn about another culture: The US spans six time zones and has a great diversity in geography and culture. Long university summer holidays and programmes organised by the international students office, such as holiday trips and host family schemes, offer students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the US and immerse themselves in another culture.
Some pretty famous people have studied abroad - Check out the Facebook page - Famous People Who Studied Abroad to see if your favourite celebrity or political role model have completed part or all of their degree abroad.
Hear from the experts! Brooke Cutler, Director of International Admissions at the University of South Florida, has compiled her top 4 reasons 10,191 Britons chose to study in the US!
Learn about the Sutton Trust US Programme, which provides bright, state school students a taste of life at an American university. The initiative is centred on a one-week summer school in the US with introductory events and application support in the UK before and after.