This seems too obvious to ask. If you’re reading this blog you’ve already established for yourself that you want to continue your education in the U.S. So why bother?
The truth is that you’ll have to explain your reasons for studying in the U.S. during most stages of the application process: you might be required to write an essay that answers this question; if you speak with admission counselors or attend admissions events abroad, you want to demonstrate you’ve done your research and are well-prepared; also, it’s very likely that the embassy officer will ask you this question during your visa interview. So you really need to have a solid answer.
So why on Earth do you want to study in the U.S.? Here are five common reasons why you might want to do that.
Worldwide recognition of your degree
This was a huge point for me. I wanted a degree that would be recognized anywhere in the world. An American degree gave me that flexibility, unlike a degree from my home country.
More opportunities (as a student and afterwards)
Depending on the field of study, American universities could have better facilities and more funding for research compared to universities in other countries. So this in itself is a great reason to study in the U.S. Once you’ve earned your degree, it’s likely that you’ll have more opportunities in your academic area if you have a degree from an American university. Because of that, American degrees tend to have more authority in my home country compared to degrees from local universities.
The field you want to pursue is not developed in your home country
Pretty straightforward. Maybe you want to become a nurse but the nursing programs are limited in your home country. Or you want to study film but don’t have a film academy back home (or it’s not particularly strong). It makes total sense to pursue a degree in the U.S. in cases like these.
When I learned that I’ll have two years as an undergraduate to “decide” about my major, I couldn’t be happier. I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to study, so I saw this as an opportunity to try different courses before committing myself to a degree. I loved this liberal arts approach to education, where people study other subjects besides their major. I couldn’t do that in my home country. Changing your mind in the second year of study is unheard of back home.
Maybe you want a college experience that is international in its nature and you just can’t get that at home. If you’re pursuing a field like international affairs or political science, this makes a lot of sense (although it would apply to many other fields, too!). Maybe coming to the U.S. is a way for you to get exposure to different cultures and a different lifestyle. The U.S. is a great place to do this.
I hope this helps you clarify your reasons for studying in the U.S. as an international student. Let me know your reason in the comments below!