To help you determine if you should study in the United States post-pandemic, there are three simple questions you can ask yourself and if you say ‘yes’ to all three, then you should study in the U.S.
But if you answer ‘no’ to just one of the questions, then you need to evaluate what is the best decision for you.
The three questions to ask yourself post-pandemic if you should study in the United States are: Are you passionate? Do you ask questions? Do you absolutely need a degree to do what you want to do?
Let me explain why these questions are so important…especially in a post-pandemic world.
Post-Pandemic Pressure on Higher Education
I recently watched a webinar hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education that included a panel of university leaders from well-known, reputable institutions around the world, such as the University of Oxford, the University of Glasgow, Georgetown University, and the University of California-Irvine.
The topic discussed was “trust in higher education” and how the pandemic has made people less trusting of universities and colleges for a variety of reasons.
Professors were forced to push all content online quickly and not given time to create high-quality learning experiences
If all classes are being taught online, then why should students pay the same amount for tuition?
Are students really gaining valuable knowledge and skills in an online experience?
Are universities and colleges making decisions based on the welfare of the students or for the sake of budgets and operations?
These are just a few examples of questions the panel addressed. But the truth is these are questions people started to ask many years ago. There has been a resurgence of really analyzing the return on investment (ROI) when it comes to earning a degree.
The COVID-19 pandemic has just moved all of these questions and concerns right to the center stage and added more pressure on higher education institutions to deliver education more efficiently and effectively. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic, these questions will still remain.
And that’s OK. You should be asking these questions…along with three very important questions any prospective international student should be asking before jumping on the next plan to the USA.
Is Studying In The USA Right For Me?
International Student Voice (ISV) works with many students from around the world who have to make a costly, life-altering decision….should I come to the USA to pursue a degree?
I have three questions to help you determine if you should come to the USA to study post-pandemic. It started with a very important, foundational question and if you answer yes, then you can move to the next question.
Are you passionate?
Here is the truth: You are going to face obstacles in the USA you would never face staying in your home country. Some are obstacles that are pretty self-explanatory, such as adjusting to a new time zone, learning to communicate and learn in a new language, and making new friends.
But what about when a family member gets sick and you can’t travel back home?
How are you going to feel when you see all your friends back home posting photos on Instagram and you’re not there?
When you have a problem and perhaps can’t explain how you’re feeling in English?
These are just a few examples that may not sound like a big deal now but can be extremely emotional and frustrating when you actually experience them. So are you passionate enough about what you want to accomplish…that you are willing to make these sacrifices?
If you answered yes, let’s move to the next question.
Do you ask questions?
This is probably the single most important skill set someone can have, especially if you decide to live and study in another country.
Feeling comfortable asking questions can mean the difference between preparing yourself for success or letting yourself face unnecessary disappointment. This is a skill that I see even U.S. American students lacking, so don’t feel too terrible if you hesitate to ask questions.
But the truth is: No one will be there to ask questions for you, so it’s really up to you to carefully read and listen to everything around you and be able to think critically…perhaps even think a few steps ahead.
A perfect example of thinking ahead comes to immigration-related regulations. International students need to follow the rules set by the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) in order to remain legally in the country.
As an international student, you will receive a lot of information about immigration. Some questions you can ask yourself:
Is this person providing this information a credible source?
Why are they providing me this information?
Do I fully understand what they are telling me? If not, what is causing confusion?
If you feel comfortable asking questions, or think you would be comfortable asking questions, then let’s move on to the most important question to help you decide if you should study in the USA.
Do you absolutely need to study in the USA…or even need a degree…to do what you want to do?
The pandemic has put a lot of pressure on higher education institutions in the United States to evaluate how they deliver education and the quality of knowledge students gain. Especially considering the cost of education, particularly for international students.
If you’ve started researching universities in the USA already, you will see it costs significantly more for international students and that is why International Student Voice is dedicated to sharing universities and colleges that are not only a good fit for you, but are also high quality and affordable.
But the truth is: We are taught “in order to be successful, you must go to a university”. Well, for some that may be the case. But for others, it’s something they need to think critically about.
And if you want to attend a university or college, you really need to think about your return on investment (ROI).
Now some may say that the ROI is you becoming a better person, a more knowledgable person. Yes, that is true. But you can still better yourself without drowning in absurd amounts of debt.
You need to have a pretty good idea of what your end goal is before you decide if higher education is the best way to achieve your goal. And in order to do that…what are you passionate about? And are you comfortable asking questions?
USA can be the land of opportunities…
Believe me, I want more students to come to the USA to study.
I want you to be able to advance your knowledge and achieve your dreams. I also want you to experience and learn about the diversity of U.S. American culture, connect with American students….these interactions really blossom diplomacy.
But having someone come to the USA, not have a good experience, and collect a huge amount of debt is not the U.S. experience I want them to have.
If you’re ready to ask questions and really explore if coming to the USA to study is the best choice for you, our team at International Student Voice is ready to help.
Carrie Circosta, CEO International Student Voice firstname.lastname@example.org