Status of International Students in the United States of America
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A student’s visa was introduced in the United States of America in 1952. Since its introduction thousands and thousands of individuals from all over the globe have flocked to the education institutions in the United States of America. According to a recent survey the highest ever level of international students’ enrollment was in the academic year 2013-2014. The United States recorded a record breaking enrollment of 886,052 undergraduate and postgraduate students in institutions of higher learning across the country. The increase in these numbers was as a result of an increase in admissions of Chinese undergraduates.
The international student community in the country makes up nearly 4% of all university students in the country. According to a recent 2014 report Open Doors on international educational exchange, the number of overseas scholars has grown by over 72% since the year 2000. Furthermore, the report has indicated that the majority of the students are from China, India, and Korea. They constitute more than a half of all international students. Other states such as Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Kuwait also have a high number of students in the United States. Studying abroad refers to a persons’ choice to acquire education in another country. There are various reasons as to why individuals opt to study abroad, particularly in the United States. The experience and excitement is a contributing factor to one choosing to study abroad.
The aim of the following paper is to determine the fate of international students in the United States by investigating advantages and disadvantages of studying in the country.
Advantages of Studying in the United States of America
First, the US university life offers new opportunities, independence, and freedoms to gain new skills that will be used for the rest of one’s life. The new found freedoms are longed for by various youngsters whether it is an opportunity to buy their own groceries, do laundry, or many others the institutions provide. The United States of America facilitates these new opportunities through its educational institutions thus influencing a person’s choice.
Second, the USA offers a wide variety of institutions where one is able to access education. The country has over 4,500 universities offering undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. The educational facilities offer programs which are relevant and suitable for various career choices. Moreover the United States is home to a number of highly accredited institutions in the world.
Third, American institutions of higher learning are well known for their vibrant life in the campus. The extra-curricular activities, for instance, American football, volunteer clubs, student government, and other clubs introduce an individual to an endless exciting experiences. Engagements in these extracurricular activities ends up shaping a person’s life and experiences on campus (Valdez 39).
Fourth, the universities and other foreign bodies offer scholarship funds for international students, thus making their stay as comfortable as they can. The funds are offered on the basis of merit. An individual can access them due to financial needs, achievements in extracurricular activities, personal characteristics such as gender, country of origin, field, and talent. Moreover, more than 21% of foreign students from the open door initiative are beneficiaries of funding.
Besides, the US educational institutions offer flexibility of academic interests. For instance, they offer opportunities for a person to explore various academic disciplines before finally choosing a major. The flexibility allows one to pursue two degrees at the same time.
Moreover, the United States educational system is renowned all over the world and accredited in most job markets. Studying in the States offers an opportunity to stand out in the job market, thus the curriculum vitae is strengthened and it also offers an opportunity to internationalize. (Lumby and Foskett 102).Studying in the United States offers an increased chance of getting employed. Besides, an individual gets new friends, thus building relationships that may be used in the near future.
Furthermore, most people regard the country as the ultimate land of opportunities thus many of them dream of living and working in the United States of America. Due to its geographical position and history, various cultures are integrated in the States. Additionally the US offers a rare opportunity for a foreign student to learn and experience different cultures of the world. The new trend in the world is globalization, thus the United States of America offers one the opportunity to interact with different cultures and improve communication skills (Urban and Palmer 166).
Despite the advantages there are a number of challenges that are experienced by international students in the United States
Disadvantages of Studying in the United States of America
An international student may face financial challenges when studying in the USA. First, University education is really expensive in the United States both to citizens and foreigners. Despite financial aid given to foreign students there is quite a number of financial challenges they may experience. For instance, there are regulations that govern foreign students working in the United States, thus it becomes difficult for them to earn supplementary income, which adds to financial constraints.
Second, social issues comprise another problem faced by international students. People in the United States have different social practices, in which an individual may experience social exclusion. There are different social groups in the United States that led to the development of class systems, based on sexism, racism, and other ills in the society. Many of international students suffer from the problem of racism, because discrimination in american institutions is a common phenomenon. There has also been an incident when a university professor accredited the failure of his class to foreign students. He regarded them as being stupid, which led to his termination. Various individuals hold similar opinions that have resulted in international students being discriminated against.
Third, students may encounter cultural challenges. Culture refers to a certain groups or society’s way of life. Culture regulates human society thus the American culture is different from other cultures. Foreign students experience cultural shocks due to the diversity of cultures. For instance, in Japan people bow when greeting each other. Obviously, that is not the case in the American culture which creates cultural shock. This also concerns certain types of food, because certain cultures permit certain kinds foods while prohibiting others (Coelho 25).
Besides, there are various academic challenges for international students. For some of them integration is difficult, as well as getting accustomed to the education system in the United States. Furthermore, the academic system may be challenging, especially to a student whose native language is not Englsh. Language barrier and classroom expectations are problems experienced by international students in the United States. (Biddle, Good, and Goodson 34)
Moreover, studying abroad results in physical movement of people, so it is common for them to experience climate changes. There are different climatic seasons in the United States: winter, summer, spring, and autumn. International students take time to get acquainted with the climatic seasons that are challenging to them.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to being an international student in the United States. The biggest benefit is choice due to the availability of a range of institutions, flexibility of the education system, new platforms for social integration, and learning opportunities. The advantages have helped various individuals to be more accustomed to dynamics of the world. The country also provides rare and necessary opportunities for international students. However, despite the advantages there are also drawbacks associated with becoming an international student in the United States of America. The individual is subjected to social, financial, cultural, and climatic challenges. The American population is not very receptive to foreigners which results in social exclusion. Social exclusion results in various ills of society, leading to racism and ethnicity discrimination of international students. The changes present various psychological and physical challenges to foreign students. However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, which is evidenced by the yearly increase of foreign students in academic institutions. Since 2000 the international student community increased by 72 percent with a record breaking intake in academic year 2013-2014. Moreover, the country is host to more than 4.5 million international students, which is more than any other country in the world. The status of there being an international student in the United States is a positive one due to recent developments.