If you aspire to be a part of this experience but are in a dilemma, here’s a list of the things to look forward to when studying abroad in the USA
USA is home to some of the world’s leading universities including the Ivy League universities, MIT, Stanford and more! High academic standards, superior faculty, cultural diversity, are some of the factors that have always attracted young minds to explore opportunities at these institutes. If you aspire to be a part of this experience but are in a dilemma, here’s a list of the things to look forward to when studying abroad in the USA:
Academic competence: Universities in the USA are a culmination of the best faulty across fields, dynamic curriculum, and rigour of study. You’ll be drawn by the momentum of studying, researching, working on projects and preparing for assessments that take place throughout the year. Students under the guidance of renowned professors and in the company of highly motivated peers scale up their performance to strive for excellence. Moreover, students are focused and trace their academic journey with a clear vision. Hence, the drive to achieve more is in the atmosphere.
Diversity and flexibility of courses: One very important aspect that distinguishes a US education system from other countries is that students can explore a broad range of academic interests and are not restricted only to their chosen major. To demonstrate:
• At an undergraduate level colleges allow you to double major, major in one subject and minor in another and also change your major provided you meet the department stipulations.
• At the postgraduate level students can chose electives not only in their department but also at other schools across the university.
Sometimes, students opt for a unique course to diversify their knowledge. For instance, if you are studying mathematics, you can pursue a course in music to understand the musical symmetry in the metre and pace through maths. Or you can study an offbeat course to link it up with something more mainstream; this could be the inception of a research idea. In short, you have the choice to decide what you want to do and how.
Different learning opportunities via research, training, teaching: The universities with their cutting edge technological infrastructure teamed with great resources offer a rich pastureland for research. Exclusive seminars and conferences or cross-disciplinary programs are organised frequently to facilitate exchange of ideas, knowledge transfer and sparking new lines of thought. Some courses allow for graduate students to step in as associate subject teachers to undergraduate students. It is said that teaching is the way to judge one’s own learning. Through teaching, international students not only consolidate their own learning but realise their strength and weakness in their respective subjects. Feedback from students is also an important resource to work on your expertise.
Life on campus: The seeds of some of the milestone innovations, enterprising collaborations in the world of business, science, music and art are sowed on campus. Students with unique talents from all parts of the world assemble on these campuses. You can imagine the creative potential when a group of youngsters with similar passion come together! Not only will you form strong bonds of friendship and fellowship with your peers but thoroughly enjoy your creative outings together. In fact, as part of the campus, every student ideally joins a few clubs of his/her interest. To top it all, imagine being addressed by Bill Gates, Stephen Spielberg or social media revolutionist Zuckerberg! A brush with these geniuses is within reach on the campus of your university.
Cross-cultural awareness: When you go to a different geographical location, you are naturally exposed to a multitude of new experiences in the form of lifestyle, food, people and culture. Whether on campus or outside you’ll interact with people from diverse cultures and communities, gaining insight into their ways of life, ethos, social norms and myriad other aspects. You’ll develop a broader perspective of the world, and in the process become more mature. The significant returns of cultural awareness are that you’ll start appreciating diversity, be tolerant, be impartial in your opinions and be non-judgemental. In the 21st century these are some of the attributes that are looked upon in a leader.
Opportunity to travel: If you have the inkling to be a globe trotter and love adventure, studying in a U.S university will satisfy your craving. You can look forward to some exciting excursions or go on a freewheeling trip independently. Furthermore, if you are keen on visiting some other destination in other states or out of the U.S apply for an exchange program. Above all, this is the best time to travel, explore and savour the spirit of adventure. If you are used to extensive travels, you’ll never feel clueless in an unknown place, have an amazing sense of direction and never be out of your comfort zone. The whole world would look like a familiar terrain.
Learn valuable life skills: We are confident only when we are sure of ourselves, and the feeling of self-reliance comes from trying things out independently, commit mistakes and learn from them. Study abroad in the U.S will prepare you to emerge out more confident and decisive. USA is all about being a responsible individual who will take charge of his/her own life. Furthermore, when you do everything on your own, you have to learn to be organised, think fast, work efficiently. And these are life skills that will help you perform stress-free on the personal front as well as professional.
Studying in a U.S university is an opportunity to know the world from close quarters, understand the global culture, learn from every experience and define your chosen path with confidence and clarity. The comprehensive and integrated approach to education equips students to emerge as confident, focused and matured individuals and as potential change-makers.
Stories by Grishma Nanavaty