Grad school is challenging. But knowing where to study – that much is easy
Grad school is challenging. But knowing where you should study – that much is easy. When it comes to higher education, most international students set their sights on graduate programs in the U.S. and Canada. Here’s why:
U.S. and Canadian universities offer the most highly regarded graduate programs available. Worldwide, employers recognize American and Canadian degrees as proof of first-rate scholarship. U.S. and Canadian graduate schools invest more money in each student’s educational experience, which translates into larger libraries, superior facilities, more advanced equipment, and renowned instructors.
Need more reasons to research the graduate programs in the U.S. and Canada?
· English Language Immersion
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably facile enough to comprehend a fair amount of English. But what about euphemisms, idioms, and regional slang? American English and Canadian English are full of conversational nuance that can’t be learned from non-native speakers.
In the U.S. and Canada, even out-of-class activities are educational, because you’ll be practicing your English during social events and daily errands. Your accent will improve, and your ability to comprehend dialects will grow. If you plan to work in business or technology, you’ll definitely want to focus your graduate applications on U.S. and Canada programs, where the English language instruction is nonstop.
· Soft Skill Training
Hard skills and cognitive abilities are quantifiable; you can list them on a resume, or measure them with a test score. Soft skills are more elusive. And for some careers – like law and business – they may be more highly valued. Unfortunately, in many countries, students learn by rote and captive note-taking. These students often fail to develop the kind of critical thinking habits and entrepreneurial vision that define high level success.
In American graduate programs, you’ll find that course work revolves around highly-socialized, collaborative learning. Students are participants in act of building knowledge, and this is an indispensible primer for your future work with international teams, projects, and clients.
· Student Body Diversity
If you attend graduate school in India or China, you’re likely to encounter classes comprised entirely of Indian and Chinese students. Even in Australia or Europe, the opportunities to discover true diversity among your classmates are limited.
By contrast, the U.S. and Canada attract thousands of international graduate students, from every corner of the globe. In an American or Canadian grad program, your education will be enhanced, and your global networking potential will soar. Imagine completing your graduate program with professional contacts from 4 or 5 different continents!
· World Class Sights and Cities
The U.S. and Canada house dozens of world-class cities – including New York, Montreal, Chicago and Toronto. Graduate students who opt to study in Texas, Florida, or any of the Southern Atlantic states can enjoy year-round beach access and an inviting, outdoor environment. America’s Northeast boasts some of the oldest, most-acclaimed universities in the Western world. And California is rife with cutting edge, science and technology programs.
Most American and Canadian cities are situated in relative proximity to charming countryside – including mountains, plains, and the sprawling Great Lakes. Regardless of your native climate, you can find a Canadian or American graduate school to meet your preferences for temperature, nightlife, sports and relaxation.
· Models of Hospitality, Democracy, and Globalized Economics
More and more international graduate students are coming to the U.S. from emerging democracies and other countries with shifting political or economic infrastructures. These students can usher invaluable insight back to their countries, along with the skills and perspectives that help to drive political or economic changes. Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. are prime locals for the study of history, government, law, or political science. And New York’s Wall Street is at the heart of American economics.
For its part, Canada exists as one of the world’s most welcoming, politically-neutral locales. You’ll find that Canadians are accepting of all people and cultures, particularly those who are visiting as students.
· Career Opportunities
If you matriculate from a U.S. graduate school or a Canadian graduate program, you may have an opportunity to remain in the country, on a temporary work visa. In the U.S., you can extend your stay after graduation, using an OPT (Optional Practicing Training) authorization. In Canada, international graduate students can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, which is valid for 3 years, and entitles the graduate to work anywhere in Canada. Work experience in the U.S. or Canada is solid preparation for long-term employment in any country.
Considering their numerous advantages, U.S. graduate programs and Canadian graduate programs receive thousands of international graduate applications. But that doesn’t mean admission to one of these prestigious institutions is impossible. You can secure a spot among the world’s best and brightest with competitive scores on your standardized exams, plus fresh and forthcoming essays in your personal statement.