Expand your world and be a global citizen.
An international education teaches you about yourself, the people you associate with, and the world around you. It exposes you to new cultures, ways of thinking, and opportunities to expand your career. Not everyone is willing to go into the unknown, but for those who do, there are treasures waiting to be found.
Intrinsic Value of an International Education
Some skills you learn, others you experience. An international education instills skills that aren’t teachable, but matter all the same. As you navigate through life abroad, the skills that are ingrained in you through experience become the skills that separate you in the eyes of future employers.
Skills an International Education Provides
I. Cultural Awareness
Cultural awareness helps you understand how one culture is different from the next. In understanding how each individual brings different beliefs than your own, you can learn to communicate with them with a deeper understanding of who they are.
How does an international education build cultural awareness? Workplaces are more diverse than ever. International education roots out negative preconceived notions that could cause problems in the workplace. It will build cultural sensitivity that bears fruit in your daily interactions with coworkers, stakeholders, and more.
II. Learning to be a leader in a global workplace
What makes a team member tick? Why do they do things a certain way? These are all questions that leaders have to struggle with to effectively lead their team. Through developing cultural awareness, you will learn to take these situations as opportunities rather than challenges. Diversity is an asset, but making the most of it is truly a skill that requires development.
How does an international education make you a leader? American education is built around real-life scenarios. You will work on projects with teams of students that will have real impact on your success in the course. Success will require you to find the best qualities that your team members bring to the table, and the awareness to learn how to maximize them for your success as a team. More than the act of leading, learning what it takes to lead a global team will be revealed to you through your study abroad.
III. Global Perspective
The problems we face on one side of the world don’t give us permission to ignore the issues on the other side of it. Our world is connected, and understanding that there’s a bigger picture than what’s in front of us is a valuable skill wherever you go. Particularly in regards to business, engineering, or other fields that require a global perspective — being able to think of solutions for the struggles of people in different parts of the world will show flexibility in your thinking.
How does an international education give you a global perspective? As you study abroad, you’ll make friends from all over the world and begin to learn about issues that inhabit the regions they come from. Through association, your understanding of the world will continue to grow as your world itself becomes bigger. What matters to others will begin to matter to you, and ideas you wouldn’t have considered before your international education will transform into tangible
IV. Learning to Adapt
Your first weeks and months at a new job will make you feel like a fish out of water. What you thought was done one way will be done another, and those steps may change any number of times over the course of your employment. Learning to adapt to the ebbs and flows of the modern workplace is an essential part of your job, and a skill only learned through facing adversity head on.
How does an international education teach you to adapt? International education is much like the modern workplace. You’ll be a new student dropped into the middle of a new and unfamiliar country. Will you sink or swim? Faced with new challenges, people and places - many run — but not you. Your experience as an international student will give you the experience needed to wade through murky waters and reach the other side of any situation.
Comparison is the enemy of progress, and doubt has stifled the potential of many students. It’s easy to have thoughts such as ‘am I good enough?’ or ‘how do I compare to students around the world?’ How do you overcome those crippling thoughts? There may be no right or wrong answer, but real facts will stomp out any doubt.
How does an international education build confidence? With an international education in the U.S., you can have confidence knowing that you’ve studied in the most advanced educational system in the world. Some mountains may seem too high to climb, but seeing things from a different perspective can be all it takes to change your own. The best part? There’s a confidence that you gain from tackling such a grand adventure. If you’ve moved to a new country on your own, learned a new language, and picked up on the habits, customs, and cultures of an entirely new group of people — what can’t you do?
Extrinsic Value of an International Education
With programs dedicated to international students, you will have opportunities to stay and work in the U.S., build meaningful relationships, and create a strong resume during your study abroad.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Optional Practical Training is a paid program for students on F-1 visas. This program allows for temporary employment with any employer in the USA related to your field of study. Your OPT can be carried out during your studies, or you can choose to begin after you graduate.
A regular OPT program lasts 12 months. If you complete any portion of the 12 months while you are in school, the number of months completed will be deducted from your post-graduation length of stay in the U.S (Example: You started your OPT during your final year of study and completed 4 months. After graduation, you will be allowed to stay and work in the U.S. for an additional 8 months, equaling 12 months in total.)
If you are accepted into your OPT program while you’re still in school, you will only be allowed to work up to 20 hours a week until school is no longer in session. If you’ve graduated or your school term is on break, you can work full-time hours.
If eligible, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) students can receive an OPT extension of up to 24 months. Rather than your regular 12 month stay, you can gain 36 months of work experience in the U.S.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training is a paid or unpaid work authorization for F-1 visa students. Opposed to an OPT which isn’t directly tied to your curriculum, CPTs relate directly to your degree or provide course credits. Your CPT must be completed during your studies, and doesn’t offer the additional benefit of letting you stay for work after graduation. The employers you can choose from are more selective, but there is the added benefit of knowing that you are in fact ‘training’.
International education isn’t for everyone, but to those who are willing to step into the unknown, there are treasures to be found. From personal growth to work opportunities, your time as an international student won’t be without some sort of value. We look forward to hearing what you’ll gain from your international experience!
Check Out These Schools
Start your U.S. adventure with Study in the USA
Learn About U.S. education financing, housing, and more
Let us help you through your U.S. visa application process. GET STARTED NOW!
MPOWER Financing is the top-rated lender offering international student loans without cosigners, collateral, or credit history for global citizens, PLUS international student scholarships & career coaching! Fully online application, 96% customer...
Develop the portfolio and skills you need for your future! Embrace meaningful projects while collaborating with expert mentors and expanding your professional network.
...It is a difficult and tiring process to find the ideal university and I felt that I was alone in that process but I could see through the Study in the USA Instagram account that I was not alone and that I could achieve my dreams.
Study in the USA helped me apply to the University of Wyoming and in my journey towards studying in the USA. They guided me in writing essays, preparing for my SAT exams, interview tips, getting my visa...
StudyUSA has helped me a lot with my search for school and has also enlightened me on the necessary steps needed for me to study abroad. Very informative and reliable platform.
Learn about American culture and education direct from our experts at Study in the USA. Read more