When choosing where to study education, it is important to keep three things in mind. International students can find a world of opportunity at the top education colleges in the US, but choosing where to study can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for. By thinking in terms of the past, present, and future, it will be easier to narrow down which schools will be right for you.
Perhaps you’ve applied to a few of the top education colleges in the US, and the acceptance letters you’ve received have inspired an unexpected sense of anxiety instead of relief. Or maybe you’ve not applied yet because you don’t know where to study education. You endlessly search for appropriate credentials, reviews and advice. As an international student and future education major, deciding where to study education can be daunting. Every student is different, and everyone wants something different out of their college career. If you consider your decision in terms of the past, present, and future, choosing a school will become much simpler.
First, think about your past. Your past schooling can speak greatly about what school will best fit you. What environments did you thrive in? Do you succeed more in a rural, suburban or urban area? Do you prefer to be around art and culture or technology and science? Do you prefer nature-filled pathways or industrialized buildings? When you were a child, did you learn better with hands-on learning, or by reading or listening? Did you study alone or with others? Did you work better with a specific type of people—a religious group or other organization? These are all aspects of your life that you should think about, and look for schools that will provide you with similar environments in which you’ve thrived in the past. If you enjoyed a rural environment and a peaceful home, look for colleges that offer that atmosphere. Did you learn better in grade school when you were performing experiments or attending field trips? Look for colleges that will provide you with opportunities to learn and grow outside of the classroom setting. The University of Idaho provides both hands-on learning and a beautiful, nature setting of the rolling Palouse hills. Felician College provides hands-on learning and valuable experiences outside of college as early as freshman year. You’ll be surprised at how much a school can offer if you find the right one. If possible, attend college visits and decide what schools you will best thrive in.
Think about your life while in college. Think about the class-size, the faculty and the programs. Think about the campus life, the available resources and the nearby town, whatever will help you make the best of your time while in college.
If you’re looking for a women’s college with small class sizes and an efficient student to faculty ratio, Wellesley College in Massachusetts will give you personal focus and attention with an 8:1 student to faculty ratio.
If you’re looking for top programs, Purdue University in Indiana offers field experience as early as freshman year and three study abroad opportunities to teach in a variety of cultures. Urban field studies are also available and students can major in a diverse selection of education focuses.
International students looking for a lively campus life should consider the University of Texas. There are more than 50,000 students studying on almost 350 acres near downtown Austin. Live music, recreational facilities, art galleries, performing arts, athletics, restaurants, a surplus of campus organizations and more will be sure to keep you engaged in all that college has to offer.
Auburn University in Alabama offers a number of resources. Not only do they have many online and on-campus resources for students, they also create resources for the community in their many outreach programs.
Now that you’ve thought about the past and the present, it’s time to think about the future. One of the biggest mistakes students make when choosing a college is not thinking realistically about what life will be like after graduation. Your future is the reason you are going to college, so make sure that the college you choose will ensure the best future for you.
The first thing to consider is cost. Students are graduating with more and more debt each year. This can prohibit your future plans of being self-sufficient after college. Though cost should not be the biggest factor when deciding a college, it is something to think about. Generally speaking, public universities will cost less than private colleges, but in many cases private colleges also offer more in scholarships than public universities. For this reason, it’s best to apply to a variety, less expensive colleges and more expensive colleges, and wait to find out if you will get a scholarship after you are accepted. Do not rule out colleges out of your price range if those are the colleges you think will best suit you, but keep a few backup alternatives as well. Belhaven University in Mississippi provides up to 80 percent of its students with merit based scholarships. Colleges in the northeast such as Skidmore College in New York give generous scholarship money to international students.
The job market is also something to think about when choosing where to study education. The economy is constantly shifting. Places like California and Connecticut are great places to find work these days, but may not always be. Continue to keep on top of the job market so internships and employment opportunities will be more available to you.
When deciding where to study education, there are many factors to think about. International students can find a wide array of opportunities at many of the top education colleges in the US, but a university tailored to your interests, comfort, and learning styles will better suit you in the future. Regardless of which school you choose, be sure to take advantage of everything your school has to offer, and engage completely in the amazing opportunity of being a college student.