Studying at an American University Overseas, Is it Worth It?
If you were to search the web for information on studying abroad, you would likely find 10 Reasons, 25 Benefits, 15 Best Places, etc, etc… But here’s my take on why studying at an American University in Spain can and has been beneficial to me. Perhaps my experience can help you as you make your decision to pursue an American degree.
Employment – If you plan on working and living abroad, an American degree is one of those degrees that is well recognized and highly valued. Especially as a foreigner, that is a non-US student, it allows you to stand out and have an advantage over other applicants. In my research, I have found that a lot of employers for multinationals and even NGO’s prefer having employees that hold an American degree because the degree in itself already says a lot about the candidate, for example: many American Universities are highly regarded because of the high standards for admission, the level of research and innovation produced, and how well prepared the candidates are upon graduation. Also, if you are from a different country and study in an American University, it tells your future employer that you have adapted to living and studying in a different country, you are flexible, and likely work well with people from other cultures.
Flexibility – Most American universities will allow you to apply as “undecided.” Undecided means you are not yet sure about which major to pursue. And although, in the beginning you may feel as though you already know, it is a relief going in as undecided and having the option to explore other possibilities before locking into a career choice blindly. Another advantage of this undecided status is that it allows you to take a variety of different courses. Through these different courses you can explore and see which you are more interested in and would like to major in. Who knows… some of these exploratory subjects and skills may even end up being useful in your future job.
The Future – Speaking about the future, being in an American university could possibly jump-start your career. American universities are very active in career development and in helping students find employment after graduation. Because of this, large company recruiters are actively looking for people to hire straight out of college. So you could go from being handed your diploma on graduation day and to starting a new job the next.
Although you are in college studying, on your path to becoming a huge success in your field, do not forget that you are in a foreign country. It is easy to get caught up in the loop of going to class, doing your homework, going to the grocery store and repeating it all over week after week. Having the opportunity to study abroad is already a great thing but you should be mindful and get the most out of it by traveling and exploring nearby places, trying the food, talking with locals, and enjoying the entire experience – yes, even the awkward moments. The memories you make during college will always stay with you, so why not make them worth reminiscing about with a great education that focuses on the future and for me this happened to be in a great country, Spain!
by Nada Hssain