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International Students: Should You Invest in a U.S. Education?

Tuesday | November 12, 2019 | by Kelly Acheson

is college worth the cost

What is the value of completing your education in the United States? Is it worth the investment? Will you gain valuable career advantages?

These are just some of the questions you have to consider before spending thousands of dollars to earn a degree at a college or university in the U.S.

Below, learn some important data that can inform your decision—starting with the cost.

How Expensive Is a U.S. Education?

According to World Education News + Reviews (WENR): “Studying at a four-year college in the U.S. today costs nearly twice what it did a decade ago.”

Typically, international students pay double what in-state domestic students pay. International students also have to factor in other costs, such as airfare, student visa fees, holiday break expenses, and health insurance fees.

However, financial aid is available for international students, helping to offset tuition and living expenses while studying abroad. Funding usually comes in the form of scholarships, grants, and fellowships.

Despite the costs, according to a recent survey, international students continue to value their investment in a U.S. education. Keep reading to find out why.

How International Students Perceive Their U.S. Education

In 2019, WES surveyed 1,655 international alumni to find out if their U.S. education met their expectations.

According to WENR, these were some of the key survey findings:

  • A majority of international students thought that their U.S. degree was a good investment.
  • 75 percent of international graduates said “the overall cost of their tuition, plus living expenses, was worth the purchase of their educational experience in the U.S.” 
  • Respondents indicated that their U.S. education benefited them socially and culturally, expanding their global perspective and enhancing their ability to get along with people from different backgrounds.

Here are other benefits of a U.S. education that the survey respondents shared:

is college worth the cost

How a U.S. Education Can Help Your Career

International students also believe that their U.S. education helped with their careers, according to survey results. Below are some of the career benefits that they mentioned:

  • Increase in career-specific knowledge
  • More job opportunities
  • Better employability
  • Improved global networking capabilities

The chart below shows how international students felt about each career benefit:

is college worth the cost

Final Thoughts

Overall, those who attained a U.S. education claimed that they saw a favorable return on their investment.

Among the international students who returned to their home country after graduation, 83 percent said that their U.S. degree “holds value in their current country of residence.”

When asked if they regretted their decision to study in the United States, 81 percent of survey respondents said that they didn’t. In fact, they said that if “given a second chance, they would still choose to study at a U.S. institution.” Despite barriers (such as visa changes, restrictions, and delays), the survey respondents overall had a positive outlook on their educational experience in the U.S.

Should you invest in a U.S. education? For a more in-depth perspective on the value of a U.S. education today, check out the full article from WENR. Read firsthand accounts of the challenges that international students faced while studying in the U.S. and during their job searches after graduation.

Related Reading

50 Tips for International Students

E-Guide: Arriving in the United States

Kelly Acheson

Kelly Acheson is the Digital Content Producer for World Education Services.