WES Advisor Blog

Trusted Advice for Academic and Professional Success

Improving the European Student Experience

Tuesday | November 15, 2016 | by Kaitlin Ramby

A group of European students walking to class

In a recent report by World Education Services (WES), Improving the International Student Experience, international students were surveyed on satisfaction with their education in the U.S. The report assessed international students from varying regions, including: ChinaIndia, Europe, Latin America & the Caribbean, the Middle East & North Africa (MENA), and Sub-Saharan Africa.

This post focuses on the European student experience in the U.S. based on research covered in the report. Please see the infographic below, and read recommendations for how you as a European student can improve your educational experience in the U.S.

European Student statistics

For European students, 90 percent cited high satisfaction with their U.S. education overall, with 84 percent stating they would recommend their U.S. institution. In addition, 77 percent of European students said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with overall support to international students.

However, 72 percent of European students said they struggled with the cost of tuition and 26 percent cited issues when it came to adapting to the U.S. academic culture. Read the recommendations below to discover how you as a European student in the U.S. can improve in these areas.

Decreasing Tuition Costs

College fees and tuition tend to be much lower in European countries than in the U.S., so it’s no wonder that the high costs of attending school in the U.S. can come as a shock to European students.

Luckily, there are multiple ways to alleviate the financial burden of a U.S. degree. See if your home country has any special scholarships or grants that they offer to European students earning an education abroad. Also, check with the university you will be attending to see what types of scholarships and financial aid packages they may offer. Once you’ve done your research and applied for financial aid through your government, your university, or both, look at websites that list scholarships and grants such as fastweb.com and cappex.com.

They key is to do your research and take the time to apply for financial aid. You may also be able to work part time and earn money while you’re in school, so be sure to check what your visa will allow as well as with your university to discover opportunities.

Adapting to U.S. Academic Culture

Academic culture in the U.S. requires students to complete a lot of individual work, and speaking with professors outside of the classroom is encouraged. Students in the U.S. also tend to spend less time in the classroom, and more time outside doing homework, studying, and working in groups. This is because college course grades in the U.S. tend to be based on a mixture of exams, attendance, small assignments, and group projects.

To successfully adapt to the U.S. academic environment, European students should first read through any course syllabi they are given by professors, so they know what to expect when they begin the course. Students should also reach out to professors if they need help and attend office hours. This way, students can begin building a relationship with the professor early on, which is especially important for professors in a student’s major field of study. European students can also seek help and advice with international students services on their campus to find resources and receive advice on how to adapt to the U.S. academic culture.

Are you a current or prospective European student and want to share your experiences as an international student in the U.S.? Apply to be part of our Student Ambassador Program!

Kaitlin Ramby

Kaitlin Ramby is the former Digital Content Producer and a Contributing Writer for World Education Services.