As an international student applying to universities in the United States, one major decision can influence your entire study abroad experience: where you go to college. Talk about pressure! There’s no need to worry, though. We’ve broken down the most important things to consider when choosing a college in the U.S. so you can narrow down your top picks in no time.
Top 5 considerations when choosing a college
If your goal is to go to college in the States, there are a few essential questions to ask before submitting your application or making a financial commitment. But when it comes to how to CHOOSE the right college, we’ve got your back! The following are the top things to consider when looking at potential schools to ensure you get the most out of your experience.
1. What size of school are you most comfortable attending?
You may find yourself wondering, ‘Should I go to a big or small college?’ School size can be a tough decision: some collegiates may crave smaller class sizes and less crowded dorms, while others may want to be a part of larger lectures and bustling green spaces. The trick is to determine which setting will best support you in thriving both academically and socially.
2. Do you want a city, suburban, or rural environment?
Another item for consideration is whether you’d prefer to live in a city, suburban, or rural environment. The truth is, you can find great schools in the U.S. in every category — from colleges in the suburbs to large universities near the city center. Because you live abroad, visiting campus may not be an option. Instead, take a virtual tour on the school’s website. This way, you’ll get a feel for the lay of the land, and then you can research the surrounding area to decide if it’s right for you.
3. What’s the overarching reputation of the university?
While you might not know a university’s reputation off the top of your head, a quick online search can give you a good idea. Is the school known for its excellent professors and facilities? Or perhaps it’s famous for its football team or prominent Greek life? Although one reputation isn’t necessarily better than another, it’s still helpful to understand what the college — and its students — prides itself on. Whatever it is you’re looking for, the U.S. has tons of colleges to choose from, meaning you’re bound to find one that aligns with your needs, beliefs, and more.
4. Do they offer the right academic programs?
Some students head off to college knowing exactly what they want to study, while others aren’t ready to declare anything right off the bat. Regardless of which group you fall into, you’re wise to consider the entire catalog of academic programs a college has to offer. The reason being: one in 10 students end up changing their major at least once during their academic career. It’s wise to have options if you decide your chosen path of study isn’t quite what you expected. Having flexibility in switching majors — and even the ability to take online classes as an international student — can put your mind at ease when selecting a college.
5. What type of campus culture can you expect to find?
In the United States, the term ‘campus culture’ encompasses everything from collaborative classrooms to the available extracurricular activities. Since your time at college will be shaped (in part) by the culture, it’s a vital characteristic to consider as you’re evaluating your top choices. To get a clearer view of what campus life is like, you can schedule a chat with either an admissions counselor or on-campus recruiter, both of whom can share what to expect when you’re a student and how to get more plugged in with the community there.
Furnish your college home with CORT
Hopefully, these things to consider when choosing a college have given you some good insight as you prepare for this new, exciting chapter. And speaking of preparations, don’t forget the team at CORT can make your move to the United States a breeze. No matter where you decide to attend school in the States, CORT can help you feel right at home!
CORT has a discounted furniture subscription for students who’ll be living off-campus. For as little as $99 a month, you can get three rooms of furniture! Customize the student furniture rental package to your liking, and we’ll do all the heavy lifting before you arrive in the U.S. After you schedule a delivery, we’ll move all of your furniture in and we’ll even move your furniture out when you no longer need it. We take care of all your furnishing needs before you arrive here in the U.S.
So, what are you waiting for? Start building your package online with CORT today!