How International Students Should Choose a University

A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a university will enable you to broaden your skill-set, expose you to fascinating concepts and lead to employment after graduation. If you’re coming from a different country, the value of an education abroad is a desirable goal because it could grant you opportunities that might not be available in your home country. Due to the vast options of colleges to attend, making the selection of which university to go to can be a challenge for international students. When choosing the university to attend, you should consider four pivotal things: Price, Location, Value and Student Services.


Everyone wants to be able to enter an Ivy league institution or private universities because we want the very best. However, those universities are often expensive for in-state students and if coming from another country, your fees will be higher. The price is therefore a significant factor in choosing the university that you want to attend. The tuition fees affect whether it will be simple or a challenge to maintain yourself all through the duration of your college experience. International students do not have the option of taking out loans. Therefore, when choosing a university, make sure you’ve budgeted for all expenses.

I attended a public university: City University of New York, Queens College. The fees were reasonable compared to the fees for out of state students at other institutions. I overall had a good experience. I was active in student organizations. I obtained internships in college. Though I went to a public university, it did not impede my opportunities.

The reason I emphasize price is that we can assume we need a university that’s seen as prestigious in order to have the opportunities that we seek. More often than not, it’s not only the name of the university that matters. It’s the hard work and your willingness to seek out what you want that creates such opportunities. If you’re coming from another country, don’t empty out your wallet in pursuit of a college degree. There are great institutions under the public sector that will enable you and your parents to help you budget for other needs.


Coming from one country to another country can be a new and strange experience. Thus, choose the location wisely. I chose New York for several reasons. I’ve lived in NY before. I have family here and New York is a diverse state. Your move is easier when there are others you can relate to. It’s better if you’re a bit familiar with the environment.

Choosing the right location for you matters because it affects your stay and experience in college. You want to be in a place where you’ll find comfort. The atmosphere does play a role.  You should do your research on where the college is located. Understand the venues that surround the area. Understand the climate. Understand the demographics.


Understanding what an institution is known for, their values is critical. There are colleges that focus on the arts and humanities. Others might have a strong focus in the field of science. Some universities are historically black or colleges for women or men. If you aspire to be in such an environment, then the values of the institution align with yours. You’ll find yourself at home away from home.

If you’re not yet sure what exactly you want to pursue in college, that’s fine. You should make sure that the college affords you that flexibility in courses before you’re ready to decide your major and possibly minor(s).

Student Services

Doing your research on the services that the university offers it’s students is vital. If you’re an international student that hopes to remain and work in the U.S. after you complete your degree, you need to be aware of the procedure for international students when seeking internships and then jobs. Being well informed about your student visa status and how to conduct job searches for international students are things that I learned through my college workshops and also outside research. You have to make sure that the university provides the tools and resources to assist you as you’re in college.

For international students who are choosing a college,  it can be an exciting phase because of the various options out there. Before you make that decision, consider what’s best for you. What will truly give you an experience that will be worthwhile now and later.

Post Author: Isioma Ononye

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