Five Reasons International Students Should Attend a Community College
In 2017-2018, the United States welcomed 1,094,792 international students. 8.6% of these students have decided to start studying in a community college. According to the International Open Doors Report 2019. While studying abroad may not be the first image that comes to mind in a community college. It is often the best route for many international students. Continue reading to find out why you should enroll in a community college.
Tuition at a community college is only a fraction of the cost of tuition at a university. The University of Illinois at Chicago, for example, has an international student rate of $25,858 per academic year. These costs do not include student fees, housing, health insurance or books. However, if you decide to attend a local Illinois community college, for example, Elgin Community College (an hour's train or car ride from the university), you will pay only, $11,960 per year. This is a savings of about, $14,000! Imagine what you can do with this extra money.
SAME GENERAL EDUCATION
Many international students fear that community colleges do not offer their academic program. This is a misconception of the US higher education system. Bachelor's degrees in the United States are structured in such a way that the first two years are completed in the introductory course from a number of subjects of study/. Often known as general education requirements or "generic aids." Students must complete this general education requirement before proceeding to their concentration on a general subject, also known as a “major”. After students complete these first two years. They can transfer to a university of their choice and complete the last two years of study in their major. 2 years in community college = 2 years in university = 4 years bachelor's degree. Why like this? You will save money by doing the same general education course at a very low cost. Also, you will graduate to a community college with an associate's degree - another certificate that you can re-add.
SMALLER CLASS SIZES
It has been shown by the National Council of Teachers of English that small class sizes enhance students ’learning and performance. Class sizes of 20 or more result in more personalized attention, increased participation, and better communication. Nevertheless, many universities still offer classes in larger lecture halls where 100 or more students are admitted. In community colleges, large classes are rare or non-existent. The average class sizes revolve around about 20 students and some classes may have less than 10 students. Less student means easier access to your instructor and ultimately better grades on the course.
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FLEXIBLE ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
Many universities have such strict admissions requirements and a high number of applicants that very few students are admitted. For example, the University of Southern California had 20184,332 applicants, of which only 13% (8,339 students) were admitted. Also, international applicants need a minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL IBT or 7.0 on the IELTS. In contrast, community colleges are open access institutions. Which means they admit students who want to be admitted. Elgin Community College has admitted all students who have completed the application process. Students without TOEFL / IELTS scores and students who are not yet proficient in English were admitted to the college's intensive English program. The program allows students to master English before completing a college level course.
ADDITIONAL OPT TIME
International students who start studying in community colleges are allowed more OPT time than students who study in universities. OPT (Alternative Practical Training) is temporary practical training that is directly related to your field of study. For example, a student studying nursing may choose to work in a hospital during their OPT period in order to gain experience. Eligible students can approve OPT employment for up to 12 months after completion of each education level. Since students at community colleges graduate two years later with an associate's degree, they can claim a 12-month OPT. Then, after they graduate from a university, they can claim another 12 months of OPT. Who wouldn’t want extra experience and paid work time?