Foreign universities broaden cultural experiences

Most graduated seniors leave for college by a car or plane ride across the United States, but only a handful of students take a plane outside of the U.S. to another country.

In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Education, only 1.4 percent of college students decide to study internationally.

While most students who opt for an international college experience choose to attend colleges in English-speaking countries, cultural differences are still apparent and can be difficult to adjust to.

“While there are many similarities, the cultural differences are many in number, and even after three years, I am learning new things all the time,” Dylan Evan ’11, a student at St. Andrews University in Scotland, said.

Jean-Luc Lefebvre ’17, a Canadian citizen interested in studying in Canada, agreed with Evans. “Canada differs culturally from the United States as it is a lot less competitive and people are a lot friendlier.”

However, Nick Moro ’15 chose an international university based on his travels. “I was drawn to St. Andrews after visiting the town during a Boy Scout trip a few years ago,” Moro said. “It seemed like a nice town and the school was on Common App, so I figured, why not?”

Students might also choose international universities for the sense of adventure and the schools’ quality of education.

“Canada is also underrated in its education system and has many top-ranked universities,”       Lefebvre said.
“Before I considered   the international element, I first decided that St. Andrews was the right university for me. It is a reputable institution, six centuries in age, and offered a prestigious degree program in International Relations— my major,” Evans said.

Although students who attend university outside of the U.S. do not typically plan on settling down abroad, they keep an open mind.

“I don’t have plans to live in the U.K. after, but I’m definitely open to it,” Moro said.

Along with Moro, Evans has also considered staying abroad. “[I would consider living in Scotland]. For a time, anyway. I would consider living in or near Edinburgh, or London or perhaps another European city.”