Education in the United States can be very competitive and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! In the early 1900s, the United States established a system of community colleges or “junior colleges” that offer associate degree programs. They were designed to enable more people to access higher education. Many of these schools started with an emphasis on technical education – and some still focus on technical and practical degrees – but many have also grown to include a variety of degrees in various academic fields.
For international students, community colleges are a great option because they typically have smaller class sizes than many universities, making it easier to adjust to the American education system, form friendships, and meet instructors. Community college professors and instructors do not have to produce as many research papers as university professors, which gives them more time to focus on individual student support and guidance.
often have a free application process and an “open admissions” policy, which allows all qualified students to enroll. They receive funding from federal and local taxes, grants, and donations, and as a result, tuition is generally more affordable than most four-year universities. For international students, community colleges are a great way to lower the overall costs of earning a bachelor’s degree.
Join our vip list of international students
Starting with an associate’s degree creates an additional level of education and additional opportunity for international students to apply for optional practical training (OPT), which, if accepted, allows a student to work for one year at United States in a field related to their degree. OPT gives international students temporary work authorization in employment or voluntary work directly related to the student’s field of study.
Community colleges have two-year degrees that directly prepare students for jobs in the workforce and also two-year degrees that are designed to then be transferred to complete an undergraduate bachelor’s degree at a university. Most community colleges have partnerships with nearby universities to create an easy college transfer path for students planning to continue their education. This is often referred to as the “2+2 process,” where students study for two years at a community college and then complete their bachelor’s degree with two additional years at a university. Having experience at two different schools can give an international student the opportunity to
In the United States, many degrees and colleges require introductory courses in a variety of subjects – these courses are general education courses (also called “gen eds”). Students are usually required to complete these general education courses before they can begin their specific studies or concentration. Beginning with the first two years of a bachelor’s degree at a community college, students can save money on tuition by taking these lower-cost “gen eds.”
Community colleges offer some flexibility in the admissions process, many don’t require an SAT test, and if an international student’s language skills aren’t study-ready, there are options to take language courses. English as a Second Language or English language training before starting a degree program. . In many cases, international students who transfer after their associate degree will have an easier admissions process into a four-year college than they would have had as a freshman.
You won’t find community colleges at the top of the “Best National Universities” list, but you will find a welcoming environment to study, learn about American culture, and save money!