The International Student’s Perspective
What is the shape of Earth and how big is it? The early Greeks were the first ones to determine that the Earth was spherical in shape. Likewise, Greek scholar Eratosthenes was the first one to measure with accuracy the Globe’s circumference: approximately 25,000 miles. More recently, with advanced technology, internet and social media, the measures of the globe have been redefined: it has the shape and size of an iPhone!
Think about it: with a mobile phone on his or her hands, one has unlimited access to information and pass to virtually interact with people in the United States, Hong Kong and Brazil and share ideas, pictures and videos. There are no boundaries, no restrictions whatsoever. As an extension, decisions nowadays are taken considering global standards, and not only local criteria. The pursuit for higher education is a clear example of this mindset. And the moment a young student decides his or her college studies will happen in the US, virtual reality becomes concrete.
US universities are considered to be the best in the world. They are known for providing a high quality holistic approach towards education. According to Times Higher World University Rankings 2015-2016, six of the top ten universities in the world are American. If you consider the top 50 schools, 26 are located in the United States.
The Institute of International Education (IIE) issues every year the Open Doors report, shedding light on the pursuit of higher education by international students. According to Open Doors 2015, approximately 50% of this total comes from China, India and South Korea. Brazilian international students account solely for 2.4% of the total. Interestingly, Brazil has increased from 2014 to 2015 in 78.2% the number of students pursuing higher education in the US.
Of course, this fast change in mindset is sometimes difficult to grasp. Occasionally families ask me if their sons and daughters will get a job in Brazil after they graduate from an American university. The answer is obviously yes! According to the Global Employability University Ranking 2015, seven of the top ten universities in terms of employability are located in the US. But instead, I explain that once a student graduates from a top American college he or she will be able to apply for job globally, anywhere in the world, including Brazil.
-Murilo B, Academic Advisor, São Paulo