This month we reported on the rising number of British students heading to America for their further education. But how do you decide whether this is the right direction for you? We spoke to our US college advisory team to find out what students need to consider when choosing to study abroad.
Money, money, money
British university fees may have rocketed over the last few years, but they’re still significantly less than many of the top colleges in the US. On the flip side, American schools offer incredible funding packages for a whole range of applicants – so do your research to find out what you could be entitled to.
Remember though, it’s not just the fees that you have to take into account. The US has a private healthcare system that can come at a cost, and even if your scholarship covers some flights home, you may need to fund additional, last minute trips.
Breadth or depth?
In the UK you’ll need to choose your degree before you even apply, and it can be difficult to change course once you start. Although some universities operate a dual-degree system, or allow you to continue with extra studies for the first year, most British graduates will have spent their three years focused on one subject. For those that know what they want to do with their further education, this intensive study is ideal, providing the deep, subject-matter expertise to transition to your chosen career.
However, if you’re still undecided on your next step, the US college system offers an alternative. With most students not choosing their major until their second year, and the option to take additional subjects all the way through, it can be a great choice for those looking to maintain more breadth in their further education.
Seek support early
The American college system can be tricky to navigate – beyond the famous Ivy League it can be difficult to know where to apply. The entrance exams are challenging too, with unfamiliar formats and a different schedule. So if you are considering applying in the US, it’s important to read up on your options and get advice as early as you can.
The Fulbright Commission has been fostering US-UK collaboration for 70 years, and is a great source of information for potential applicants. And if you do decide to take the leap, the Figtree team is on hand to help you find the right school, guide you through the application process and support you on arrival.