So you have decided to do your undergraduate in the US, but still, feel dicey? Believe me, kid, I was there too. I know how exactly how that feels, that self-doubt, nervousness, not really absorbing the enormity of emotional investment that this requires, have been through it all.
This is Aadi, your dost, and your anchor to guide you through the choppy waters of taking the plunge and coming to the US for an undergrad.
So you are in a quandary and want to turn to someone for advice, unfortunately for you, there are very few people you can turn to for unbiased advice. Your parents, though they always have your best interests at heart, might not be emotionally experienced to offer the best advice. The education consultancies only care for their fees, they will talk to you with marketing jingo to make life seem like heaven here, so that you can pay them their fees, take their non-requisite SAT, TOEFL classes and become another paying client in their accounts book. The worst is social media, where everyone tries to paint a rosy life of partying, drinking, having fun, meeting new people, visiting exotic locations, and eating delicious-looking dishes but in reality, constitutes less than 7% of their day here.
The biggest question that most of you have is that is spending so much time(4 years), money(1cr+), and being away from your family worth the monetary and emotional investment that you are putting in, i.e “is it even worth it?”
The answer is YES. In spite of all the political rhetoric about immigrants, increasing costs, and rules around pandemics, a US degree is still worth the investment that you put in.
It is a well-known fact that the US has the majority of the best educational institutions in the world. You look at the top universities in any field, and it is dominated by American ones. But again, that’s just the tip.
What makes the system here truly innovative and student-centric is the flexibility that is given to students. You can be an engineering student here and take classes in law. Want to change your major after a year of studying? You are absolutely allowed to, and that too in a way that doesn’t make your efforts of that year go to waste. Wish to take dual-majors, major-minor combinations, or even triple majors? you absolutely can. Interested in spending a semester or year abroad in another country? not a problem. Wanna pursue research without affecting your grades? The student advisors will happily guide you and even talk to Professors if need be. You got some family or medical problem for which you need some time off? The system here allows a semester or year to be taken on leave of absence without it affecting your grades. And the fact that most Universities offer paid opportunities to students throughout the year, equipping you with the necessary professional experience, as well as diverse skillsets, is cherry-on-top.
The point I am trying to make is that the possibilities are endless, you are only bound by your willingness and imagination. And this was just an introduction to the academics part. What comes after is even more worthwhile.
An undergrad degree from the US is often recognized as of the highest pedigree in competitive job markets such as Middle-East, Europe, East-Asia, and India. A US degree will not only open multiple doors for you, which were earlier only possible by having a degree from institutions like IIT or IIM but will also ensure that your monetary investments are returned generously.
For example, in Dubai, it’s a well-known fact that you aren’t paid according to your skills and experience, you are paid according to your nationality/place of education. A local is paid the highest and amongst ex-pats, the order is something like American ≈ European > Asian > African. The only way you could beat around this is with an American degree.
So in a nutshell, not only the education system here offers you incredible freedom and flexibility to learn according to your interests, but also the brand value of the degree ensures that you are never forced to work for a substandard salary.
That’s all for today folks, see you next time, in another blog post about studying in the US.