I recently had the pleasure and privilege of presenting an SAT and ACT strategy session to a group of young adults. This in itself is hardly unusual, as I’m basically always teaching teens, except for when I’m training adults. The particularly awesome aspect of this engagement was that these 75 students were located in Nigeria, as part of a week-long bootcamp organized by EducationUSA. This non-profit network supported by the U.S. Department of State promotes U.S. higher education to international students and supports those students through the application process.
The globe-spanning distance separating Zoom participants was the only truly remarkable aspect of this seminar. In all other ways, the students asked the same questions and shared the same concerns as any U.S. high schooler, excepting, perhaps, the concerns about TOEFL/IELTS testing and passport concerns. Rest assured, teenagers everywhere struggle with timing on the reading sections of the tests and worry about reaching score goals and earning scholarships!
But, considering the current moment when we all have reason to mistrust some institutions of higher education or scrutinize the traditional correlation between Bachelor’s degrees and better lifetime earnings, we might wonder why international students even want to study in the United States. Seismic periodic shifts in the American political landscape aside, college costs a lot in this country, while certain other nations offer exceptional yet inexpensive or even free education. Yet, teens around the world still clamor for that US college experience. Why?
Five strong reasons stand out to explain why the U.S. remains the most popular university destination for students across the globe:
1. Excellent international reputation
2. Cultural diversity
3. Excellent support facilities
4. Optimized classroom resources
5. Flexible academic environment
Every Independence Day on this site, I share my perspective on how the SAT & ACT can make us proud of America. These exams serve not just to assess college readiness but as valuable components of a competitive college application. Students across 120 countries take the SAT & ACT for a chance to access American colleges and universities. That enduring fact speaks so highly to the value of the rich educational resources found in this country, as well as the bright future we all share when young adults motivated to learn and grow come and contribute to our society. We still live in a land of opportunity. Kudos to all the students here and abroad willing to work hard to access all of the benefits American education can offer!