Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day!

Today many people in the U.S. are off from school or work for Memorial Day, an annual holiday held on the last Monday of May to honor all the men and women who have lost their lives serving in the American armed forces. Lots of countries have similar days of observance, like Army Day in China, or Remembrance Day in the U.K. and elsewhere. Memorial Day is a proud day for Americans, and a patriotic one, though it may not resonate much with international students. It also, however, serves as a kind of unofficial kickoff for the summer season, and that’s something that everybody can get excited about. Today, people across the country are hosting pool parties, grilling burgers and hot dogs, watching baseball, and going to see Hollywood blockbusters like “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” There are also hundreds of communities across the U.S. holding parades and remembrance ceremonies to honor veterans, past and present. So how are you spending Memorial Day? Let us know below in the comments, write on our Facebook page, or send an email to

Thursday, May 21, 2015

OPT: What You Need to Know

By Xiao Lu
World Education Services 

Compared to other study abroad destinations, the United States gains an edge by offering international students Optional Practical Training (OPT) opportunities. OPT is a 12-to-29 month period, during which F-1 visa students are permitted to work in their major fields after graduating from a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral program. It’s a great opportunity for students who want to gain work experience the U.S. If you’re an international student who has recently arrived in the U.S, or a current student who wants to work here after graduation, read this blog! We’ll discuss your likelihood of obtaining an OPT visa after graduation, and the places across the U.S. that offer the most opportunities to work under OPT.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

POLL: What are Your Plans for the Summer?

Summer is just around the corner! Who doesn't look forward to three months of beautiful weather and time off from classes? As an international student, by now you’ve probably started planning your summer to ensure that you don’t miss out on all the fun of being in a new country.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Top 10 States Hosting International Students: No. 4, Massachusetts

Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere is
depicted in this statue in Boston's North End.
By Brendan Twist 
World Education Services

WES Student Advisor’s tour of the top 10 states hosting international students has taken us from the Midwest, to the Northeast, and down to Florida (culturally speaking, Florida might as well be its own country). Now we head to our one and only stop in New England: Massachusetts.

One of the original 13 colonies, Massachusetts is best known today for its capitol and largest city, Boston. Beantown, as it’s sometimes called, is home to wacky accents, great baked beans, and super successful sports franchises (the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins). During the 19th century, a lot of Irish immigrants settled in the Southern part of the city, so they throw a big St. Patrick’s Day parade there every year. Like all of New England, Massachusetts gets wicked cold and snowy in the winter – good if you like skiing, or pond hockey. Massachusetts residents occasionally get a bad rap for their aggressive driving habits and brusque attitudes – the less-than-polite term “Massholes” gets thrown around – but it’s really just because people are jealous of their wicked good chowder and Tom Brady. Where were we going with this… ah, yes. Massachusetts has some powerhouse educational institutions!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

What Degrees are Saudi Students Pursuing?

By Brendan Twist 
World Education Services

The number of Saudi Arabians studying in the U.S. has more than quadrupled over the past five years. Nigeria is the fourth leading place of origin for the U.S. higher education sector, ranking first among Middle Eastern countries. Nearly 54,000 Saudi students came to the U.S. in 2013-2014, the seventh-consecutive year of double digit growth for this population thanks to the King Abdullah Scholarship Program. This spring, WES Student Advisor was fortunate to host a group of Saudi students for lunch at our New York offices – and you may see some of those students’ writing on our blog before long!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cultural Challenges and Advice for New International Students

By Joseph Oguche
Student Ambassador, University of Maryland

As a newbie to the United States of America, one of the easiest discoveries you can make by just walking the streets is the fact that it is, undoubtedly, one of the most culturally diverse and dynamic countries in the world. In this diversity however, there is not only unity but also uniqueness, norms, standards and cultural realities that are particular to this beautiful society. These are cultural realities that international students in America must deal with and hence there is the need for a heads-up. Here are three basic challenges a new international students might confront and some helpful hints for dealing with them. These are borne of subjective experience.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

So You’ve Been Accepted – Now What?

By Naimeesha Murthy

World Education Services

Have you received acceptance letters from more than one college or university? Congratulations! Your perseverance and hard work have paid off, and now you have to make decisions that are judicious and timely. Here are four easy steps to help you make your decision.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

What Degrees are Nigerian Students Pursuing?

By Brendan Twist
World Education Services

The number of Nigerians studying in the U.S. continues to grow, slowly but surely, increasing in six of the past seven years. Nigeria is the 18th leading place of origin for the U.S. higher ed sector, making it the only African country in the top 25. Nearly 8,000 Nigerian students came here in 2013-2014, and the growth of the middle class in Nigeria’s urban areas could cause that number to shoot up in the years to come. Nigerian students are also some of WES Student Advisor’s most engaged readers, and we thank them for it!

Here’s a look at the most popular fields of study among Nigerian students, and how they’ve changed or remained constant in recent years.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Expert Q&A: Stene Verhulst of Emporia State University

We get a lot of good questions from readers about going to school in the U.S. and Canada. This month we posed three of those questions to Stene Verhulst, the director of international recruitment at Emporia State University in Kansas. Verhulst, who also serves as Emporia State’s head of international scholarships, has traveled to over 60 countries since earning his master’s in political science from the University of Wyoming. WES Student Advisor talked to him about working on a visa, changing majors, financial aid and more.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Top 10 States Hosting International Students: No. 5, Illinois

The Chicago skyline.
By Brendan Twist
World Education Services

If WES Student Advisor has learned anything from putting together this top 10 series, it’s that there’s a whole lot of international students in the Midwestern United States. Last year, more than 200,000 international students attended school in the 12 states that makeup the Midwest. And the Midwestern state with the most international students? Illinois.

Like its brethren in America’s heartland, Illinois’s geography is dominated by meadows and plains. Unlike its neighbors, however, it is home to one of the world’s biggest cities: Chicago. Known for deep-dish pizza and really strange hot dogs, the Chicago Bulls basketball team (they won six championships with Michael Jordan) and the Chicago Cubs baseball team (they never win anything), the musical tastemakers at Pitchfork Media and the comedians at Second City, the Windy City is the third-biggest metropolis in the U.S. It’s also home to – wait for it – some really great universities!

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