Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Improving the Latin American and Caribbean Student Experience

 Improving the Latin American and Caribbean Student Experience
By Kaitlin Ramby
World Education Services

In a recent report by World Education Services (WES), Improving the International Student Experience, international students were surveyed on how satisfied they were with their education in the U.S. The report assessed international students from varying regions, including: China, India, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and sub-Saharan Africa.



This post focuses on the educational experience in the U.S. for students from Latin America and the Caribbean. Please see the infographic below, and read recommendations on how you can improve your educational experience in the U.S.
   

As shown in the information above, 86 percent of students from Latin America and the Caribbean were either satisfied or very satisfied overall with their U.S. education and 91 percent were either likely or very likely to recommend their institution. In addition, 55 percent felt that their career prospects were positive due to having a U.S. education.

However, students from Latin America and the Caribbean expressed that there were a few financial difficulties when it came to obtaining a U.S. education. In fact, 72 percent said they struggled with high tuition and 63 percent struggled with living expenses.

To improve your experience as a student from the Latin American and the Caribbean region, read the recommendations we have provided below.

Finding Financial Aid
Although the current cost of a U.S. degree is among some of the highest in the world, there are several ways that students can fund their education.
  • Check with your government to discover if there are any scholarships, grants, or other incentives offered to students going abroad for their studies. 
  • Once you have narrowed down your list of schools, check with the universities to see what types of financial aid programs the school or program may offer students.
Once you’ve researched financial aid options through the government and your university, you should also consider other options such as scholarships and grants that offer financial aid specifically to Hispanic and Latino students (you can find 40 of them here). You can also search for scholarships via popular websites such as fastweb.com and cappex.com.

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Paying for Living Costs
In the U.S., the cost of living can vary greatly depending on where you’re located. If the cost of living is high on your priority list, then it’s important to research this information when shortlisting your potential schools. You can find a list of the most affordable cities in the U.S. here. Also, if you’re eligible to work while attending school, make sure to research what options are available as it can have a big impact on your expenses.

Once you’ve decided on a school and know where you’ll be living, it’s wise to save as much money as possible before arriving in the U.S. When it comes to the cost of living, it’s important to set and maintain a budget. Estimate how much you need to allot each month toward groceries, rent, bills, doing activities with friends, and so on. Keep in mind that the small expenditures such as dining out and purchasing items that you don’t necessarily need can really add up. Calculate your living costs, come up with a budget, and make sure to stick to it.

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Are you a current or prospective student from Latin America and the Caribbean and want to share your experience as an international student in the U.S.? Apply to be a part of our Student Ambassador Program!

Were these tips helpful in improving your educational experience in the U.S.? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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Kaitlin Ramby, World Education Services
Kaitlin Ramby is the digital content producer for the WES Advisor team. An avid storyteller, Kaitlin is a writer of words and keeper of memes. She produces and manages a lot of the WES content and contributes to the overall content development and strategy. Kaitlin holds a bachelor’s in journalism, has lived in both France and Hong Kong, and thoroughly enjoys helping others fulfill their dreams of studying and working in the North America region.

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