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Living in United States > Expat Guide to Finding Your Ideal College State

Expat Guide to Finding Your Ideal College State

By Ella Jameson

Cigna International Health Insurance

Summary: The U.S is the first choice for international undergraduates, with nearly 900,000 foreign students making the move last year. Read advice on some of the options available to students around the world.

Expats in College - Expat Guide to Finding Your Ideal College State

Deciding where to go to college can be one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make, and it can shape the future of your career and life. The U.S is the first choice for international undergraduates, with nearly 900,000 foreign students making the move last year, and as one of the most popular expat destinations, many more students relatively new to the USA will be making their own important decisions this year.

For students who have a clear idea of what they want to study, the task of deciding upon a college is a little easier; many colleges specialize in specific subjects or have excellent opportunities for certain courses and curriculums. But for those students who are new to the U.S, deciding on a state – let alone a college – can seem a daunting and impossible task. The United States is an enormous and varied country and each state comes with its own unique advantages and opportunities for students.

The diversity of the country ensures that you can find your ideal college state, whatever your personal preferences; have a look at three states you may have overlooked.

Colleges For Expats in Colorado

Colorado has a wealth of natural beauty to offer its college students.

Heralded by many as the most beautiful state in the entire USA, Colorado has long been a popular choice with active students who love the outdoors. Academically, Colorado is home to several very good colleges including Colorado State University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of Denver, with about 7,000 international students enrolling each year.

There are many excellent courses offered in Colorado, and the state is especially known for its excellent international affairs, business, environmental studies, and global sustainability courses. Combined with its outstanding natural scenery and fresh mountain air, it's not hard to see why this state is such a hot-spot for those who care about the environment. Colorado is also known for offering first-rate non-profit sector courses, and because Denver leads the US for non-profits per capita, students are perfectly situated to begin their careers once they have graduated.

Culturally, Colorado is known for its liberal, progressive outlook. This democratic state was one of the first to legalize marijuana and consequently has one of the highest rates of use, with just over 41% of 18-25 years olds using the drug in the past year. Despite concerns by some over the recent legalization, Colorado remains one of the best states in which to live an active, healthy life. With first-class ski resorts and ideal landscapes for countless outdoor activities – not to mention getting more sunshine than San Diego – studying in Colorado may be the perfect choice for anyone serious about staying active while studying.

Colleges For Expats in Illinois

Chicago University is one of the best colleges in the world.

As a mid-western state, Illinois is often passed over by students – national as well as international – but it has some of the best educational opportunities in the country. The state's most famous college is without a doubt the University of Chicago, which is one of the best universities in the U.S and currently ranked ninth in the world. Specializing in sociology, law, economics, physics, religious studies, and political science, many of the University of Chicago's programs are highly ranked, with their English, history, and law curriculums placed in the top ten worldwide.

In addition to its top college, Illinois is also home to Northwestern University which remains very popular with international students and offers excellent music and communications courses. The liberal Elmhurst College is also a top choice with transnational students and offers over 50 different majors. In total, at least around 25,000 foreign students enroll in Illinois colleges each year.

Aside from its academia, Illinois is also home to the country's third most populous city, Chicago. Full of fascinating history and culture, a thriving nightlife, and a well-deserved reputation for excellent cuisine, the 'Windy City' is a wonderful place for young people to live. Illinois itself is very diverse with a wide-ranging climate; during the summer months it can get exceptionally hot and the winters are often bitingly cold. Bordered by the Mississippi River on the west and the Wabash and Ohio Rivers on the south and east, Illinois possesses some breath-taking scenery that outdoorsy students will enjoy taking advantage of.

Colleges For Expats in Rhode Island

As the 'Ocean State', Rhode Island offers students a unique blend of modern New England life with traditional maritime culture, and the addition of exceptional educational opportunities makes it is a popular choice among many national and international students. Due to its proximity to both Boston and New York City, Rhode Island is perfectly situated for students to take advantage of these historic, captivating, and diverse cities – without the big city price tag.

Rhode Island's most famous college is the esteemed Ivy League Brown University, which is located in the state capital Providence. One of the oldest universities in the USA, Brown is currently ranked 39th in the world and is known for its caliber of alumni, which includes two Nobel Prize winners. Entry into to Brown is just as competitive as you would imagine from an Ivy League university, although Brown is "need-aware" for international students; meaning that if you meet the college's high standards any financial difficulties will be taken into account.

Aside from Brown, the University of Rhode Island is a public college specializing in agricultural economics, nursing, and engineering, with the main campus located in Kingston in south Rhode Island. Johnson & Wales University is another specialist college with excellent business, technology, education, and hospitality courses.

In addition to its colleges, Rhode Island boasts hundreds of pristine beaches and beautiful wilderness trails that are ideal for hiking. Due to the fact that 14% of Rhode Island consists of bays, inlets and waters that are perfect for sailing, seadogs will be in their element here too. As one of the central hubs of New England, Providence is a thriving small city with an extensive student population and a liberal, bohemian culture – and more coffee shops per capita than anywhere else in the country!

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Mar 05, 2015

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