A majority of the students from the Middle East opt to study in the United States. The students prefer the United States due to numerous reasons. They include academic excellence, advanced technology, and multiplicity of academic opportunities among others (Lee and Rice 389). Many students believe that the United States has the best university systems globally (Yangyi 1024). Therefore, they travel to the United States for tertiary education after graduating from high school.
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The desire to advance my knowledge in art and design is what forced me to go to the United States for further studies. I believed that the country had the best lecturers in the world. Hence, I was assured of receiving the best education.
I developed a passion for art during my high school education. Unfortunately, our school did not have adequate and experienced teachers for art and design. The school had only one teacher who taught the senior class. The other students relied on unskilled teachers. The lack of skilled teachers did not thwart my dream to major in art and design. I dedicated a lot of time to studying art materials.
When I joined the senior class, I majored in art and design. Eventually, I graduated with a distinction in arts and design. I felt the desire to take my skills in art and design to a higher level. Unfortunately, I could not do it in the Middle East. One of the reasons why I could not pursue my studies in the Middle East was a lack of adequate lecturers. I visited the universities that offered a degree in art and design and learned that most of them did not have enough lecturers. The available lecturers were quite busy to provide personalized assistance. Thus, I knew that it was hard to achieve my dream in the Middle East.
Apart from poor teachers, Middle East does not have a good learning environment (Gaad 34). Art and design demand a lot of creativity. One requires conducting extensive research and interacting with other people who major in the same field. Unfortunately, very few people major in arts and design. Hence, it was hard for me to find someone to consult in the case of a problem. Additionally, the country lacked the state-of-the-art libraries and technologies that could facilitate research.
I needed to be in a country where I could easily access not only the lecturers but also art galleries that can help to arouse my creativity. The United States offered such an opportunity. The colleges in the Middle East do not provide flexible degree programs. Instead, they have structured programs that deny the students an opportunity to select classes that suit their interests.
Studying in the Middle East deprives the students of the chance to grow their cultural experience and increase educational opportunities (Chapman and Miric 327). A majority of the universities do not have a variety of student clubs that are tailored to the interests of different scholars. Some students end up joining organizations or clubs not because they add value to their interests but due to the desire to be members of an individual association.
Conversely, universities in the United States have diverse clubs and organizations that help students to nurture talents and pursue their interests (Lee 59). Thus, studying in the United States gives a student a chance to learn the American culture and make new friends. Besides, international students participate in numerous athletic, cultural, and academic activities that add value to their life.
In the Middle East, only a few colleges offer degrees in art and design. Besides, the colleges enroll a small number of students due to inadequate learning facilities (Gaad 43). My chances of getting enrolled in one of the colleges were constrained as I graduated from a rural high school. Besides, I never applied for a degree course in any of the colleges in my country. I always thought of going to the United States. I was confident that the United States offered flexible degree programs. Hence, I could find coursework that matched my academic needs, goals, and interests.
Getting an opportunity to study in the United States was not easy. I did not know where to begin. I did not have any contacts at any American University. Besides, I did not know if my high school grades were admissible in an American University. Luckily enough, my brother knew how to apply for a degree program in the United States. He had studied in the United States for three years. Thus, he had vast experience in what is required for one to join a university.
I told him about my desire to join him in the United States and within a few weeks we started to prepare the requisite documents. After finding all the necessary documents, he guided me on how to apply for a degree course. I sent applications to ten universities to increase the chances of getting admitted. After six months, I received admission letters from three institutions. My brother helped me to select the best college based on the cost of living and the availability of affordable apartments in its environs. One major mistake that International students commit is choosing a university because it is situated in a major city (Brustein 387). Many students are unable to bear with the cost of living in the main towns. Hence, my brother selected a university that was far from the major cities.
After choosing the college, he visited the school to inquire about what was required before I could enroll in the degree program. He knew about the best visa for international students and how to apply for one. Hence, he assisted me to apply for the visa. He also rented an apartment in one of the residential areas that were close to the University. My brother made all the necessary arrangements for my travel to the United States.
After the visa was ready, I moved to the United States to join my brother. He requested one week leave from his workplace to take me around the university as well as the nearest city. He also assisted me to purchase the household items that I required for my survival. I did not need the assistance of the international students’ office. By the time the classes began, I was acquainted with the university. Besides, I knew all that was needed on my first day at the school. I did not require going through the registration process as my brother had already done it on my behalf. Without my brother, it would have been hard for me to get a chance to study in the United States.
Brustein, William. “The Global Campus: Challenges and Opportunities for Higher Education in North America.” Journal of Studies in International Education 11.4 (2007): 382-391. Print.
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Chapman, David and Suzanne, Miric. “Education Quality in the Middle East.” International Review of Education 55.4 (2009): 311-344. Print.
Gaad, Eman. Inclusive Education in the Middle East, New York: Routledge, 2010. Print.
Lee, Jenny and Charles Rice. “Welcome to America? International Student Perceptions of Discrimination.” Higher Education 53.3 (2007): 381-409. Print.
Lee, Jenny. “Beyond Borders: International Student Pathways to the United States.” Journal of Studies in International Education 4.2 (2007): 55-78. Print.
Yangyi, Kwon. “Factors Affecting International Students’ Transition to Higher Education Institutions in the United States: From the Perspective of Office of International Students.” College Student Journal 43.4 (2009): 1020-1036. Print.