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A global education: Why universities love international students

It’s clear that studying in the US for high school provides a great number of opportunities for international students. Experiencing a new culture, benefitting from America’s innovative education system, being inspired by global leaders in industry, research, and activism – these are just some of the reasons international students love high school in the US.

But, how do US universities feel about students who have already studied internationally for high school? The US currently has the world’s largest international student population, with over one-million students choosing to study in the states. With such a high number of applications made to US universities each year, there’s clearly something about students who have already studied internationally that sets them apart. We think the magic ingredient is community – and here’s why!

Global outlook

International students already know how to contribute positively to a school community. Students who have already studied abroad for high school in the US, have experience of learning and living alongside people from all around the globe. They’re practiced in setting stereotypes aside and making informed opinions about international issues and foreign affairs. US universities know that an international high school community provides opportunities for unique cross-cultural experiences – such as celebrating new traditions, sampling different cuisines or traveling to visit friends in other countries.

Not only does this mean an applicant will be personally more well-rounded and knowledgeable, but it also means they’re likely to bring more to the table. Universities want to create diverse communities that function as melting pots for intelligent thought and innovation. International students with global outlooks will fit right in. EF Academy Alumna, Menna Clarke, explains why she chose to study at an international school:

“I wanted to study in a place where there’s people from the whole world, where everyone is there. I wanted to meet people and make links globally. One of the things we have at school is the culture fair, and that’s a huge opportunity to learn about different cultures.”

Thinkers and listeners

International high school communities also force students to confront different interpersonal and communication styles. Students in this environment quickly become flexible conversationalists who are empathetic and willing to adapt to connect fully with others. They become better active listeners and critical thinkers – skills that will enable them to foster personal and professional connections both in high school and in their future careers.

US university communities are built on the concept of allowing students to thrive off of one another. They know that the ability to build connections, think independently and be informed by the experiences of others, are all qualities that will make a student both academically and personally successful. EF Academy Alumna, Vilde Ramde, explains how her experience has enhanced her personal skillset:

“By studying at an international school, I’ve learned how to interact with people from different countries, and by studying in another country away from my family, I’ve become more independent.”

Personal drive

Studying in the US for high school is not the easy option. Particularly for students whose home countries and families are far away or for those who aren’t initially fluent in the English language. For a high school student to make the commitment to study abroad, it takes great personal drive and motivation. As a result, international high schools in the US become incredible communities made up of supportive, successful individuals. These communities are dedicated to bringing out the best in everyone.

Students help one another to become the best possible versions of themselves, both personally and academically. Naturally inclined to work hard, students supported by peers with the same goals, the same passion to succeed, are inspired and invigorated. This is perhaps the most important feature that US universities recognize in students from international high school communities. Students have a demonstrated history of striving to become intelligent, dedicated, global citizens, and of helping the students around them to do the same.


At EF Academy, we offer students the chance to study within an international community like no other, while receiving all the preparation they’ll need to succeed on the path to university.

Join EF Academy's international community.Learn more

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