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Today, we are going to explore the presence of international students who come to the United States to receive an education, specifically a boarding school education.

Let’s first talk general statistics about international students who come to the United States to study.

  • The U.S. hosts more of the world’s 4.5 million international students than any other country. 
  • The number of international students in the U.S. has grown 72% since 2000; this number declined in 2017, but is on the rise again. 
  • China is the largest source of international students in the U.S. The Middle East and North Africa are the fastest growing regions of origin for international students in the U.S. 
  • International student spending added more than $27 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013; most students (64%) paid for their education with personal or family funds.

What is an International Student?

Let’s define the term international student. An international student is one who holds a foreign or non-U.S. passport. He or she is a citizen of a country other than the United States of America. 

Why Do Foreign Students Choose to Study in the U.S.?

The main reason foreign students choose to study in America is because the United States offers a world class education, with many varied options regarding types of schools and programs.

Almost all American boarding schools offer rigorous academics combined with compulsory athletics and a wide variety of extracurricular activities. But even more important to a parent who is probably going to remain at home while her child goes off to school in the United States, boarding schools take the safety and well-being of the student very seriously. While the child is at school,  24/7 supervision is provided. During vacations, the school will help place the student with a host family in lieu of flying the student back home if that is not an option.

Boarding schools also offer international students an opportunity to improve their English proficiency, with many schools offering English-language programs and support, commonly referred to as ESL (English as a Second Language). The ESL classes are small and help the student improve their speaking, reading, and writing abilities. It can be difficult to learn English if it is not spoken regularly. In boarding school, international students attend class, play sports, and live with English-speaking students. This creates an environment for learning English. This gives students the chance to make friends and communicate in English on a regular basis.

Another reason international students choose to study at American boarding schools is because the schools offer access to well-trained college counselors who help guide the students through the college application process. Also, top colleges visit boarding schools to recruit students, which allows students to make meaningful connections with the college representatives. Many boarding schools also offer special classes to help international students prepare for the TOEFL or TOEIC exams, which are often required for college admission.

Boarding schools offer a unique opportunity for international students to meet and make friends with students from other cultures. Students are exposed to people of different religious, geographic, and linguistic backgrounds. Being part of a boarding school community can help foreign students overcome cultural barriers associated with living outside of their home country.

What is the Cost to International Students who Study at American Boarding Schools?

Most boarding schools assess international families with a higher tuition rate than that extended to American families. This additional tuition, on average, is $20K above the domestic tuition rate. This helps offset the costs of traveling to foreign countries to recruit potential students. Also, most international students require ESL courses and other learning support to ensure success in the classroom. Lastly, many international students have dietary needs that align with their culture, which boarding schools try to accommodate, and these foods cost money.

When international families consider sending their student to an American boarding school, they should consider not only tuition costs, but also uniform costs, international travel costs, and spending money to student may need for assorted sundries.

If you are interested in sending your student to boarding school, please contact us at Global Academic Consultants

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