Should you choose a college with few or many?

You can choose a college in the United States with thousands and thousands of students or just a few hundred.

So too can you choose a college in the United States with any number of international students.

Several large colleges in the United States (such as the University of Southern California, New York University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) have 5,000 or more international students.

Many more have just 10 or 20 (or even fewer) international students at their college.
Before you start to fill out a US university application, you should decide if the number of international students at the United States college you attend matters to you.

Why choose a college in the United States with few international students?

  • You will improve your English faster. If you are surrounded by few students who speak your native language, and if you have an American roommate, you will have to rely on English much more.
  • You want to know most (if not all) of the students at your college. United States colleges with a small number of international students tend to have a small enrollment overall. This means you will be more likely to know many of your classmates.
  • You prefer the location of the college. If you want to attend a college in rural location, you may have few international classmates.

Why choose a college in the United States with many international students?

  • You want to have classmates that speak your native language. If the college that you choose in the United States has thousands of international students, chances are you will have at least one classmate who speaks your language.
  • You want to meet students from around the world. Of course, most of your classmates will be from the United States. But you also may become friends with students from dozens of other countries.
  • You want to participate in international student clubs and other activities specifically for students from other countries. A large college in the United States is likely to have many options for international student support.

The number of international students is only one factor you should consider before you choose a college in the United States. You should attend a school where you not only will get a good education in your area of study, but also feel completely comfortable.

Plan a campus visit, either in person or online, and create a list of questions for your college visit. Officials at the United States college you are thinking about attending will be able to answer your questions about the number and type of college students and campus diversity there.

College in the United States offers abundant opportunities for international students, but first you must decide what kind of campus experience you desire.