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Why You Should Study Abroad at Community College

Community colleges are often overlooked in discussions abroad. Yet more students attend community colleges in the United States than any other higher education sector.

However, international students enrolled in community colleges make up only about 10 percent of all international students enrolled in higher education institutions graduating in the United States.

Maybe local students know something that international students don't?

If you are an international student interested in the benefits of studying abroad, we think Community College is the perfect place to study - especially if your grades are modest or your budget is tight.

Here are 4 reasons why you should study abroad at Community College:

1. You are exposed to greater diversity

Community colleges are inherently accessible to students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. This "Open Door" policy means learning alongside real people from different walks of life.

In this way, community colleges can provide international students with a richer and more diverse experience abroad - one that maximizes exposure to different learning and working methods.

Coupled with dedicated English courses and tutoring services, community colleges also offer less intimidating environments where international students can immerse themselves in a new language and culture.

2. You will be noticed by potential employers

Many community colleges are closely related to the local industry. Employers therefore often have a strong presence on campus.

Candidates with global experience who can communicate across linguistic and cultural boundaries are highly valued in today's global job market. Many employers see positively the initiative, determination, planning, and multitasking that you have only undertaken for studying abroad.

This makes Community College the perfect place for international students to meet potential employers, find internships, or take part in work programs that may not be available at home.

3. You enjoy more flexibility

Studying at Community College is all about the possibilities. Community colleges often consider other priorities when planning courses. For example, many offer evening or weekend classes so students are not forced to choose between classes or work / family responsibilities.

In two short years, you could use your comprehensive degree or diploma as a catalyst for new or better job opportunities, or as an incentive for a bachelor's degree or other specialization - now or at a later date.

In a shorter, more intense period of time, you can complete one of a variety of certificate courses or industry-specific training programs to acquire additional knowledge, skills and experience.

For international students considering studying abroad at a community college, this high level of customization means more opportunities to finance their study abroad through part-time work (subject to any visa restrictions).

You can also use the more generous schedules to plan longer trips, visit locations further away from college, and make connections with new friends in between and around your study commitments.

4. It's a good investment

Community college tuition fees are lower in absolute terms than four-year institutions, even when outside of the state fees are factored in.

Community college not only costs less, it gives you more. Community colleges routinely offer more personalized attention, smaller class sizes, better employment outcomes, and more opportunities for blended learning.

That means less student debt and a higher return on investment.

Along with all of the other reasons we've highlighted, studying abroad at a community college is a hard combination to beat.

Are you planning to study abroad at a community college?

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About the author

Dean Ehrlich is a digital content editor at He develops content to support product and website growth. He is mainly from South Africa and has also lived and studied in Botswana and France. He currently lives in Sweden after moving there to study abroad.