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The Importance of English for International Students

Arturo Teaching

Recruiting Agency - Owned by Arturo

In the last four years I have had the opportunity to work with students from South America and Europe looking to start their higher education in the United States. The process of helping these students normally poses many barriers which makes it a longer process, with reduced opportunities, or even in the worst cases it prevents students from coming and obtaining an education in the United States.

In this post I will focus on the number one reason students end up having a bad experience in their search for higher education within this country.

The main barrier international students face throughout the admissions process is their English level. In the last few years we have prioritized the acquisition of language skills so that students can complete the admission process. Although acceptance to a university enables students to study abroad, it is not an indicator that students have developed the required skills to be successful within the academic or social spheres in a different country.

Many individuals think that the biggest problem concerning the English language for prospective students is found in the admissions process, but the true issue occurs after the students are admitted. Tools like standardized exams are used by universities to determine which prospects are better fits for the given college environment, but the tests are unable to assess the individual's ability to adapt to the social and cultural climate of the school.

The students with the highest levels of English, who have typically either attained language proficiency or had the opportunity to study in highly specialized programs, are more likely to experience a smooth admissions process. In addition, they tend to be more prepared to adapt in a cultural and social sense.

Thousands of students from all over the world apply every year to universities within the United States. It is critical for these prospective scholars to understand the importance of language acquisition, which goes beyond the admissions process. Simple paperwork processes, job searches, and even monotonous tasks like grocery shopping could become real challenges for a poorly prepared student in a foreign country. Ill-equipped to face these obstacles and without support, many students return to their home countries empty-handed. Thankfully, companies like Language Matters and Aiming Toward College exist to provide students with the support they need to be successful in their college careers, not only leading into the admissions process, but also into their college journeys and bright futures.

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