When I say the word college, we all have our own ideas of what this word entails along with everything that happens when students go to college. But, not everywhere or everyone has the same experience as you, creating a diverse range of knowledge and well-rounded group of people. College in the Middle East has distinct differences than college in America.
Many American students are accustomed to moving away and living in dorms when they go to college. However, it is more common in the Middle East for students to live at home and commute to their college nearby. This is very interesting to me because although a small population of American students live at home and go to a community college, it is generally expected that students move away to college. In fact, it is often times looked down upon to stay at home. We value the independence that comes along with moving away for the first time. However, Middle Eastern students find it normal to live it home. I could see why this would be more effective, since staying at home would keep students focused on their studies and it keeps them closer to their family. Which do you think is more important, learning independence or staying focused and being with your family?
Here in America, internships and on campus jobs are heavily stressed. Students are even given work-study to guarantee them a job. In the Middle East, they focus only on their classes themselves instead of juggling a job or internship on top of it. They take their classes and schoolwork very seriously. I think a big factor in this is that since American students are moving away during college while Middle Eastern students are not, they are forced to make extra money to pay their rent or dorm fees. So, do you feel that it’s more important to have a job or internship or to focus on your studies?
Interestingly enough, 690,923 international students are enrolled in America, and 33,797 are students from the Middle East. This means that about 5% of international students in America are Middle Eastern. Yet only 1% of American college students go to school in the Middle East. Although this isn’t a huge difference in percentages, there is definitely a larger group of Middle Eastern students studying in America. I feel that many people in America are uninformed about a typical Middle Eastern college as well as the variety of experience they would get by traveling to the Middle East to study. What do you think creates the difference in percentages?
I would argue that neither the American nor the Middle Eastern college system is a better structure. We each have a different education with different experiences along the way. It’s important to recognize these differences and accept that not everyone has the same education. Think about the differences and think about what your life would be like in the opposite experience. As I did this for myself, a lot of things around me seemed to change yet the most important part of my education seemed to stay the same.