Why UK Students Explore US Universities

Source: BBC News, Dec 2011

Jason Parisi, from Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, has started this term at Yale and talks enthusiastically about his experiences.

He says he was drawn by the quality of the course on offer, and the belief that the international experience would give him an advantage in the jobs market when he returned, marking him out from the rest of the graduates.

The idea of an international education – gaining a more global perspective – appealed to him and he says that the “insular culture” which sees UK students stay at home is beginning to change.

He is studying Mandarin, economics, English and physics. “There is nowhere in the UK where I could have had that combination. You can build your own education here,” he says.

Wealthy colleges

Major US universities are extremely wealthy institutions – Yale’s endowment rose to $19.4bn (£12.3bn) this year – and he says he was “very surprised by the amount of resources”.

Yale and Harvard football game
Yale versus Harvard: Will the competition be for the brightest UK students?

“Whatever you want to do, as long as you provide the motivation, you’ll get the funding,” he says.

Perhaps more surprising is that the four years in Yale won’t cost him anything, as the financial aid package is covering all his fees and costs, including travel. It’s support worth about $250,000 (£158,000).

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