Interstride Study Shows International Students See 'Value Gap' in U.S. Higher Education

SAN FRANCISCO, March 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- International students wholeheartedly recommend studying in the United States but are more skeptical that an American education will pay off in their careers, according to a recent survey. These somewhat contradictory findings were the result of research commissioned by the company Interstride. Interstride is a digital platform that supports the educational and career goals of international students.

The company commissioned higher-education consultant Anna Esaki-Smith of Education Rethink to survey more than 1,000 students from over 100 countries about their experiences and perceptions involving their American education. Esaki-Smith published her results in a paper titled "Is studying in the U.S. worth it?"

The survey, Esaki-Smith said, revealed a "distinct dynamic."

"We have international students who value the U.S. study abroad experience, drawn to the country by the stellar reputation of U.S. colleges and universities," she said. "But what we offer in terms of tangible value to students through the lens of career outcomes is not as clear to these students."

Eighty-four percent of respondents said they would recommend studying in the U.S. to friends and peers back home. This is good news for U.S. institutions, given that word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful recruitment tool among international students. Yet, only 49% of respondents said that the value of a U.S. education from a career perspective justifies the cost.

Esaki-Smith said the higher-education community must close the perceived "value gap." She identified recommendations that included: 

  • More outreach by career centers to engage international students in career readiness services.  
  • Build upon students' existing positive attitude towards the U.S. study experience by providing both emotional and professional support.
  • Develop closer relationships with U.S. employers that could potentially hire international graduates.

Interstride commissioned the research to learn about international student sentiment heading into a post-pandemic environment.

"At Interstride, we pride ourselves on keeping a finger on the pulse of what international students are thinking," CEO Nitin Agrawal said.

Read the entire report here.

About Interstride

Interstride is a platform that supports students with their international endeavors. Interstride provides real-time Country Insights on 150+ countries, including travel and health guidance, jobs and opportunities in 80+ countries, a global network and community of students and alumni, along with other tools and features for international students in the U.S. Interstride has partnered with more than 130 universities and colleges to help them better support their students. 

About Anna Esaki-Smith

Anna Esaki-Smith is Co-Founder of Education Rethink, a global research consultancy that provides advice on international strategies to higher education institutions, private companies and governmental organizations. Anna specializes in helping universities develop and maximize their global outreach activities, including international student recruitment, partnership development, content creation and global branding. 

For media inquiries, contact: 

Judy Chen | Interstride 


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"Is studying in the U.S. worth it?"

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Interstride research report