Starting in 2020 and ongoing today, international students seeking to come to the United States to study found the welcome door shut tight. In the past years, more than one million international students annually enrolled in American colleges seeking the “camp college” experience. The 2020/21 COVID pandemic choked off travel and virtually shut down international enrollments.
These undergraduate students, ranging in age from 18 to 22, primarily from the more “well off” segments of their societies, faced U.S. travel restrictions that crushed their plans to study in the US. From our experience with this international undergrad group they regretted most their lost opportunities of being exposed first-hand to our culture, hospitality, and freedom from direct parental control.
On the other hand, their educational experiences changed, we believe for the better, by adapting to the educational experiences afforded by online education that promoted a “learn from home and save money model”. For those who were serious in obtaining an American style educational experience, online education gave them the opportunity to focus on their learning, rather than the demands of travel and living abroad, etc.
One take-away from the pandemic experience is that online opportunities for distance learning has exploded with almost universal adoption of online delivery by almost all of the 5,300 colleges and universities in the US. In addition, colleges were inspired to find ways to provide better online learning in almost every academic field, among the 200 or so identified by the U.S. Department of Education. The lessons learned will promote more international learning. Over the coming years and decades, the entire world’s population will benefit from affordable and accessible American education delivered to their own computers.
Dr. Don Hecht
University Founder and