Where will you excel? 4 important criteria for finding your perfect fit in the U.S.
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Where will you excel? 4 important criteria for finding your perfect fit in the U.S.

Finding the university where you will excel is a uniquely personal exercise that is specific to each student, and the University of North Carolina International Recruiting Consortium (UNC International) is dedicated to providing information and support for prospective students. UNC International’s knowledgeable staff – including international students, who have been through the process themselves – are available to advise students from beginning to admission.

UNC International is a group of 10 highly regarded North Carolina universities that have joined together to recruit outstanding international students to their bachelor’s and master’s degree programs – include:

East Carolina University (ECU), Fayetteville State University (FSU), North Carolina A&T State University (NCA&T), North Carolina Central University (NCCU), UNC Asheville (UNCA), UNC Greensboro (UNCG), UNC Pembroke (UNCP), UNC School of the Arts (UNCSA), UNC Wilmington (UNCW), and Western Carolina University (WCU)

Each of these universities offers international students a wealth of high-quality academic and professional opportunities for studies and Optional Practical Training (OPT), in addition to the overall value, return on educational investment, and strong sense of community that are so important to be successful.

To help you get started on the journey, UNC International has shared some information on what its 10 universities have to offer students in terms of those four crucial criteria – quality, careers/employability, location/value, and community.

1. Quality

If it’s a high-quality STEM program you seek, then you have come to the right place! UNC International’s member schools offer a wealth of exciting options in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

North Carolina Central University’s (NCCU) Bio-manufacturing Research Institute & Technology Enterprise (BRITE) program was named #1 STEM program among 111 HBCUs this year.

East Carolina University (ECU) boasts strong program offerings in engineering, technology and health sciences. Undergraduates already looking ahead to medical school will also be interested in checking out ECU’s highly regarded Brody School of Medicine.

North Carolina A&T State University (NCAT) is well known for its cutting-edge course portfolio in Engineering, with specialties including Electrical & Computer Engineering, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering, Computational Science & Engineering, and Chemical, Biological & Bio Engineering.

Students interested in the business field can take their pick among UNC International’s universities – all 10 are AACSB accredited in Business and Accounting.

The Consortium is also home to the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA), the only dedicated public liberal arts university in the state. Students seeking to begin their studies at a smaller university with top faculty and small class sizes need look no further. And if STEM is your primary interest, UNCA has a program which guarantees admission to North Carolina State University’s Engineering Programs in the third year of study.

This is just the beginning! UNC International’s staff is excited to talk with students about the truly unique opportunities available through its 10 universities – programs like Marine Sciences (UNC Wilmington), Construction Management (Western Carolina University), Environmental Studies (UNC Asheville), Professional Caliber Arts Conservatories (UNC School of the Arts), Geospatial Science (Fayetteville State University), Criminal Justice (UNC Pembroke), and more.

2. Careers & Employability

One thing that sets UNC International’s schools apart is their access to real-world, applicable professional training. North Carolina is growing in population and economic investment, and its universities collaborate with many of the country’s most innovative companies – including those in the world-renowned Research Triangle Park (RTP).

North Carolina Central University boasts two state-of-the-art biotechnology research facilities that collaborate with pharmacy and biotech companies in nearby Research Triangle Park, providing students with desirable professional experience and helping them stand out in the job market.

UNC International’s universities also come with a high return on investment, meaning an impressively high graduate placement rate. For example, East Carolina University’s College of Engineering and Technology places 95 percent of its graduate engineers in meaningful careers within 90 days of graduation.

The reputation for excellence among UNC International’s member universities extends well beyond U.S. borders. Alumni enjoy professional success in their home countries.
For example, there is Xing Zhang, a former UNC Pembroke student who graduated in 2008 with an MA in Public Administration. Xing is now the Chief Operating Officer of Beijing DCN Orthopedic Hospital – the official hospital for the Chinese Olympic Team. Xing’s wife also graduated from UNCP, finishing at the top of her class in the Nursing Program.

3. Location & Value

North Carolina enjoys a moderate climate and vast geographic diversity. UNC International’s universities span the state, offering students options from the idyllic Appalachian Mountains to the Crystal Coast, from thriving urban centers to picturesque small towns. The state also has an ideal location in the Southeastern U.S. – with an easy two-hour flight you can be in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., New York City, or Miami.

Everyone knows tuition and cost of living are both important factors for students in selecting a university. North Carolina universities are known for providing high-quality education for an incredibly affordable price. Washington Monthly ranked East Carolina University No. 1 “Best Bang for the Buck” among colleges and universities in the Southeast, and UNC Greensboro is ranked among the 10 best universities in the nation for the value its education offers graduates, according to the nonprofit Educate to Career. The state’s cost of living is also among the lowest in the nation.

4. Community

One of the many things UNC International’s universities pride themselves on is their commitment to being supportive and student-centered. What does being student-centered mean? For instance, a recent national study, Documenting Effective Educational Practices (DEEP), highlighted Fayetteville State University as “a remarkably nurturing and supportive institution that takes seriously its responsibility for total ‘personal development.” All ten Consortium schools place a high value on providing academic advising and opportunities for students to become involved in campus activities.

Another area where UNC International universities excel is access to top faculty. With a student-faculty ratio of 16:1 and an average class size of around 20 students, UNC Pembroke’s faculty are able to take a personal interest in each student’s success. In 2016 North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University was ranked among the 10 best schools in the nation for the quality and accessibility of its professors, according to The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education.

Students looking to get involved in an engaged local community outside of the university should take a serious look at University of NC Asheville. The university ranks first nationally on the “Best Schools for Making an Impact” list – The Princeton Review guidebook, Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best Value Colleges and What It Takes to Get In – 2016 Edition.

Determining the right university for you is a deeply personal decision. With a choice of 10 universities offering quality, employability, value, and community and UNC International as your trusted partner throughout the process, you are sure to make the decision that is right for you and for your future. Contact UNC International’s experienced staff –  some of whom are international students nearing graduation themselves – and let them help guide you to the place where you will excel.

Click here to find out more about the UNC International Recruitment Consortium

All images courtesy of the UNC International Recruitment Consortium

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