Sometimes, students desire four-year institutions whose undergraduate studies lead to Bachelor’s degrees in Humanities, Arts, Sciences and Social Sciences. These institutions are called Liberal Arts Colleges and it is important to understand the core principles of these colleges and how best they fit international students. This article will help you do just that.
As an international student, you can benefit from studying in liberal arts colleges when you know what drives them. At the heart of these colleges are the following principles:
1. Provide varied education
Liberal arts colleges desire to provide their students with as diverse an education as possible. Students are often required to take courses in many different subjects – even courses outside their chosen fields. This gives students a well-rounded education, allows them to discover new areas of interest as well as learn soft skills.
2. Character building
The curriculums at liberal arts colleges are designed to mould and build students’ character. The ultimate goal of a liberal arts education is to turn students into well-rounded individuals who can define themselves. Thus, students are encouraged and expected to participate in learning experiences such as internships, study abroad programs, student organizations, etc.
3. Interaction with faculty
It is common practice for students to relate freely with their professors at liberal arts schools. The small classes make students feel very comfortable asking questions, seeking help, and being mentored by their professors. These relationships prove to be invaluable before and after graduation and make writing effective letters of recommendation easy. With this, a student’s chances of getting into graduate school are increased.
Diversity is at the heart of liberal arts education. It is firmly believed that diversity leads to new ideas and perspectives that can help individuals and the world around them. Thus, interacting with people of different backgrounds expands students’ horizons and allows them to learn about other cultures. These colleges typically encourage study abroad programs to give their students a better understanding of other cultures. It also gives them and a different way of looking at the world.
5. Critical thinking
The true goal of liberal arts education is to provide students with the tools to think for themselves and come to their own conclusions. This is often observed in classrooms where professors engage in discussions with their students. Students are also encouraged to engage in discussions with each other.
Critical thinking is valuable skill employers look for because it is invaluable for problem-solving and coming up with creative ideas. Undoubtedly, the core principles of a liberal arts college can lead to an excellent education and success throughout life.