The California Community College system is the largest system of higher education in the United States.
Recently, the number of international students in California’s Community Colleges has grown exponentially. The top five countries of origin for international students attending community college in California include China, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Mexico.
Why is the Population of International Students Rising at Community Colleges Across California?
International Students See California as a Socially Liberal State
California is a melting point of cultures, boasting a large and culturally diverse population. With many international students coming to California year after year, California remains one of the most active and inviting American states in recruiting international students.
Living in California leads to interacting with people of all cultures, embracing new languages, foods, and ideas on a daily basis. The diversity of California means that a foreign student will receive much more than the potential education available in the community colleges just by exploring California.
California’s higher education presents a well-organized network of colleges and universities. California’s system of education has a reputation for providing quality education within the University of California schools, California State University schools, private schools and at the community college level. Students who study in California’s Community Colleges can look forward to the acknowledgment of the prestige and quality of the diplomas upon graduation, both nationally and internationally. Some of California’s community colleges that consistently rank top in the nation include:
- De Anza College
- Orange Coast College
- Saddleback College
- Santa Barbara City College
- Cypress College
- Ohlone College
- Irvine Valley College
- Santa Monica Community College
- Sierra College
- Diablo Valley College
Foreign Students Use California Community Colleges as a Pathway to earn a Bachelor’s Degree at Prestigious Universities
California community colleges have articulation agreements with California’s renowned four-year institutions. These agreements make the transition from community colleges to four-year institutions swift and efficient for international students. Some colleges provide individualized transfer plans for international students to ensure their courses meet university requirements.
According to US News and World Report, top universities recruit international students from community colleges because of their proven academic performance in college-level courses, English speaking and comprehension skills.
California Community Colleges Offer International Students a Cheaper Entry Point into their Higher Education Pursuit
Students will pay low tuition fees on freshman and sophomore level classes then transfer to four-year schools to complete their bachelor’s degree. For instance, Diablo Valley College in Northern California will cost approximately $6,000 for 24 credits, while it will cost $16,500 for the same number of credits at a four-year institution. Based on two years of attending community college, the price difference and savings translates to a student’s junior year of tuition fees and meals.
Other Reasons Why International Students are Flocking to California Community Colleges:
- California community colleges help international students who did not have enough high school grades or college admission test scores to get accepted into their dream college. 90% of international students attend community colleges to ultimately transfer to a more prestigious university.
- For an international student who does not have the academic credentials to transfer directly to a four-year institution, community colleges offer a flexible alternative that allows them to boost their grades to qualify for admittance to four-year schools in the U.S. Community colleges use an open admission policy, which means that anyone with a high school diploma or GED can attend.
- California community colleges also help international students by offering English language classes to prepare students to take college-level English composition.
Tips for Choosing a California Community College:
- Determine your long-term academic goals: if your goal is to transfer to a four-year college, it is prudent that you research the California community college that feeds into the four-year college of your preference. For instance, Santa Monica College is known as leading in transfers to a University of California and California state university systems.
- Ensure that the community college is accredited and that your credit will transfer.
- Determine your housing needs. There are many community colleges with residential buildings on campuses, but most do not have dorms or residential buildings. However, with the variety of lifestyles and multi-person living situation students studying in California embrace, the cost of living in California can be considerably minimized with proper planning.
Beyond the many academic reasons for attending community college in California, many international students select California because the state offers endless opportunities for enjoying all four seasons in a moderate Mediterranean climate. From hiking in Yosemite National Park to shopping in San Francisco, there is something for everyone! Join California College Bound to explore the best colleges in the US! Our travel tours will help you visit California and get to know the many great schools in the state.