Written by: Kambria Amidan

Students are making the move to study internationally. What makes them different from those who choose to stay in their home country?

According to the International Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, about 3.7 million students study internationally and that number is increasing by 12 percent each year.

Susana Arteaga, a sophomore studying biology, said she grew up in a little town in Mexico, 50 minutes from the beach, called Papantla. She said that she did not always want to come to Idaho for college.

Arteaga said her dad always wanted his kids to come to the United States to study because that is what he did. She said he thinks the education in the United States is better than in Mexico.

Mexico only spends 19.66 percent of government education funding on post-secondary education, according to NationMaster. However, the United States spends 25.65 percent of that funding.

“Often those studying abroad will experience a completely new way of teaching,” according to topuniversities.com. “This can be daunting, but it will also open your mind to new ways of learning.”

However, Charlotte Russell, a sophomore studying English who is from England, said she struggled the most with the different way of teaching.

Russell said back in England, grading, the way classes work and exams are all completely different.

“It was hard getting used to an entirely different education system in the United States,” Russell said.

Arteaga said another reason why some students study internationally is because their parents often influence that decision.

Arteaga said at first, she did not want to come to BYU-I. She only came because her father wanted her to.

“I love it here, though, so I’m happy he made me,” Arteaga said.

Unlike Arteaga, Russell decided to come here because she wanted to for herself.

“The more I looked into it, the more I really liked the idea of it. My parents were super supportive of it,” Russell said.

According to topuniversities.com, another reason why students study internationally is because it is easier to gain independence while being in another country.

“In the United States, everyone is so independent,” Arteaga said.

Arteaga said she had never driven a car, done anything like clean checks or washed her own clothes.

“I had never cleaned in my life,” Arteaga said.

According to The Study Abroad website, if you want to discover different cultures, then the best way to do that is to live it.

Arteaga said that Mexico has a lot of cultural and economic differences from the United States that shocked her at first.

“Seeing no dirt in the streets was also very shocking for me,” Arteaga said. “It’s so clean here. Mexico is so dirty.”

Russell said it was weird to have someone share a room with her because that is not something common in England.

“For me, coming and having a roommate was a very American thing,” Russell said. “I love having a roommate.”

It is also very important to meet a diverse range of people and get to know those around the world, according to topuniversities.com.

“It feels like I have family all around the world now,” Russell said.