As an aspirant from India, why must you consider Stanford University? Besides it being one of the top US colleges, there are numerous benefits to graduating from Stanford University. Let us take a look.
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1. World-Class faculty and research facilities:
The quality of the faculty in a university is one of the essential components of building its reputation. Since its founding, Stanford has been known for retaining world-class faculty. You can count 7 Nobel Prize winners among its illustrious ranks. In addition to stalwart profiles, what makes Stanford work is the student-to-faculty ratio. Even at the undergraduate level, the average student-teacher ratio is about 5:1. This helps the faculty to pay individual attention and each student to build meaningful relationships with the course and his/her mentors.
The resources for research are simply immense. The university allocates about $1.3 billion a year for research in various fields. In addition to a top-notch library and faculty, the Stanford name also invites pioneers from other parts of the world to present their research. Moreover, since the university is situated in the thick of Silicon Valley, true tech luminaries often drop in to teach a course.
2. Interdisciplinary Courses
As a student from India, you are probably steeped in the multi-disciplinary approach. Stanford offers a wide array of courses in multiple fields, to provide for every student’s educational needs. The university encourages interdisciplinary studies, especially at the undergraduate level. Even if you are enrolled in the engineering program, you can sign up for a few courses from the business school and learn other skills that are transferable and scalable. It gives you a well-rounded educational experience and the skill sets necessary to build your own brand in the real world.
In addition, the university is aware of how limited a student’s time is. Hence, they have designed mini-courses that are about three-four weeks long. These courses set Stanford apart from most other universities. It gives you a chance to experience and gain functional knowledge of different fields without having to commit an entire semester to it.
3. Residential Campus
Affectionately referred to as “the Farm”, Stanford’s campus is more than 8000 acres. One of the largest in the United States, it is a stunning campus that brings together history and modernity. The campus is entirely residential, for both faculty and students, allowing you to create more professional networks during your time there. It is located away from major cities, creating a kind of Stanford Bubble. Its sheer size and population result in creating a close-knit Stanford community. And for students from India, the weather on the western coast of the US is far more manageable than that in the East.
4. The Stanford Brand name
With a history that spans nearly 150 years, Stanford has built an impressive and formidable reputation for itself. Graduating from Stanford means that the privilege of the school’s reputation is now shared with you. The very name opens doors for you when you step outside into the professional world. Besides, the kind of learning and the work ethos within the university would have trained you to rise to the challenges an industry might throw at you.
5. A Culture of Entrepreneurship
It is no coincidence that Stanford University has generated some of the top-notch entrepreneurs of the 21st century. The university encourages leadership, professional development, innovation, creativity, and other characteristics that make for excellent entrepreneurs. StartX, for instance, is a Stanford student-started incubator for start-up ideas that is now run by the university.
6. Familiarity and Diversity
For Indian students, Stanford provides a comfortable balance of familiarity and adventure. With the huge number of Indians who migrate to Silicon Valley, there are plenty of options when one is looking for Indian food or communities or associations. The campus also has international students from 90 different countries. It exposes you to different cultures and helps you prepare for a global work environment.
7. Balance between Work and Play
While there is no doubt that Stanford is one of the top academic institutions that expects a lot from its students, there is no dearth of enjoyment on campus. The campus has a thriving social life and numerous clubs and associations for you to explore. They also have a culture of sports, with their teams dominating in a number of games. On a day off, you can also explore the gorgeous locales of the Bay Area.
8. Financial Support
Stanford has always featured in the top 5 for the U.S. News and World Report’s latest list of the Top Value Colleges. This ranking is a combination of the school’s education quality and affordability. Nearly 50% of the students at Stanford get some kind of financial aid or the other, with specialized scholarships available for Indian students.
9. Notable Alumni
As mentioned earlier, the list of Stanford Alumni is filled with stalwarts and pioneers in different fields. From Sunder Pichai to Elon Musk to Reese Witherspoon, the Stanford alumni community is strong. If you graduate from Stanford, you will not only join this notable list, but also be able to network with them through the university.
10. Community Involvement
One of the philosophies of the university is that its students make a positive impact on society through their discipline of choice. While there is no pressure on you to build the next Whatsapp or win the next Nobel, there is an emphasis on seeking to make a difference, no matter how small. The HAAS Centre for Public Service is one of the mediums through which students can engage with the community. The Stanford Daily is another student-run organisation, publishing the Stanford newspaper.
All things considered, life at Stanford for an international student is filled with opportunities that will help you grow and prepare you for the world outside.