International students – uncle is not always the best judge!


International students sometimes have a tendency to select their university based on where their uncle or some relative lives. This is particularly true for Asian students. We repeatedly get requests from students stating that they MUST find a university in the same street where their uncle, sister, friend, or someone close lives (Ok, street is an exaggeration!)

Ask yourself if you want to make the most important decision of your life that will have great consequences on your career and future income based on where your uncle lives. You want to study abroad so that you can learn to fly, adapt to new cultures, face new challenges, meet new people, and get out of your comfort zone. It won't happen if you decide to live only next to uncle and go to the university that is next to uncle's house. In general, this is a bad idea. Occassionally, a great university that has exactly the program you are looking for is right next to uncle's house, in which case it is a great, great idea!

Dr. Uma G. Gupta is the President of USAsiaEdu ( and recruits international students for US universities. She can be reached at


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