From the Philippines to Iceland, an increasing number of U.S. military veterans are heading overseas to complete degrees at global universities, thanks to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Many veterans say appealing aspects of studying at an overseas college include learning another language and receiving cheaper tuition, thanks in part to the exchange rate.
U.S. Navy veteran Stephen Evans, 26, from Fort Smith, Arkansas, is studying for an undergraduate degree, referred to as a Master of Arts, at the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland. While searching for universities on the Department of Veterans Affairs website, he was surprised to find that he could use the benefits overseas.
“I decided to study in Scotland because I preferred their educational system to that of the U.S.,” he said via email. “Here, we are not required to take ‘core curriculum’ classes such as math, English, history and science, but instead have the opportunity to explore whatever subject matter the university offers as long as we take the required credit amount.”
Henry R. Charles, 31, from Virginia Beach, Virginia, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps and then the U.S. Army from 2002 to 2011, is completing a Master of Science in international transport at Cardiff University in Cardiff, Wales.
Charles says he chose Cardiff University because the one-year postgraduate specialty degree was shorter than any equivalent in the U.S., helping to maximize his three years of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.
The VA’s list of approved international colleges now includes around 1,800 universities or training schools in more than 100 countries, says Curtis L. Coy, VA deputy undersecretary for economic opportunity. Countries include Colombia in South America, Romania in Europe and New Zealand.
According to VA statistics, 2,007 Post-9/11 GI Bill students pursued either undergraduate or postgraduate degrees overseas in fiscal year 2015 compared with 806 in fiscal year 2010. Popular countries included the Philippines, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany and various other countries in Europe.
source usnews.com1