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Explore Postgraduate Short-Term Study Abroad Options in the US

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Curious about short-term study abroad options in the United States? Many international students live overseas for a shorter time, enrolling in one- or two-year-long certifications to build or diversify certain skills! Short-term postgraduate programs allow you to enjoy the benefits of studying abroad, while being conscious both of your academic budget and time away from your home country.

There’s never been a better time to boost your skills, and it’s becoming popular in many job markets. In June 2021, Gallup launched The American Upskilling Study, which found that:

  • 71% of US workers who participated in upskilling programs agreed, or strongly agreed, that it improved their work satisfaction level.
  • Approximately two out of three workers noted an improved standard of living and quality of life.

In this blog, we’ll talk about short-term programs that give international students the opportunity to develop their knowledge and enhance employability. These are also called upskilling programs, since they help students upgrade their existing skills, or learn related ones. Plus, we’ll look at some American ApplyBoard partner schools with interesting short-term study programs.

Keeping your options open? Check out these Canadian postgraduate programs.


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Approaches to Short-Term Study Abroad

Study at the postgraduate short-term study level is often independent. That said, if you’re employed, contact your HR department to see if continued learning support is available. This could be in the form of financial support, dedicated hours during your work week, or even in-house mentorship. Many companies see upskilling programs as a way to develop their top employees. These supports may not be easy to find, but are worth tracking down.

Are you job hunting instead? As many companies maintain a flexible working environment, jobs become available to a larger group of candidates. This openness could be a great opportunity, if you enjoy regularly building new skills–like through studying abroad. 

Completing a short program could open a whole new group of career paths for you! Read on to learn about some current opportunities.


A daytime photograph of a multi-storey university building set on a broad concrete promenade, lined by deciduous trees.

Image Credit: AllyUnion, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

University of California, Irvine

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) is driven by its central pillars of education, research, and public service, as it’s been since its founding in 1965.  Ranked #8 on the list of Best Public Universities in the Nation by US News & World Report, Irvine welcomes over 2,000 international students yearly, and its campus is in one of America’s safest cities. UCI is “a powerhouse of groundbreaking research and discovery–actively partnering with community and business leaders to enhance lives and make a difference.”

Graduate Certificates Include:

Business of Esports: Did you know the global value of electronic sports (esports) is estimated to reach US$2.8 billion by 2028? Build your skills in this booming industry! Students will hone project management skills, learn communication strategies, and manage social media content. They can also complete an optional internship.

Global Human Resources Management: Graduates can identify and adapt best practices for hiring and employee relations, while also gaining an understanding of global HR trends and technologies. The certificate takes between six and nine months to complete, with an optional internship.

California dreaming? Learn about international study trends in the Golden State.

A green campus square, with trees along the left side and a clocktower in the distance. Students walk along a shaded path on the right side of the photo (WKU Campus)

Image Credit: Bbadgett, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Western Kentucky University

Since 1906, Western Kentucky University has offered internationally-acclaimed academic programs. By providing a learning environment where the average class size is 23.8, students benefit from a dedicated faculty, one-to-one attention, and on-campus technology and innovation. 

Depending on program selection, graduates may also be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT), temporary employment directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study.

Postgraduate Short-Term Study Programs Include:

Economic Data Analytics: This one-year graduate program shares advanced quantitative economics knowledge. Students will understand econometrics, applied economic statistics, and time series forecasting. They’ll also build data management skills.

Global Health Administration: Are you passionate about helping others? Global health professionals shape health care within developing nations, or collaborate with governments and relief agencies to promote medical awareness. Graduates of ths one-year postgraduate certificate have the skills to work in:

  • Health administration
  • Health policy
  • Service delivery within health systems

Did you know that data science and analysis are some of the most sought-after skills by today’s employers? Learn why, and which others made the list, on our blog.

A three-storey red-brick building with Corinthian columns and a stairway leading to the front door. (MTSU Teachers College)

Image Credit: Skye Marthaler, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Middle Tennessee State University

Celebrated by The Princeton Review as one of the top colleges in the American Southeast, Middle Tennessee State University‘s campus in Murfreesboro is enriched by welcoming students from almost 50 countries. Students find MTSU‘s “highly specialized programs are closely tied to their industry, which means really good job placement.”

Programs Include:

Gerontology: As the Baby Boomer population ages, graduates can proactively address challenges from medical tech access to long-term care payment systems with the skills they develop in this one-year graduate program. Students may also complete a practicum, building related work experience.

Tax: This one-year certificate builds non-Master’s of Accounting (M.Acc.) students’ education in the tax profession. It’s also popular with students who need accounting credit hours for CPA certification. Graduates will gain the necessary skills to succeed in tax accounting.


There’s no better time than now to invest in yourself and your career: build a brighter future by studying abroad in the US.

Find the US postgraduate short-term study program that’s right for you on the ApplyBoard Platform!

 

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