College is a time when you can try new things and really discover who you are, in fact, a number of people don’t finish college with the same major that they started with. You’re exposed to a lot of new people, ways of thinking and a variety of classes.
When you study in the US as an international student, in each major you are required to take a certain amount of credit hours that are “free electives.” These courses are unrelated to your major and general education requirements but are necessary for graduation. Bachelor of Arts degrees usually have more free elective requirements than Bachelor of Science degrees. Most degrees do usually require at least a few free elective courses.
Taking free electives is a great opportunity to really get to know yourself. If you’re an Accounting major with an interest in history then you should take a history class! Free electives give you a well rounded college experience and allow you sample other subjects to see if maybe something else is a better fit for your future.
Unsure of what courses you should consider? Here are some examples of some ways students choose to use their free elective courses.
Do you think you have what it takes to learn another language? You can learn another language and get credit while doing it! Learning another language is something that will have countless benefits. Even just getting a basic grasp on another language can go a long way when traveling.
Study Abroad Programs
If you decide to study in the U.S. maybe you’ll want to do a semester study abroad where you you go study in another country. Using free elective credits for your study abroad is a great idea to give you more options on where you can go. Many study abroad programs are major specific so using free electives is the best way to expand your choices.
One of the most popular college electives is photography. If you have a creative side and want to learn all about how to take the perfect photos then this an elective worth considering. Introduction level photography courses will give you an overview of how to work a camera and the fundamentals of photography.
Learn the inner workings of the human psyche. Taking an introduction to psychology course will take you on a journey through major psychological concepts. The knowledge you gain in this course will give you an insight into emotion, development, memory and psychopathology.
If you’re a weak public speaker then taking a speech class will be beneficial for you. During your speech class you’ll get to present speeches in front of your peers on a variety of topics. Often times professors will let you present on topics you’re knowledgeable on so that the class can learn something new and fun.
There is also lots of other options but those are some of the most common and useful. Keep an open mind when taking your free elective courses, who knows it could turn into your future career!