I believe that we are truly lucky to have witnessed the rise of one of the most exciting developments in modern education: the coding bootcamp. After decades of it becoming increasingly obvious that an alternative was needed, some enterprising folks have built a set of institutions that rapidly and effectively train students in technical skills.
The result has been an explosion in new bootcamps, new kinds of bootcamps, and an entire workforce educated outside of the usual channels. And amongst their many advantages, one of the coolest aspects of attending a bootcamp is the diversity of the students.
This post will focus on one source of that diversity: international students. We’ll look at the prospects of being accepted to a bootcamp as an international student, what getting a visa is like, and the possibilities afforded by online bootcamps.
Do Coding Bootcamps Accept International Students?
To the best of my knowledge there aren’t any bootcamps that can’t accommodate international students. No doubt there are some, I just haven’t encountered them. This means there’s a chance you’ll get to learn alongside people with spectacularly different cultural backgrounds than yours.
There are a few things you should be aware of, though. First, the fact that a bootcamp accepts international students doesn’t mean they can sponsor your Visa, you’ll need to check on the individual schools. Second, if they have a job-placement guarantee, that may be contingent upon your eligibility to work in the country where the bootcamp is located. Third, so far I haven’t said “American bootcamps”. While most bootcamps are located here in these United States, and while I’ve written this article for international students wanting to learn here, there are bootcamps in the UK, India, Canada, and many other places. If there are too many obstacles to your coming to the Land of the Free, it’s possible there’s another option nearby!
Getting a Visa for a Coding Bootcamp
This is a rather involved subject, so I’m only going to be able to make some cursory remarks here. Consult this more comprehensive guide if you still have questions, and don’t forget to check with individual schools for their specific policies.
Arguably the most important thing for you to be aware of is that there are different kinds of Visas you can get.
The F1 Visa is most common among those who just want to study in the U.S. This is what you’ll need to attend an accredited institution, and you may also require an M1 for programs lasting more than three months.
People sometimes get a J1 Visa for exchange programs, and these can cover education and training. If you have a J1 Visa, see if it fits your situation and will last long enough for you to complete the bootcamp you’re interested in.
B2 Visas are standard tourist Visas, and will probably be fine if your bootcamp isn’t more than three months.
There’s Always the Online Coding Bootcamp Option
As a last piece of advice, remember that we live in an age in which a vast digital universe has been built on a set of wires that crisscross the entire world. There are now bootcamps which take place wholly online, with no physical location at all.
So far as I know, none of them restrict attendance by international students. Sometimes they’re structured so that everyone must listen to lectures at the same time. If that’s the case, you’ll need to think about what timezone you’re in and whether you can work the required hours. Other times you can learn on your own time and at your own pace, so this becomes a non-issue.
Wherever you live, there’s a real chance that the entrepreneurial spirit has created an opportunity for you to acquire new skills and forge a career you love.
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