The USA has now become the primary destination for a majority of the higher education seekers. Home to one of the finest university systems, with state of the art facilities, the US offers holistic growth opportunities for international students.
The educational programs offered by the United States are one of the world’s finest, with many countries emulating those programs. Be it the infrastructure or the quality of life, the United States offers the best of everything and their commitment to excellence in higher education is one of their biggest selling point. More than 30% of international students choose United States of America as their preferred international study destination . The cultural and artistic diversity of America is a major attraction for students.
Although the tuition fee in most American universities is on the higher side but the quality of education and standard of living offered is unmatchable. The average tuition fee of a 4 year under graduate program is between $17,000 and $30,500 . Many American universities follow a flexible curriculum where students are allowed to choose topics for independent study, depending upon their interest, and they are allowed to work for one year after completion of their degrees. The United States also has an extensive network of “International Student Support Groups” where students get all the help and support they need.
The American universities offer various financial assistance programs, where students are given grants based on their academic excellence rather than their financial need. Many international companies also offer stipends and low interest-rate loans to allow students to complete their post graduate or doctoral degrees.
The American education system differs from the British model, as the United States follows a federal government structure where more powers are given to the local government. Each local government has their own Department of Education, which defines all the policies related to schools and colleges . One of the biggest reasons for America’s dominance in the field of education is their initiative of making the education compulsory up to the age of sixteen or eighteen, depending on each state.
American universities are famous for use of cutting edge technology and for providing outstanding research opportunities to prospective students. Institutes like MIT, Harvard Business School, and Stanford University are ranked amongst the top 10 universities worldwide and provide outstanding programs in arts, engineering, management, and science, among others. American universities provide a flexible education program, where students are able to find wide variety of programs to complete their credit scores; for example, an Arts Course will have classes in English and Mathematics, but the students can also take up community classes to earn extra credits. International students have to provide a valid SAT/GMAT/GRE score along with an English proficiency test (TOEFL/IELTS) scorecard.
The American government with an annual education budget of more than $1.3 trillion offers various stipend programs and scholarships like the Foreign Fulbright Program, the Humphrey Fellowship Program, and other scholarships offered by the private universities to international students .
Every student who wishes to study in the United States has to apply for a student Visa. A student can only apply for a Visa after getting the ‘Offer of Admission’ letter from the concerned institute.
TYPES OF VISA
The United States offers two types of visas to prospective students:
F-1 VISA: This visa is offered to those students who wish to study in the United States at an accredited school, college, or university. If the duration of the course is more than 18 hours per week, it is mandatory to apply for an F-1 visa.
An F-1 Visa interview will be conducted to determine whether or not the applicant is qualified to obtain an F-1 Visa.
M-1 VISA: This visa is relevant for those students who have applied for a vocational program.
1). A photocopy of the passport with validity of more than 6 months.
2). Six passport size photographs.
3). A medical fitness certificate from an US embassy certified medical institute.
4). A copy of the sponsorship letter.
5). A bank guarantee of the financial support.
6). A scholarship or grant letter from the concerned institute.
A F-1 and M-1 visa will cost around $160 depending upon different nationalities.
It takes around 60 days after the submission of Visa application and supporting documents to complete the visa formalities.
STUDENTS CAN CHECK THE STATUS OF THEIR VISA ON https://www.ceac.state.gov/CEAC/
With over 800,000 students enrolled in various programs, the United States has world’s largest pool of international students. Every state in America is different, offering unique climate, economy, and history. This cultural, climatic and historical diversity attracts students to America.
ACCOMMODATION: American universities offer on-campus accommodation to international students with cost varying from $10,000 to $12,000 per annum. The off-campus accommodations are also available but they tend to cost more, in the range of $12000 to $15000 per annum. Books and other study materials may cost around $500 to $1000 per academic year.
TRANSPORTATION: The United States has an extensive network of roads and bus transportation. Subways, one of the cheapest forms of transportation, only can be found in certain American metropolises. Although a large and extensive network of prepaid taxis is available, but it can be quite costly. The average monthly cost of transportation is around $700 to $800.
MEDICAL EXPENSES: The United States government has an extensive health and fitness policy. It is mandatory for every student to subscribe to a health insurance plan. The cost of the medical insurance is around $400 per annum.
FOOD: America is famous for its fast food. Many famous fast food chains like KFC, Subway, and Burger King, among others, originated from America. However, as people from all over the world have settled in the United States, this ensures that the choice of cuisine is not just limited to burgers and fries but also includes various influences from the rest of the world. The monthly food cost may range between $400 and $600, depending on the lifestyle.