Study in USA: Complete Guide for International Students

Study in USA: Complete Guide for International Students

Study in USA: Complete Guide for International Students
Tn Aryal

The United States of America, or the USA, has emerged as a popular hotspot among students worldwide for studying abroad. With numerous top-ranking Universities, the country hosts over a million international students yearly for their study abroad in US college plans.

If you are wondering- “Can I study in the USA?”. Then the answer is Yes! However, if you plan on pursuing higher education in the USA, you need complete guidance on applying and admission. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Why Choose the USA?

There is not one but many reasons why studying in the USA for international students is a better alternative. Here are a few of them:

●  Historical Backdrop: With a rich history, the United States of America makes one of the best places to learn.

●  Social Development: The USA is known for its unique social composition. Making it a great spot to expand your knowledge and grow.

●  Diversity: This nation is home to all-encompassing demography and cultural diversity. The quality makes it stand out from other contenders.

●  Hi-Tech Country: After WW2, the USA emerged as a prominent name in the Technology and Science domains. Global-leader brands like Intel, Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc., were born here. 

●  Economic Dominance: As we all know, the United States of America is the largest economy in the world. It has diverse industries ranging from aerospace to pharmaceuticals and more.

Education System of USA

If you have decided that ‘I want to study in the USA!’, understanding the country's education system is the first step towards this goal. In the US, the setup is divided into four levels:

  1. Elementary
  2. Middle School
  3. High School
  4. Higher Education

The last level, or Higher Education, is further categorized into:

●      Associate Degrees

●      Bachelor’s Degrees

●      Master’s Degree (Professional/Academic)

●      Doctoral Degrees

Among these, the Associate degrees, equal to the first 2-years Bachelor, for study in the USA are generally job-oriented. This means the candidates must apply for jobs right after completing their course.

While the Bachelor’s Degree is considered an academic route and lasts 3-4 years, depending on the course selected, it is the first step towards applying for a Master's Degree.

Furthermore, the Master’s is divided into Professional and Academic degree options. The former lasts 1-3 years and can be completed in 2 years. Lastly, the Doctoral Degree requires students to perform research-based studies under faculty supervision for 5-8 years.

Top Courses for Study in the United States

Now, before we start with other vital subjects. It is time to check out the top course choices for study in the United States. International students prefer undertaking the following courses:

  1. Business Management
  2. Social Sciences
  3. Engineering
  4. Physical & Life Sciences
  5. Maths & Computer Sciences

The USA is a Safe Study Abroad Destination

The United States of America is recognized as one of the best study-abroad destinations for global aspirants. It also offers a safe working and study environment for the students. Strict regulations are applied to every aspect, which the candidates must comply with to settle in quickly.

Apart from significant authorities, there are also proper guidelines on student conduct that should be followed. Most university campuses have their security teams to ensure inclusive student safety.

Work Permit in the USA

Applicants are allowed to work while studying in the US. However, they will have to comply with a strict list of requirements. There are 4 ways a student can work during their stay:

  1. On-Campus: Most courses offered by US institutions come with on-campus working opportunities. These are the best options for students as they are flexible and accommodating. Most students in the first semester prefer taking these jobs.
  2. Off-Campus: Students who wish to work outside the campus can do so only under exceptional circumstances. They are granted permission, usually due to financial requirements or semester completion.
  3. Optional Practical Training: This is another work opportunity for any student. However, applicants may require permission from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. There are also particular eligibility criteria for this.
  4. Curricular Practical Training: The last option for students is to opt for CPT. Full/part-time temporary employment approval is provided to F1 Visa-holder international students. A student can only apply for 3 CPT throughout their degree program. Only after completing full-time work under this before graduating will make you eligible for OPT.

PR Opportunities for International Students

Gaining a Green Card for the US can be obtained if the student receives the following:

●  Permanent Resident Relative/ US Citizen Sponsorship

●  Offer for Permanent Employment in the Country

●  Asylum Application

●  A Refugee Designation

●   Employment Creation & Investment

Students can apply for a U.S. Permanent Residency after completion of their course. However, the eligibility criteria require applicants to have exceptional command over their subject. Initially, a Conditional Green Card will be provided to the applicant for 2 years. Afterwards, they can apply for their permanent PR and renew it every 10 years. 

Tuition Fees in the USA for International Students

International students will have to pay a higher tuition fee to study in the United States than domestic applicants. Since the fee depends on the university’s funding model, providing an average amount can become challenging. However, there is an estimated tuition fee charged to international students:

●  Public University: 39,890 USD per annum (for a 4-year course)

●  Private University: 49,320 USD per annum (for a 4-year program)

Top Universities to Study in the USA

Whether you wish to study business in a US college or gain specialization in some other field, universities offer numerous course options to all students who wish to study in the US. But before you settle for one, make sure you have chosen the right one. Consider the following questions:

●      Do I need a Community College or Major University?

●      Private or Public- Which College should I choose?

●      Where do I feel comfortable- in Big City, Countryside, or Small Town?

●      What Course or Program do I want to enrol in?

●      What are the University's On-Campus activities, Clubs, Student Organizations, etc.? Which one should I join?

For the top most popular University or College options, international students pick the following to study in the United States:

  1. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  2. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, IL)
  3. Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)
  4. New York University (New York, NY)
  5. Columbia University (New York, NY)

Point to Remember- Regardless of whether you opt for a Bachelor's study in the USA or apply for a doctorate, the admission process and specifics may vary in different institutions. Therefore, make sure you have double-checked everything before applying.

100,000+ students achieved their study abroad dreams with us.  Start your journey today.

American University Admission Requirements for International Students

Students need a defined set of documents and papers to apply in their preferred course. These are:

Undergraduate Student Applications

●      Transcripts

●      Recommendations

●      General Test Grades for

●      SAT or ACT

●      Proficiency in English

●      Essay

●  Copy of Passport

Few colleges may request Proof of Funding, especially for international applicants. Students may also be required to appear for an interview with the Alumni or Staff.

​​Graduate Student Applications

●      ​​ Letter of Recommendation

●      Academic Transcripts (Obtained after completing Undergraduate Course)

●      ​​General Test Grades for:

  • TOEFL, IELTS, iTEP, or PTE Academic

●      Statement of Purpose

●      Research Proposal

●  Copy of Existing Passport

PhD requirements in the USA

  • Correctly Filled out the Application Form
  • Copy of Original Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Scores from GMAT or GRE Assessments
  • Letter of Recommendations
  • Application Fee
  • Proficiency in English Test Results
  • Transcript of Degrees & Courses Completed

Furthermore, Proof of Financing might be needed if the applicant applies for fellowships or assistantships separately. Also, they will have to clear a Video or On-Campus Interview with the institution's Admission Committee.

Apply for a Study Permit in the USA

Apply for Course

To start with your Master's or Bachelor's study in the USA, you must first select a course. America Universities are known to offer many program options to all their students. Therefore, selecting one can become a challenge for you.

But by fixing your search to one field, you can view all the available options easily. Now, you must prepare an Admission Application based on your education level. It should be attached with all the documents, as mentioned earlier.

Receive Acceptance Letter

Always remember the deadlines. Usually, the application submission starts around 10 months before the session starts. You must prepare and submit your application by October or November (Spring Semester). Staying early can give you a head start and higher chances of getting selected.

While for the Fall Semesters, the deadlines are around January, which is approximately 7 months before the session resumes. After applying and being accepted, the University will provide the student with an Acceptance Letter. This is your cue to start applying for a Visa! 

Applying for Student Visa

Getting a Visa is one of the most critical steps in studying abroad. But, there are three main types of Student Visa offered by the USA:

●       F1: Regular Student Visa that applies to students funding themselves with the help of family or friends. 

●       J1: Ideal for joining study and work courses offered by universities or colleges. 

●       M-1: Visa for students applying to Vocational or Non-Academic programs. 

However, most students get an F1 visa depending on their academic preferences. Here are general 5 steps to apply for and get a Student Visa:

  1. Apply for your choice Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) at least 6-12 months before the term begins & Get accepted in the Course/ University
  2. Pay the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee
  3. Fill out your US Student Visa Application & Attach your recent Passport-size Photos
  4. Pay Visa Application Fee
  5. Schedule your Interview & Clear it to get your Visa

Health Insurance for International Students to Study in the USA

Choosing the right insurance is crucial for any aspirant studying in the USA. Always remember that getting treatment from medical facilities here can be expensive if you fall sick or face and casualty. Furthermore, you may even face certain legal charges based on the situation.

While this is not compulsory for applying for an F1 Visa, educational institutions that accept international students to study in the US make having health insurance mandatory. You should also review the university’s document requirements for admission before applying for this.

Cost of Living in the USA

Apart from the Tuition Fees for study in the USA for international students, they also have to plan out their expense budget for the course duration. On average, a student needs a monthly allowance of 800 USD when living in a small town.

However, this increases to 1,500 USD monthly if the student lives in a big city. Furthermore, the student’s accommodation choice and lifestyle determine the total. Perform a thorough search of local expenditure requirements before forming a budget.

Scholarships in the USA for International Students

Another benefit of choosing the USA for Study is that the institutions offer extensive financial aid to all students. While there are only a handful of government-approved grants, the Universities and Colleges have their scholarship programs. Some of these include:

●      UC Global Scholarship

●      Foreign Fulbright Student Program

●      University of Oregon Scholarships

●      AAUW International Fellowships

●      American University Scholarships

●      Tata Scholarship

●      Amherst College Scholarships

●  Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme

Top Recruiters after Studying in the USA

Thinking about how studying in the USA can help you find better job opportunities? This section will provide names and short descriptions of top recruiting companies constantly searching for fresh talent. These are the top 5 businesses or brands that hire US graduates:

  1. Infosys Technologies Limited: Infosys is undoubtedly the first name in this list as they actively hire several international students that have completed their higher study in the US. They have branches in 50 different nations in varying industries.
  2. Tata Consultancy Services: TCS is another leading recruiter for international students. It is also one of the most valuable Information Technology businesses globally.
  3. IBM Corporation: This brand offers fresh graduates many H1B job opportunities. These include various computer operations and software-related occupations.
  4. Accenture: With a 7th ranking in Visa Sponsors, Accenture is also a popular recruiter. They provide job opportunities in Science, Technical, Management, and Technology Consulting services.
  5. Amazon Corporate: The global leader e-Com platform, Amazon also provides tons of H1B job opportunities in Finance, Management, Analysis, and similar sectors.

A few other popular recruiters are:

●      Google Inc.

●      Deloitte

●      Capgemini U.S. LLC

●      Larsen & Toubro Infotech

●      Wipro Limited

●      Apple Inc.

●      Microsoft

●      HCL America

●      Facebook

Weather of USA

The demography of the United States sets it apart from most other nations. From snow-capped mountains to open grasslands, the US has it all. With a continental climate, the massive island has super hot summers paired with freezing winters. The season duration, here, largely relies on the location’s distance from the ocean and its latitude.

In the Southern regions, cold weather does not last long, but the low temperatures compensate for the duration. Going further inland, the summers are very intense. Furthermore, the North-Central Coast is less arid than the Western part of the nation.

American Way of Life

As mentioned above, students who plan to study in the USA will be greeted by a uniquely diverse community. You can find people from different parts of the world, with their culture and traditions, living here. As an international student, living here will be no less than an adventure.

With enriching ethics and values, the distinct cultural composition plays a vital role in the overall development of the student. While you may find some things just like your home country, there will be tons of other things brought by people from other nations. 

Transportation System of USA

Being a large country, travelling and commuting are essential, especially for an immigrant student. Whether you are living in the University Dorms or a Personal Apartment, getting around quickly will help in settling in with the bustling city life.

Other commuting options are available if you do not plan on purchasing a car. Some of these include:

●      Buses

●      Bicycles

●      Taxies

●      Trains or Subways

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