From New York to California and Alaska to Massachusetts, the United States offers the best of both worlds – education and entertainment. You can find quaint old libraries nestled amidst modern companies and street food vendors as easily as themed restaurants and towering skyscrapers. Living in the USA has been a dream for many generations, and it continues to be a cherished aspiration. However, today, the opportunities are broader, and the path to achieving this dream is more accessible. All you need is the courage to dream and the determination to pursue it.
In this article, we will delve into what it entails to study in the USA and how to make the most of this experience. We will also guide you through the top universities, popular courses, and available scholarships to assist you in making an informed decision.
Also Read: Study in USA
Key Facts to Study in the USA
$20,000 - $60,000
Scholarships, grants, fellowships, and assistantships
IELTS/TOEFL and SAT/CAT
Diploma, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
August/September and January/February
Why Study in the USA?
Diverse Academic Programs: One of the main reasons to study in the USA is the wide range of academic programs available, allowing students to explore various fields of study.
Holistic Education: The US education system emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, and practical application of knowledge, equipping students with valuable skills for personal and professional growth.
Cultural Enrichment: Studying in the USA allows international students to interact with peers from different backgrounds, fostering cross-cultural understanding and personal development.
Industry Connections: American educational institutions often have strong ties to industries, providing students with access to internships, research opportunities, and networking events, which can boost job prospects after graduation.
US Higher Education Overview
Diverse Program Offerings
Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral Degrees: The US higher education system provides various degree options, including bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs, catering to students' academic pursuits.
Research and Resources
Emphasis on Research: US universities prioritize research across various disciplines, offering students opportunities to engage in cutting-edge projects and contribute to their fields.
Top-notch Facilities: Institutions provide state-of-the-art facilities, laboratories, and resources, ensuring students have the tools to excel in their studies and research endeavors.
Academic Rigor and Interactive Learning
High Academic Standards: The US education system is renowned for its rigorous academic standards, challenging students to strive for excellence and self-motivation.
Interactive Learning Environment: Students are actively encouraged to participate in class discussions, collaborate with peers, and seek guidance from professors, fostering an interactive and engaging learning atmosphere.
Tailoring Education to Interests
Flexible Programs: The system allows students to choose from diverse course offerings and often customize their studies to align with their specific interests and career aspirations.
Advancing Knowledge: The emphasis on research enables students to contribute to their fields and gain hands-on experience in their chosen disciplines.
Strong Academic Foundation: The rigorous standards and interactive learning environment give students a solid academic foundation and encourage critical thinking.
Practical Skills: Graduates are equipped with practical skills and the ability to apply knowledge in real-world scenarios, enhancing their employability.
Top Courses to Study in the USA for Indonesian Students
Indonesia is home to diverse students with varying academic interests, and the United States offers a wide range of courses to cater to these interests. Here are some sought-after courses in the USA that may align with your academic and career aspirations:
Engineering programs in the USA are renowned for their comprehensive curriculum and research opportunities. You can explore fields such as Mechanical Engineering, which covers robotics and materials science, or Electrical Engineering, with a focus on electronics and telecommunications. Top universities like MIT, Stanford, Caltech, and UC Berkeley offer cutting-edge facilities and industry connections for aspiring engineers.
Business and Finance programs in the USA are globally recognized for their quality. Pursuing an MBA can provide you with specialized tracks in areas like finance and marketing. Institutions like Harvard and Wharton School are top choices for business administration. Finance programs at universities like NYU and the University of Chicago can equip you with expertise in financial markets and investment strategies.
Computer Science programs in the USA provide a strong programming and software development foundation. You can find research opportunities at universities like Stanford and MIT. If you're interested in Artificial Intelligence (AI), programs like UC Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon focus on machine learning and natural language processing, preparing you for technology and AI research roles.
Healthcare and Medicine programs, including Medicine (MD) and Nursing, offer rigorous coursework and clinical training. Renowned institutions like Harvard and Johns Hopkins are known for their medical education. Nursing programs at universities like Penn and Duke can lead to roles as registered nurses (RNs) or nurse practitioners with various specializations.
Social Sciences programs, such as Psychology, delve into human behavior and mental health. Universities like Stanford and UCLA offer research and clinical opportunities in this field. Additionally, Economics programs at prestigious institutions like Princeton and the University of Chicago cover micro and macroeconomics, preparing you for careers in finance, consulting, and government.
Fine Arts programs encompass various artistic mediums, including painting and sculpture, and provide opportunities to showcase artistic work. Renowned institutions like RISD and SAIC excel in this field. For those interested in Graphic Design, programs focus on visual communication and digital media, preparing students for careers in advertising, web design, and marketing. Schools like Parsons and CalArts offer specialized training in these areas.
Environmental Science programs address critical issues like climate change and conservation. You can explore research opportunities at institutions like UC Santa Barbara and Stanford. If you're interested in tackling environmental challenges, consider Environmental Engineering programs at schools like the University of Michigan and Georgia Tech, where you can make a significant impact.
Education programs, including Elementary Education and Higher Education Administration, prepare students for teaching and educational leadership roles. Top choices for education programs include institutions like UT Austin, UW-Madison, Harvard, and Vanderbilt, which provide comprehensive training for educators and administrators.
Communication and Media programs, such as Journalism and Film and Television Production, can prepare you for exciting reporting, multimedia storytelling, filmmaking, and TV production careers. Renowned schools like Columbia, Northwestern, USC, and NYU Tisch School offer education and valuable industry connections to launch your career in media.
Remember to research each program, consider your career goals, and choose the one that aligns best with your interests and aspirations.
Intakes in the USA
Fall Intake: In the USA, universities primarily offer two intake periods: Fall and Spring. The Fall intake, typically starting in August or September, is the most common and favored by many international students. This is because it aligns with the regular academic calendar and provides various academic programs and campus activities.
Spring Intake: On the other hand, the Spring intake begins in January and offers a more limited selection of courses than the Fall intake. However, it still provides viable opportunities for enrollment. The Spring intake is often considered by students who may need extra preparation time or seek specific programs available.
Student Visa Requirements for Indonesian Students Studying in the USA
Indonesian students aspiring to study in the USA should ensure they meet the following eligibility criteria to be eligible for the F-1 student visa:
Enrollment in an Approved Program
Indonesian students must enroll in a full-time educational program, language training program, or vocational course offered by an institution approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program (SEVP), which falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement.
Indonesian students should either demonstrate proficiency in English or enroll in courses that lead to English proficiency. English proficiency is crucial for academic success and effective communication during their stay in the USA.
Indonesian students must possess and provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover their tuition fees, living expenses, and other associated costs throughout their studies in the USA. This financial proof is a crucial aspect of the visa application process.
Acceptance from a SEVP-Certified Institution
Indonesian students should initiate the application process by applying to and receiving an acceptance letter from a U.S. educational institution certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). This acceptance signifies that the institution is recognized and authorized for hosting international students.
After receiving an acceptance letter, the institution will issue an I-20 form to the Indonesian student. The I-20 is a critical document required for the visa application. It confirms that a SEVP-certified institution has accepted the student and possesses the necessary financial resources to cover their educational and living expenses while studying in the USA.
Before the visa interview, Indonesian students are required to pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee. This fee supports the maintenance of student records and the SEVP system.
Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
Indonesian students must complete the online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) as part of the visa application process. Afterward, they should schedule an appointment for a visa interview at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in Indonesia.
During the visa interview, Indonesian students are expected to present several documents, including their I-20 form, valid passport, DS-160 confirmation page, SEVIS fee receipt, financial documentation demonstrating their ability to fund their education, and any additional documents as requested by the consular officer. The visa interview allows students to demonstrate their genuine intention to study in the USA and their capacity to support their educational journey.
By following these steps and meeting the requirements, Indonesian students can navigate the visa application process smoothly and embark on their academic pursuits in the United States.
Cost of Studying in the USA for International Students
When considering pursuing higher education in the USA, international students should be aware of the approximate cost ranges for various academic levels:
The annual tuition fees for bachelor's degree programs in the USA typically range from approximately $20,000 to $50,000 or even higher yearly. The exact cost can vary significantly depending on the institution, location, and program of study.
For international students pursuing a master's degree in the USA, the average cost of tuition varies, ranging from around $25,000 to $60,000 or more per year. Like bachelor's programs, the specific cost is influenced by factors such as the university and the field of study.
Doctoral programs, including Ph.D. courses, in the USA can have an average annual cost of approximately $20,000 to $60,000 or higher annually. This cost range varies based on the university, program, and location.
Living Expenses in the USA
Renowned for its exceptional quality of life and high health and wellness standards, residing in the United States can undoubtedly be costly. However, with prudent financial planning and adequate financial backing, living in the USA may not be as challenging as one might anticipate. Below is an approximation of the monthly financial outlays you can anticipate while pursuing your studies as an international student in the United States.
Average Monthly Cost Range
$800 - $2,500
$400 - $1,200
- Shared Accommodation
$700 - $1,500
$500 - $1,500
- Private Accommodation
$500 - $1,500
Food and Groceries
$200 - $400
$50 - $150
Utilities (Electricity, Water, Internet)
$100 - $200
$100 - $300
Books and Study Materials
$50 - $100
$100 - $300
Entertainment and Recreation
$100 - $300
$1,100 - $3,050
Job Opportunities in the USA for Indonesian Students
Indonesian students aspiring to study in the USA must consider the potential job prospects in various fields after graduation. Here's an overview of career opportunities in the United States that may align with your academic interests and career goals:
The USA has a strong demand for engineers across diverse sectors. International students with engineering degrees can look forward to promising job prospects. Depending on your specialization and experience, average salaries can range from $65,000 to $110,000 annually.
Information Technology (IT)
The IT industry in the USA offers a wealth of opportunities for international students. Roles such as software developers, data analysts, and cybersecurity specialists are highly sought after. Salaries vary widely, ranging from $60,000 to $120,000 per year, depending on your specific position and expertise.
Business and Finance
Finance, marketing, consulting, and management roles are perennially popular choices for international students. The USA's dynamic business environment presents numerous opportunities. Salaries in these fields can range from $50,000 to $120,000 annually, depending on the role and industry.
The healthcare sector in the USA offers a multitude of career paths for international students, especially in fields such as nursing, pharmacy, medical research, and healthcare administration. Salaries in healthcare can vary widely, spanning from $50,000 to $150,000 per year, depending on the occupation and your level of expertise.
Science and Research
International students pursuing scientific research, biotechnology, or academia careers can explore opportunities in universities, research institutions, and private companies. Salaries in these fields typically range from $50,000 to $120,000 per year, contingent on your chosen field and level of experience.
Hospitality and Tourism
The United States offers a thriving hospitality and tourism industry, providing job opportunities for Indonesian students interested in this field. Positions in hotel management, event planning, tourism marketing, and restaurant management are in demand. Salaries can vary, with entry-level positions starting around $30,000 to $40,000 per year, and management roles offering potential earnings of $60,000 to $100,000 annually, depending on your experience and location. This sector also provides the chance to gain valuable international experience and interact with diverse cultures, enhancing your career prospects in the global hospitality industry.
What are the key steps for Indonesian students to apply to U.S. universities?
Indonesian students often want to know the specific application process and requirements for studying in the USA, including how to apply for visas and financial aid.
What is the cost of studying in the USA, and are there scholarships available for Indonesian students?
Many students are concerned about the financial aspects of studying in the USA and seek information on tuition fees, living expenses, and scholarship opportunities.
How can Indonesian students adapt to the American education system and culture?
Understanding the academic and cultural transition is essential. Students often question adjusting to the USA's new educational system and lifestyle.
What are the most popular courses and universities for Indonesian students in the USA?
Students often want to know which courses and universities are preferred by their peers from Indonesia and which ones offer the best programs in their fields of interest.
What are Indonesian students' job prospects and opportunities after graduation in the USA?
Indonesian students may wonder about career opportunities, work visas, and post-graduation options in the USA, so providing insights into this topic is valuable.