Why Study in USA
The United States of America needs no introduction. For years, the country has been known as the land of opportunities, a destination for immigrants seeking new vistas. Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building, Uncle Sam, Statue of Liberty, White House and Bald Eagle are some of the famous images that represent the American might and legacy. The US is the world’s oyster, if you want to fulfil your dreams; well, then there is no place like the United States. It’s a country that is not only a pioneer in technological innovation and scientific exploration, but it is also highly regarded for its motion picture industry, and art and architecture. With the most international mix of people inhabiting the US, it is a true amalgamation of various life styles and cultures.
The U.S. has the largest population of international students with more than 800,000 students opting it as their most favoured overseas education destination. Being one of the leading study abroad destinations with its sturdy financial structure, the country opens the gateway for ample career opportunities to international students in various fields of work.
Moreover, the American education system affords the most comprehensive coursework to its students with equal focus on theoretical learning and practical experimentation. The classes are structured in a way that the students can create their own curriculum and study what they love the most. Studying in the USA offers enthralling campus life includes innumerable extracurricular activities, clubs, sororities and associations. The focus is on creating scholars who also possess strong communication, leadership and analytical skills.
The United States boasts of about 4,000 accredited centres of learning. Favourite amongst the Indian students studying in the USA are the Ivy League, large research universities, private colleges and state universities. Engineering and business are the most sought after programmes closely followed by legal studies and healthcare. Hundreds of engineers, business students, lawyers, doctors and under grads study in America each year, honing their skills and enhancing their knowledge.
Education Systems in USA
USA has the world's most flexible education system, students can study their area of interest as specialization. As the education system of USA is not centralized each institute can determine its program and admission standards. Lateral movement in the education system is possible any time. Some U.S. colleges and universities stress broad educational principles; others emphasize practical, employment-related skills; and still others specialize in the arts, social sciences or technical fields. American colleges and universities offer three basic programs:
- Associate’s Degree
Popular Study Courses in USA
USA offers quality education in almost all the areas of higher education. However, there are some courses which are quite popular with international students moving to USA for their higher studies. Given below is a brief about such fields:
- Information Technology
Information sciences basically hone the computer and software developing and management skills of the students. The use of computer based technology in almost every sector in present times makes this field particularly lucrative. Information science consists of courses such as Bachelors of Information Technology, Bachelors of Computer Science and Technology and Bachelors of Engineering (Computers). USA is home to some of the IT giants and therefore, the demand for graduates of this field never wanes away.
Engineering, be it chemical or electronics or biomedical, is a conventional and evergreen area of study. Indians have a particular inclination towards this discipline. It is for this reason that many Indian students move to USA for higher studies in the field of Engineering. The country has many universities offering this course with specialization in various different streams within the discipline. The job opportunities in the field are also aplenty, thus making it all the more popular.
- Business and Management Studies
Business and Management studies are in the list of most popular courses in USA and also the most job oriented. Business and Management studies usually inculcate entrepreneurial skills in the students and make efficient managers out of them. Skills developed during the period of the course makes students job ready, to be employed and contribute to their employers immediately and efficiently. The classroom teaching strengthens the conceptual clarity and industry exposure in forms of internships and training gives practical edge.
Cost of Studying in USA
The cost of education in the USA varies between the states and the institutions.
Average tuition fees per year range from $15,000 to $60,000 (Private Institutions) and $10,000 to $20,000 (State Institutions)
Living expenses per year – $10,000-$16,000
USP of USA as a place to live
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising of 50 states, a multicultural nation with variety of ethnic groups, traditions and values. It’s one of the most favoured study destinations for millions of students around the globe. To top it all, US universities offer extensive opportunities for education and internship.
Estimated expenses for Undergraduate and Graduate Courses comprises of two things:
- Tuition Fees
- Living Expenses
Scholarships, Grants, Fellowships are based on the student’s academic performance of international students. Tuition Fee waivers are provided but are strictly merit based so students don’t have to fill any separate form like federal students can do so for availing need based scholarships. Further, Financial Aid funding is also granted at PG level but again this strictly depends on the students’ credentials.
There are various types of scholarships offered.
Fellowship scholarship – This scholarship is awarded on the student’s ability, competence and performance.
Graduate Assistantship Scholarship – Is awarded for the students who involve in teaching or research assistantship. It can be given as cash, stipend or fee waiver. This is normally called RA or TA
Sports Scholarship – Is offered to outstanding athletes students.
The Application Process
The UK operates a centralised application service for undergraduates known as the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS). If you are looking to study in the UK you can fill in one application form and apply to up to 5 universities or colleges at the same time. This has a huge advantage in saving money and time as you only need write one personal statement and one letter of recommendation.
The disadvantage is that if your application does not represent your strengths and potential in the best possible light this same information will be seen by every institution. There’s no scope for improvement based on rejections. This is why professional advice and support can be vital when applying to courses in the UK.
If you are a graduate student you can apply to as many programs or courses as you wish, but these must be done individually to each college or university. The good news is that most UK universities don’t charge any application fees, greatly reducing your initial costs. However, do note that some of the most sought-after and prestigious MBA programs, such as those at the London School of Economics or the Oxbridge universities, will charge a high application fee thanks to the high demand.
For a successful application you need to submit a high quality personal statement and a letter of recommendation. Most UK universities will only require you to submit your IELTS scores, although MBA students must submit GMAT scores when applying to ‘top’ institutes. Seek advice if you are at all uncertain as the UCAS central system will cause problems for those who don’t include all the required information in the appropriate way.
Studying and Living in USA
Students find help at hand
US universities have special staff assigned for guiding foreign students called International Student Advisers. Students can seek their help as and when if they face any problems. US universities hold arrival orientations for international students to familiarize them with the campus and it facilities and also to help them adjust to their new life in the United States. Students are assigned Counsellors with whom they can discuss any issues regarding changing of majors and also to appoint a coach for themselves.
It is always best to stay on campus. Not only are the basic amenities easily accessible but also on-campus life allows students to gradually integrate into the student community under the guidance of peers and staff. If on campus option is not available then one should look for the home-stays or rented accommodation. Home-stays provide family life and are usually cheaper than on campus accommodation. Depending on your location, home-stays usually cost 800-1000USD a month on single occupancy room basis, including meals. Students who decide to rent an apartment can also get valuable help from the university student association.
Some universities have their own credit union or other banking services. Before opening an account, find out which banks are near where you would live and study. It may be difficult to open an account from overseas, so take enough money with you to live on until you can open a US account and arrange for funds to be transferred from home.
Getting ready for different destination and living alone should be prepared with basic necessities. As a student you plan accordingly, prepare a list of things which you will need initially. Make sure your baggage should include seasonally and appropriate clothing, insurance documents, medical prescription back up supply and letter from doctor
It is a good idea to take a few small mementos of home with you – photos of friends and family will brighten your room and remind you of what you’re temporarily leaving behind. Ensure that you have the right clothes to battle the change of seasons.
When you first arrive, it is expected that you will be calling home frequently. It is essential to check your phone’s compatibility with US mobile operators, as some phones don’t work in the US. With diverse choices of handsets and monthly plans, you can enjoy variety in handsets, operators and competitive costs. Since most prepaid connections require a Social Security card, a prepaid connection is cost effective and a convenient alternative.
Internet & Email Access
Usually college campus is fully equipped with Wi-Fi. Students do get access in the college campus. But it’s better to have a personal laptop. You can check out the details at your university’s book store.
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