Study Abroad Study Abroad In USA

How to Study Abroad in the USA (United State of America) | Programs and Best Steps

How to Study Abroad in the USA (United State of America) | Programs and Best Steps

The USA consistently ranks highly in the top study abroad destinations, especially when it comes to access to higher quality education. 

The American system of higher education also allows you to explore your interests, as it allows you to earn qualifications by accumulating credits from individual courses as well as following prescribed programs. 

You can study abroad in USA at some of the best schools in the world including; MIT, Harvard, Yale, UCLA and Columbia.  These are just a small number of world-leading schools in the United States.

The United States is also home to highly specialized technical schools.  For example, you can study arctic science in Alaska, seed farming (plant breeding) in Wyoming, or aerospace engineering in Florida.

Whatever you’re hoping to get out of your time abroad, there’s sure to be something in the US to satisfy your needs and whet your appetite.

What Is The US Educational System Like?

American universities and colleges offer many courses and programs to choose from.  You have the freedom not only to choose the content of the course, but also the structure. 

At the undergraduate level, you have the freedom to study different courses before declaring your major at the end of your second year.  This will help you research the topic you are interested in and then make a decision without much haste. 

Similarly, for graduate school you can choose your preferences, and as you progress through your dissertation, you can focus on the ideas you want to focus on.

Why Study Abroad In USA?

Students who study abroad in USA like the country’s education system in part because of its generous schedule with built-in breaks.  The average semester length is 15 weeks, which means that students are in class for just over half a year on a two-semester calendar.

Summer vacation, which usually runs from May to August, gives students the opportunity to go home to see friends and family, visit the sights of the United States, or even do an internship and gain professional experience.

American universities understand the difficulties of international students and therefore conduct regular orientation programs, seminars and trainings to provide assistance. 

In fact, the international student office helps students like you get used to a new lifestyle – whether it’s an academic, cultural or social request, staff will be there to help you 24/7.

How Much Does It Cost To Study Abroad In USA?

Studying in the US is expensive, so any decision to study here should not be taken lightly.  Annual undergraduate tuition can range from $5,000 to $50,000. 

Then you’ll need to factor in living expenses.  Top-tier universities estimate tuition and living costs for undergraduate students at around $60,000 per year, but it is possible to study in the US and pay less.

Public universities are cheaper than private universities and the fees depend on what and where you study.  Public universities charge two groups of fees: the lower rate applies to in-state students, while the higher rate applies to all out-of-state students (this also applies to international students).

Private institutions do not differentiate between out-of-state and home-schooled students and charge the same rate for everyone, although tuition is higher than at public universities.

Postgraduate fees vary significantly depending on your chosen subject and institution.  For example, tuition and living costs at a top-rated institution can cost $70,000 (£50,600), but financial aid is available depending on your circumstances. 

To find out exactly how much your postgraduate course costs, contact your university.

How To Study Abroad In USA College 

For many international students in the US, your major (or your field of academic study) may be the most important factor when choosing which colleges to apply to in the United States. 

If you have multiple academic interests, you can double major at a particular college or university.  Or, you may choose to add a minor (a minor that takes about half the total number of classes for the major).

Submit application to the university

Once you’ve chosen the program you want to study and shortlisted the universities to choose from, it’s time to start applying.

To begin applying to a program at a US university, your application can be completed online either on each school’s own website or through a third-party system such as the Common App (accepted by nearly 900 colleges). 

Depending on the university, you can also apply directly through Shorelight. Regardless of which method you choose, you will need to submit specific documents listed by the university.

Accept the admission offer

If you’ve applied to several universities in the US for undergraduate studies, it’s great to get the good news that one or more of them have accepted you.  This means that you will need to make an important decision and choose the university you want to attend.

For early decision colleges, you will find out if you have been accepted by January 1st.  If you’ve applied to a school with a January or February application deadline, you’ll usually find out in late March or early April if you’ve been accepted. 

For other institutions that offer rolling admissions, depending on when you applied, you will likely receive a college decision within a few weeks.

Apply for a student visa

Once you have made the important decision of where to study in the US, the next step is to obtain a visa.  There are three main types of visas to choose from, each with their own student visa requirements:

  • F-1: This student visa allows you to attend a U.S. university or college with funds from friends, family, or yourself.  You are also allowed to work part-time on campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week when you are in academic term.
  • J-1: With this student visa, you can participate in study and work-related exchange programs at US colleges or universities approved by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Culture.  Your program must be funded by an educational or nonprofit sponsor.  On a J-1 visa, you have the same work restrictions as F-1 students, but you cannot work off campus.
  • M-1: If you want to pursue professional studies, you can apply for an M-1 visa, which will allow you to study at institutions certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).  Funding for the program can come from friends, family or yourself.  On the M-1 student visa, you will have the same work restrictions as the F-1 and J-1 visas, but you can only work on campus for six months.

Prepare for departure to the USA

While you’re preparing your visa, it’s time to think about actually arriving on campus!  Your American college or university will let you know when you need to arrive for the start of your academic term or elective orientation. 

Consider arriving early: It’s a good idea to give yourself as much time as possible to prepare for the first day of class.

How To Get Scholarship To Study Abroad In USA

Every year, foreign students receive significant financial aid.  Funding for international students does exist and usually varies between institutions.  Some provide full-tuition scholarships, while others contribute to the total cost.  Common sources of funding include:

  • Need-Based Financial Aid – If your family’s income falls below a certain amount, many institutions can help with tuition and living expenses.
  • Merit Scholarships – For those with outstanding talent or excellent grades in a particular subject.
  • Sports scholarships – for talented sportsmen and women.  You need the required grades as well as athletic achievements.

The Fulbright Commission program offers about 20 scholarships each year to British students who wish to pursue a postgraduate degree.  The awards are different: from journalism to medicine. 

For a list of awards, visit Fulbright Commission – UK Postgraduate Awards and Programmes.  A number of institutions also allocate a significant amount to help foreign students.

Requirements To Study Abroad In USA

While each US university has its own admissions criteria, there are a few common requirements that they share.  In general, American universities require foreign applicants to:

  • Transcript
  • Standardized test scores
  • SAT or ACT
  • Results of English proficiency tests (TOEFL, IELTS, iTEP, PTE Academic)
  • Essay
  • Recommendations
  • A copy of your valid passport

Some colleges and universities may also require proof of funding for international students.  (You can learn more about college admissions requirements by reading Shorelight’s College Admissions Checklist for International Students.)

Additionally, some colleges may require an interview that you can conduct with staff or alumni who live abroad.  Keep in mind that college application deadlines are important too. 

For more selective colleges that accept students on an Early Action or Early Decision basis, you may need to apply by November or December.

If you are considering a Shorelight partner university in the US, there is a separate online application that allows you to apply directly to one or more colleges or universities, many of which do not require international students to submit essays or SAT/ACT scores.

How To Study Abroad In The USA For Free

International students can study in the USA for free in various ways.  First, you can apply and get a full scholarship to study at a United States institution.

 But if that method doesn’t work for you, you can try to get a partial scholarship and try to cover the rest with grants, work-study programs, and part-time jobs.

Thanks to scholarships from universities, public and private institutions, getting a degree in the USA for free are quite possible.  Fellows can be very selective about their recipients. 

Leading universities like Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton and others provide very generous scholarships to qualified applicants.  There are also many government scholarships to apply for.

Therefore, you should apply for as many scholarships as possible to increase your chances of being accepted.  Make sure you meet the requirements before submitting your application to avoid any inconvenience or disappointment.

Conclusion

The US boasts some of the best universities, many of which consistently rank high in world university rankings.  American educational institutions are also known for having high academic standards, following strict practices to maintain quality and being well supported to be able to offer an excellent education to their students. 

According to the QS World Ranking 2019 33 of the top 100 universities are from the USA.  Similarly, the Times Higher Education Ranking also ranked seven American universities among the top 10 universities.

How to Study Abroad in USA FAQs

Which English Language Tests Are Required To Study In USA?

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency.  As an international student, you will normally have to submit TOEFL or IELTS test results.  At Bay Atlantic University, English language proficiency requirements are waived if the applicant has completed four years of English-language high school education.
Other language proficiency tests may be the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) for undergraduates or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for graduate students.

Can You Earn Money While Studying In USA?

With an F-1 student visa, international students can work on campus up to 20 hours per week during classes and up to 40 hours per week during school breaks.  Don’t forget to check the university’s website to find out more about the types of jobs and how to apply.  On-campus work usually involves tutoring or working part-time in a school cafeteria, library, or other university facilities.  Working while you study can be a great way to help you study in the US for free.

Is It Expensive Or Cheaper To Study Abroad In USA?

Simply put, studying at American universities is expensive.  But what’s different about paying for college in the United States is that academic, athletic, arts, and even service-based scholarships or need-based financial aid (such as international student grants) may be available, depending on the university or college

References

prospects.ac.uk – Study in the USA

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