However, moving to a foreign nation might be intimidating; hopefully, these tips on what to know before going to study in the USA.
1. Applying to colleges
This is the first tips on what to know before going to study in the USA. One distinction to keep in mind is that in the US, a university is frequently referred to as a “college” or “school.” When students continue their education with postgraduate work, they frequently refer to their college as “grad (graduate) school.” Later, the words grow more particular based on the subject being studied, such as law school or med (medical) school.
There isn’t a single application site for all US universities; prospective students must submit their own applications. Thus, different applications may have different requirements. Most institutions, but not all, demand SAT/ACT scores. It is crucial to check the application requirements for each university to which you are considering applying.
Some websites and applications, like the Common App, which allows you to submit applications to multiple universities at once, can simplify the process. The app accepts applications from numerous universities, including Harvard and Yale.
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2. University structure
This is the second tips on what to know before going to study in the USA. Associate degrees (AA, AS, AAS), bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and PhD or doctorate degrees are the four subgroups of the US higher education system. The number of credits needed to pass each level varies, as do the course lengths, with associate level courses often lasting one year and doctoral level courses occasionally lasting up to ten years.
In the United States, a credit system that enables students to select a variety of disciplines during the course of their undergraduate careers. Students will receive credits for their performance at the end of each semester.
Simply said, you will earn all the credits if you pass all of your classes and assignments. Typically, a full-time course will have around 30 credits per year. For a bachelor’s degree, most colleges demand 120–130 total credits, and for a master’s degree, 30-64 total credits. Your syllabus contains all the relevant information you need regarding credits.
3. Convenient programs
This is the third tips on what to know before going to study in the USA. Students have the option to select coursework from a variety of areas, including the arts, sciences, and humanities, throughout the first two years of a US degree. They can spend some time during this year investigating a variety of subjects before settling on a “major”—the subject they will graduate in. In their second or third year, students must declare their major.
Contrary to other nations where students must choose their subject before beginning their university education, this enables students to try out a variety of disciplines before deciding on their final degree path.
4. Knowledge of student financial aid
This is the fourth tips on what to know before going to study in the USA. It’s crucial to be aware that attending university in the US might be costly. The cost of tuition might range from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on the degree you choose. The cost of a four-year bachelor’s degree might be $20,000 in this case. It is recommended to check directly on the website of your selected university for information on fees since they can fluctuate for a number of reasons.
Scholarships and financial help are beneficial to many students. This indicates that the listed price is typically greater than what you will really pay. Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, and work-study programs.
5. Understanding student visas
This is the fifth tips on what to know before going to study in the USA. In the US, there are two types of student visas. The M-1 visa is for vocational programs, whereas the F-1 visa is for students entering the country for academic purposes. The F-1 visa, which enables foreign students to enroll in higher education institutions, is what the majority of them will be considering.
What you’ll need for your visa application:
– Completed DS-160
– Colour photograph of yourself (5×5 cm, taken within six months)
– Passport (or other travel documentation)
– I-20 form (you will receive this from your university)
– SEVIS receipt
The process for the F-1 visa can take up to five months and costs US$510.
6. Receiving medical care
This is the six tips on what to know before going to study in the USA. Prior to starting their studies in the US, all international students should consider purchasing health insurance. Different from travel insurance, some colleges demand that prospective students carry health insurance before they enroll.
Several colleges have a group health insurance program. You can join the plan through your college in this situation by getting in touch with them directly. Check to see if the cost is included in the tuition or if you have to pay extra for this insurance. If your university does not provide healthcare, you can compare the various levels of coverage by going to comparison websites.
7. Selecting the ideal lodging
This is the seventh tips on what to know before going to study in the USA. At US universities, there are many possibilities for housing students. The first option is dorms on-campus, which are close to university amenities including libraries, labs, stores, and sports facilities.
A sense of community will be felt by students who opt to live on campus, and it is a great opportunity for international students to meet friends immediately. Dormitories cost between $5,000 and $8,000 per year, including electricity costs and other expenses, and are sometimes shared with other students.
Rent is an option if you’d prefer to live off-campus. The price will vary depending on the city in which you reside, but you can contact your university for help locating affordable housing for students.
Additionally, foreign students had the option of a homestay, where they would spend their time in the nation living with a local family. You can participate in family gatherings and outings in this setting.
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8. Getting through student life
Greek Life, which includes fraternities and sororities, is a distinguishing feature of student life in the US. During the first few weeks of the semester, several of these “houses” will provide information about their groups and offer students the chance to “pledge” to them.
Remember that while these organizations provide a sense of camaraderie and support, there is frequently some level of secrecy and scandal around them. As a result, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety and to only sign up if you feel secure doing so.
In the US, 21 is the minimum age for drinking. As a result, universities frequently host activities like music performances and parties without alcohol.
9. Guidelines for working in the US as an international student
While pursuing their degree programs, international students on F-1 visas are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week, and up to 40 hours during term breaks. Work must be done exclusively on campus. Your visa packet will provide information on the qualifying requirements if you desire to work off-campus and you must obtain official authorization.
Throughout the year, universities frequently post job openings for students, but it is best to look before the semester begins. You will be able to apply for jobs before the local pupils because of this. You can contact your admissions office for more information about the university’s policy when it comes to student work opportunities on campus.
10. Exploring the US
In contrast to other countries, travel in the US is unique. Considering the size of the landmass, a six-hour drive will seem like a tiny distance.
Despite having a public transportation system, flying is still one of the most common ways to travel within the US. Another is using a car or a bus. Although there isn’t a youth travel card, several tour operators offer student discounts on bus journeys and landmark tours.
The US has shared borders with Canada and Mexico with a surface area of 3.8 million square meters. Many foreign students pick populous states like California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, and Illinois as their places of study. However, with roughly 5,000 universities nationwide, there are several options in each of the 50 states.
Every state has its own own personality when it comes to customs, popular cuisine, accents, and scenery. When selecting your final college, make sure it is in a state and location that provides everything you will require as an international student.
11. The price is high.
Since their families have already paid taxes to fund the school, the large state (public) institutions are nationally known and incredibly popular with American students since they offer lower tuition. However, because you won’t qualify for that price, you might as well enroll in a top-notch private school, which is typically far better, less formalized, and able to provide you more individualized attention. Also keep in mind that you CAN ONLY WORK in a part-time on-campus employment that has been set up by the school.
12. Make a wise and SMART decision.
Many immigrants claim they desire to attend a “Ivy League” university. Football is played in the “Ivy League.” Do you care most about American football? Some people want to attend those “elite” colleges after hearing a few names mentioned on television news. However, just because a school is on television does not automatically make it an excellent school. Though there are some exceptions, the Northeast and California often have the best schools. DO NOT rely on commercials or tales spread by “friends” in your nation who are in the dark.
13. The USA is a large country with wide variations in its economy, environment, and climate.
Do not choose a school in a northern state if you dislike the cold. Avoid the Pacific Northwest if you don’t want to experience 10 months of rain. The east and west coasts are more advanced and developed. Anything in the middle will probably feel a little lonely, but it will be far less expensive. The cost of living will be significantly higher if you choose a school in a large city. The Southwest is a gun-obsessed region. Racists who are intolerant of all minorities still exist in the Southeast and Gulf Coast (less so South Florida, AKA little NY). View a map; you can “drive” on most US roads using Google Maps’ details and images.
14. There are more than 5000 institutions of higher learning with the names “College,” “University,” and “Institute.”
Just names, that. A “college” is Harvard. An “institute” is MIT. To evaluate whether a school is a good one or merely a location where affluent kids hang out and party, you should look at the curriculum and the ratings. Some universities are committed to helping certain populations, such ethnic, cultural, or religious minorities. Many colleges specialize in particular fields of study, such as medical, aeronautics, engineering, hospitality, etc. While some pander to the wealthy and powerful, some try to be as economical as possible. There are MANY options.
15. America was made for automobiles.
There are several causes, but one is that it is too huge and dispersed to support an all-encompassing public transportation system. Therefore, obtain a driver’s license and the accompanying “international permission” before you depart. You’ll be able to drive in the USA after that. Having a license on hand is significantly simpler than getting one when you arrive. You may also use your home country license, but only for a short period of time. There will be city buses and rail service *IF* you select a school in a very urban region, but it will be challenging to go even within the city limits.
16. A largely uninhabited wilderness was transformed into the United States.
This is the last tips on what to know before going to study in the USA. The early “immigrants” *had* to* help each other in order to survive when they arrived. The end consequence is a very open and social culture. They might ask you questions that make you feel uncomfortable. They might disclose information about themselves that is embarrassing. “Small conversation” like “How are you today?” is something we all like and *expect*. “The weather is hot.” You’re wearing a great dress, I must say. Everyone knows each other’s business in tiny communities. Do not be timid. People who pass you on the sidewalk in large cities will probably say “Hello.” Being a good neighbor is something that is valued greatly in America. There are numerous nations where houses are constructed with perimeter walls. In the USA, no. A “spite fence” is a fence that has been built by someone who thinks it is too tall. The majority of localities don’t even permit a sturdy wall or fence in the front yard. Prepare yourself to both share your ideas and to absorb those of others.