Must-Know Things to Study Abroad in USA

Promising a plethora of possibilities and plenty of prosperity, the United States of America is a land of dreams for many people all around the world. Many are attracted by the high quality of life, the cosmopolitan nature of the country, as well as the several career and professional growth opportunities that it offers. It is renowned the world over for its fervent patriotic heritage, a position of pride in global polity and economy as well as for being the land of fame, money and glamour.

Why choose USA for higher studies?

Home to the best higher education institutions in the world, the USA also has a long-standing tradition of providing high quality tertiary education over the ages. The international student population recently reached the 1 million mark, and it speaks volumes about USA staying firm in the number one spot as the most favoured higher study destination from all over the globe. Here is why studying in USA is so alluring to the international students.

Higher education institutions in USA

Over 150 of the American higher education institutions feature in the QS World University Rankings, making it the most favoured destination for higher studies for students from all over the globe. Thousands of colleges and universities are situated all over the fifty states in the USA, with some of them being the best education providers in the world. The following is a list of the best higher education institutions in the USA that are renowned for their long-standing tradition of internationally acclaimed study programs, erudite faculty members and magnificent campuses.

Courses to study in USA

From engineering specialisations to international business studies, nursing courses to performing arts, the colleges and universities in the USA offer a plethora of possibilities in the course and study program options. The courses or study programs in the USA lead to certificates, diplomas, and undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that are highly regarded by the employers in every sector worldwide. The following are some of the popular course options to study abroad in USA for the international students.

Eligibility criteria and English language requirements

To study abroad in USA, the students need to satisfy the eligibility criteria set by the individual universities for the course of their choice. Dependent on the type of course and level of study, the following is a general overview of the eligibility criteria for admission into the prestigious higher education institutions in the USA.

(i) A plus-two level qualification (CBSE/ISC/ State Board Matriculation) with an excellent academic record

(ii) A valid SAT score

(iii) Subject prerequisites or assumed knowledge (required for certain courses that need prior knowledge or formal education of the relevant subjects studied at the plus-two level)

(i) A three-year or four-year bachelor's level qualification from an accredited higher education institution

(ii) A valid GRE score

(iii) A valid GMAT score (required for most MBA programs)

(iv) Relevant work experience (usually required for MBA programs)

(v) Subject prerequisites or assumed knowledge (required for certain courses that need prior knowledge or formal education of the relevant subjects studied at the bachelor's level)

(i) A master's level or higher qualification from an accredited higher education institution with an excellent academic record

(ii) Prior research experience or evidence of prior research publications

(iii) Subject prerequisites or assumed knowledge (required for certain courses that need prior knowledge or formal education of the relevant subjects studied at the previous levels of study)

The English language proficiency tests are mandatory for international students of non-English speaking countries applying to study in the higher education institutions of USA. Depending on the level of study and type of course, the following are the standardised English language proficiency tests accepted for admission in the American colleges and universities.

Tuition fees

The tuition fees to study in the colleges and universities in the USA are usually dependent on the course duration, level of study and type of higher education provider. The short skill development courses usually cost lesser than the longer academic or research-intensive courses. On the other hand, courses like medicine, business studies and some engineering disciplines cost more than liberal arts or language courses. When it comes to the tuition fee, the private higher education institutions are more expensive than the public universities in the USA. The following is an overview of the general range of annual tuition fees in the USA, divided into the different levels of study.

Scholarship options

The government of USA, several private organisations, charitable foundations and philanthropists sanction and administer thousands of scholarships, awards, and fellowships for the talented international students applying to study or studying in the esteemed higher education institutions of the country. The following are some of the scholarship options for international students who wish to study abroad in USA.

The universities too, have a range of faculty-specific and general scholarship and fellowship programs for the meritorious international candidates applying to study or studying at different levels of study. The following are some of the university-specific scholarship options available for the international students.

Application procedure and required documents

The application procedure for the colleges and universities follow two very simple paths. You can choose any one of the following processes to apply to the higher education institutions in the country.

(i) Online (through the official websites of the colleges and universities in the USA)

(ii) Through a trusted foreign education consultant (it is advisable to apply through the study abroad consultants that have partnerships with the higher education institutions in the USA)

The following is a general checklist of documents that one needs to apply to the colleges or universities in the USA. It is important to note that specific courses and universities might require additional documents and it is always advisable to check the official websites of the desired higher education institution and course for a comprehensive and streamlined list of documents needed for applying.

Student visas for USA

International students need an F-1 or M-1 class of student visa under the Non-Immigrant Visa or NIV category from the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to study in the esteemed higher education institutions in the USA. An M-1 visa allows you to study at a program with duration less than 12 months while an F-1 visa is for study programs that are more than 12 months in duration.

To apply for a student visa to study in the USA, you have to meet the following requirements.

(i) You must have acceptance into a full-time academic of professional skill development program in an SEVP-approved college, university or training institute in the USA

(ii) You must have sufficient funds to support your studies, stay and other expenses incurred in the USA for the entire duration of your stay

(iii) You must have a genuine intent to return to the country of your origin on completion of your study program in the USA

On meeting the visa conditions, you can apply for an F-1 or M-1 visa as per your requirements through the online visa application portal on the DHS website and complete the required steps as instructed. You will need the following documents for your visa application and interview to study in USA.

You can now efficiently plan to study abroad in USA with tips and guidance from the must-know factors for your overseas study program.