The United States of America (USA), a federal republic, is located between Canada and Mexico in central North America with a population of over 300 million across 50 states. The capital of the country is Washington DC while New York is its most populous city. USA has a diverse landscape ranging from the Arctic to the Arid, snow capped rugged mountain peaks to the rain forest and flat prairies. Because of the country’s large size and geographical diversity includes most climate types – humid continental to humid subtropical, semi-arid to the alpine, arid to the Mediterranean, sub-arctic polar to tropical. The United States receives more high-impact extreme weather conditions than any other country in the world. Similarly, USA also has a highly diverse racial, ethnic and cultural population due to the country’s immigration policies in the previous decades and the indigenous Native Americans, Eskimos and African-Americans. Therefore, the United States is home to many cultures, ethnic groups, traditions and values although the main language spoken is English.
USA has come to be known as the land of opportunities – economic, social and political.Achieving the ‘American Dream’ is a popular ideal that many aspire to. Although the country is relatively young by world standards – 250 years – it is the world’s greatest economic power with one of the world’s highest standards of living.
There are many private and public institutions of higher education. All the ranking organizations list the majority of the world’s top universities in the US. US also has many local community colleges with several academic programs of shorter lengths and lower tuition fees. U21, a network of research-intensive universities ranked the US 1st in the world for higher education quality in 2018. Overall, with over 4000 colleges and universities, the higher education system in the US is one of the best in the world. Most of the educational institutions are noted for their academic excellence and superior learning experiences with flexible study options. Based on the Best Student Cities Rankings, some of the popular cities in the US, where international students enrol in universities and colleges at different levels of study are – Boston, Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Pittsburg, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego. There are 4 time zones in the country.
WHY STUDY IN USA?
- The US is home to half of the top 10 universities in the world which makes the US the most preferred destination for students across the globe. Each year thousands of international students enrol in the American universities because there are unimaginable number of courses available to students to gain knowledge and training in one of the best education systems in the world. The academic programs are flexible with ample research and training opportunities, world class state of the art facilities and help and support for international students.
- The US offers a diverse range of programs. The Undergraduate programs take four years to complete and students get to choose a major in the beginning of their third year. A major allows the student to focus on a specific field in their degree. The Graduate programs include Masters which are specialisations in almost every branch of study. The international students pursue the Masters program the most in the US followed by Doctorates (PhD) and Bachelors. MS and MBAs are currently the most pursued programs by international students in the US. Popular areas of study include Business Administration, Computer Science, Engineering,Fine Arts, Finance, Marketing, Pharmacy and many more.
- US is undoubtedly an expensive country for international students to pursue higher education. However, the tuition fees vary depending on the university the student enrols in, the level of study, type of program and the location of the educational institution. Community colleges are cheaper than the universities. The cost of education and accommodation on average can cost between USD25,000 to USD50,000 each year.
- Indian students can avail scholarships which are offered to majority of the courses, although they are extremely competitive based on the results of standardised exams. Fee waivers are also available to meritorious students. Scholarships are also available for students excelling in extra-curricular activities. Education loans are offered by banks and other lending institutions to deserving candidates.
- International students are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English by undertaking IELTS, PTE or TOEFL. For some courses, international students are required to appear for several other exams including GRE and GMAT.
- US is home to the world’s largest number of international students. Therefore, there are many resources in place that make studying, living and life in general in the US much easier for them.
- The American higher education curriculum allows students to not only gain knowledge in their field of interest but also become well rounded individuals with life skills that are applicable to real life situations and their chosen profession.Gaining a degree from an American educational institution and university makes students well sought after by employers across the globe.