This comprehensive guide on how to Study in the United States for Foreign Students will help you investigate American institutions, choose where to apply, and discover the procedures for applying, being accepted, and living in the United States.
When you choose to study in the United States, you will be joining over a million other international students, which is a terrific opportunity. Studying in the United States has many advantages for international students, including cultural diversity and career assistance.
If you are an international student looking for college advice, keep reading this article because we will cover all of the key information on how to live and study in the United States for international students.
Your trip to the United States as an international student will begin with selecting a college and academic program. A two-year associate’s degree at an American university is typical. A bachelor’s degree in the United States normally requires three to four years of study. Following completion of your bachelor’s degree, you may wish to consider entering graduate school to expand your knowledge.
For graduate or postgraduate programs, a master’s degree (acquired after two years of study) and a doctorate or PhD are available (three or more years). While associate’s and bachelor’s degrees are frequently more general, advanced master’s and doctorate programs are often more focused on a certain academic discipline.
Research the Best Universities and Colleges
The College Navigator website of the United States Department of Education is an useful place to start your online search for associate’s, bachelor’s, and advanced degrees (such as master’s and doctoral degrees). Some services, such as College Board’s Big Future, allow you to search for undergraduate US schools and universities based on a variety of programs, attributes, or traits.
Apply to the University
Once you’ve decided on the subject you want to follow and have a short list of universities to choose from, it’s time to start applying.
On the school’s website, you can begin your application for a program at a US institution.
Complete the tests and college applications
Applications for undergraduate students
Although each university in the United States has its own admissions requirements, they all have a few elements in common. Prospective international students might expect the following from American colleges:
- Standardized test scores
- SAT or ACT
- English proficiency test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, iTEP, PTE Academic)
- Copy of your valid passport
Some colleges and universities may also require proof of financing for international students. Additionally, some colleges may require an interview, which you can do with staff or alumni living abroad.
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Graduate Student Applications
With a few notable exceptions, the application standards for overseas students applying to graduate programs are comparable to those for undergraduate programs. Here’s what you might need:
- Academic transcripts from your bachelor’s degree studies
- Test scores
- TOEFL, IELTS, iTEP, or PTE Academic
- Statement of purpose
- Research proposal
- Recommendations from professors
- Copy of your valid passport
- Proof of finances — unless you apply separately for assistantships or fellowships, you will need to show funding to cover the full cost of your education (subtracting any available scholarships)
Know the Costs of Studying Abroad
Tuition, fees, living expenses, books and supplies, and health insurance are all included in the annual cost of attending college in the United States.
Simply put, attending a university in the United States will cost you money. However, paying for education in the United States differs because, depending on the university or college, academic, athletic, artistic, and even service-based scholarships, as well as need-based financial assistance, may be offered (such grants for overseas students).
Apply for Financial Aid
If you have limited financial resources, make sure to question the advisers at the universities where you apply about the types of scholarships, grants, assistantships, and fellowships available to overseas students in the United States (s).
Apply for a Student Visa
Once you have made the all-important decision of where to study in the US, the next step is getting your visa. There are three main types of visas to choose from, each with its student visa requirements:
- F-1: This student visa permits you to study at US universities or colleges with funding from friends, family, or yourself. You are also permitted to work part-time on campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week when your academic term is in session.
- J-1: With this student visa, you can participate in the study- and work-related exchange programs at US colleges or universities approved by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Your program must be funded by an educational or non-profit sponsor. On a J-1 visa, you have the same work restrictions as F-1 students but cannot work off campus.
- M-1: If you want to pursue vocational studies, you can apply for an M-1 visa, which permits you to study at institutes certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Program funding may come from friends, family, or yourself. On an M-1 student visa, you will have the same work restrictions as F-1 and J-1 visas but can only work on campus for a maximum of six months.
An I-20 form is required to apply for an F-1 or M-1 visa, and a DS-2019 form is required to apply for a J-1 visa. While each form differs significantly based on the visa, they all include personal information (full name, birthdate, SEVIS ID numbers, academic program, English proficiency standard, start date, and funding sources).
Some universities will provide an I-20 or DS-2019 with your admission letter, especially if you have demonstrated that you have sufficient finances for at least one year of academic study and are not needed to pay a deposit. Some US institutions will deliver an I-20 or DS-2019 only if funding has been documented, institutional financial awards have been made, and a deposit has been paid.
Once you have received the I-20 or DS-2019 from your college or university, there are four important steps you must complete:
- Pay a $350 SEVIS I-901 fee online (and keep your electronic SEVIS fee receipt)
- Apply for your non-immigrant visa (online DS-160 form)
- Schedule your visa interview at the US embassy or consulate
- Complete the interview
Important Necessities for Students
Foreign students studying in the United States may learn that campus life is very different from life back home. Preparing a list of what you’ll need in the United States before you leave can be beneficial.
How to live in USA for International Students
The first week after arriving at the US university is the most difficult portion of the majority of students’ whole study abroad experience. You’ll have to deal with both homesickness and adjusting to a new culture, language, and other factors. To make your journey a little easier, here are a few top tips for international students who want to learn how to survive in the United States as a student.
Make a living budget
The cost of living might vary greatly depending on where you attend school. Here are some ideas for creating a budget as a college student for studying in America. Preparing ahead of time can assist you in covering these expenses.
States in the United States may have widely disparate cost of living ranges. Normally, living in the city is more expensive than living in the suburbs or a small town. The cost of living may vary depending on:
- Housing on campus or renting flats off campus
- Meal plans, personal grocery shopping, or eating out
- Travelling by public transport or by car
- Entertainment, extracurriculars, and other personal spending habits
- Having a part-time job
To learn more about how to study in the USA, consider visiting the USA.gov website.