The United States has been popular amongst students worldwide for their higher education. This is no surprise because American institutions consistently feature in the top universities in the world. Let’s get to know about the education system and lifestyle of the states before planning to take admission there:
Education system in the USA
There are three types of institutions in the USA:
1. Universities – Normally, universities in the USA offer a range of graduate programmes, including doctoral programmes. Universities are usually larger than colleges in terms of sizes and opportunities. There are two types of universities in the USA – public and private.
Public universities are funded by the US state government. These universities are often rooted to their local communities, thus making themselves dynamic and vibrant. State/public universities have a variety of courses on offer and are home to a large number of students from all over the world. These types of universities are usually located in both, large cities and small towns. And the tuition fees at public universities are lesser when compared with private universities.
On the other hand, private universities are run by student tuition fees, research outcome, donations and other funding sources. These universities are not owned by any government body. Since private universities are not state funded, they have the flexibility to choose their funding scheme and how to invest the funds towards research opportunities.
2. Community colleges – Community colleges in the USA are small community-based two-year colleges that offer vocational and certificate programmes to students. These colleges work closely with some employers, and also offer different pathways programmes for students. Class sizes in community colleges are relatively small. International students can choose such colleges to opt for any bridge programmes or enhance specific skills before taking it to the next level.
3. Liberal arts colleges – Liberal arts colleges in the USA emphasise on providing undergraduate degrees in liberal arts and sciences. These colleges could be either private or public institutions. Compared with a usual vocational or technical or professional degree, a liberal arts degree lasts for four years of full-time study.
Why study in the USA?
The USA is made up of 50 states and is one of the largest countries in the world, in terms of land mass and size. The country covers different time zones and the climate varies from the freezing cold of Alaska to the pleasant tropical climate of Hawaii.
With breath-taking natural beauty from the Grand Canyon to the Niagara Falls and man-made marvels like the Statue of Liberty, The Golden Gate Bridge, Disney Land, The Smithsonian Museum and The Library of the Congress, there are many things that one can explore in the country.
Life as a student in the USA
As a student in the USA, it is important that one is aware of one’s rights and the local laws. All leading institutions conduct a Student Orientation Programme, which helps the student acclimatise to life in the USA.
Most US institutions offer some flexible programmes for all students, which help them find their interest before deciding on a major. This means students who are unsure about their course choice in the first year of undergraduate programme can get adequate time to choose their major. Also, students can opt for double major, i.e., a degree in two different subjects.
Most US colleges are well equipped with advanced technology and facilities. Also, they have plenty of clubs and societies where students can engage themselves, outside classrooms. Extra-curricular activities allow students to develop their hobbies.
Biotechnology, computer science and electronics are some of the most popular courses in the USA. Other specialised postgraduate courses in streams like medicine, cosmetic surgery, para-psychology, diabetes and genetics are also popular.
Some of the US institutes have three academic years/admission cycles for students. But mostly admissions happen during fall and spring semesters. The curriculum comprises short- or mid-term assessments for students, with assignments to complete. The overall performance of students is based not on the final exams, but on how they perform in each assessment.
Cost of studying in the USA
The cost of studying in the USA could be quite expensive at times, for some international students. Community colleges cost $17,000 (along with transport and other living expenses). A four-year public college for international students can cost $39,890, and private non-profit four-year institutions can cost $49,000 (along with transport and other living expenses). Food and living expenses in the USA normally range between $8000 and $12000, barring the cost of transportation and other expenses.
Scholarships for international students
To meet the expenses and the tuition costs, you may apply for scholarships or financial aid. Many international students opt for education loans, which should be repaid to the banks along with an interest rate fixed by the banks. Many US universities do allocate specific grants for international students to support their tuition and living costs.
Besides providing the common funding options, a few universities provide ‘need-blind’ admissions for students with high merits, but who have few resources to support their education. Information about funding or scholarship is available at each university website. You can also check our scholarships page for more details.
Some of the popular scholarships that you can apply for are
- Fullbright foreign student programme
- Aga Khan foundation international scholarship programme
- ETS TOEFL scholarships
- British Council IELTS scholarship award for Indian students
Benefits of studying in the USA
- World-class education.
- A wide variety of research-centric science and technology courses.
- Job-oriented management courses.
- Scholarships and fellowships offered by institutions and the American government.
- An American degree is highly valued by many employers around the world.
- A vast country with varying landscape that offers a lot for a tourist and a nature lover.
So now you have all the basic information about studying in the USA. Do let us know if we can guide you further. Studying in the USA has been dreams of many international students since years. You can achieve it too! All you need is the correct guidance and a set goal and everything will be a cakewalk after that!!