How to Study Abroad in USA? Explore the options in Detail
Why US for Higher Education?
The US education system is considered one of the best in the world. For the third consecutive year the number of international students have crossed a million, according to 2018 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Globally recognized universities, excellent support facilities, diverse ethnicity, breathtaking landscape, US has it all to attract students from around the world.
If you’re planning to pursue your undergraduate or postgraduate degree from US and worried about how to apply, where to apply,what will be the living cost, how to apply and procure your study visa, then this article is for you. Before delving into the procedure of how to get there, let’s explore together a few reasons that why you should go to US for higher education!
What are the Reasons to Choose US for Your Higher Education ?
Students across the world find plenty of reasons to choose USA as their destination for higher education. Here’s a list of few of the main reasons which makes US a magnet for international students.
- Study in world class universities: America is home to some of the best universities in the world. 33 of the top 100 universities are from the US, as per QS World Ranking 2019. Institutions in America are known for their high academic excellence. Even Times Higher Education Ranking has ranked seven American universities in its list of top 10 universities.
- Choose from a variety of courses: American universities offer a plethora of courses to choose from. If you are somebody looking to pursue a unique or specific program like gerontology then you’ll find many options in American universities.
- Good number of Research, Training and Teaching opportunities: Undergraduate students in American universities gain good amount of experience in research and training through the various assistant ship programs available. Not only these assistant ship programs give good experience to students but they also help the students finance their studies.
- Flexible education system: The US education system is highly flexible. It offers many course choices within a program and also provides an opportunity to change their majors or opt for multiple specializations.
- Support Services: In order to help the international students adjust comfortably and transition to the new environment the US universities provide support services in the form of orientation programs. These programs assists the students in academic writing and building resumes as students get ready to graduate.
- Latest Technology: The American universities are known to use cutting edge technology and provide the same to its students. Therefore, if you study in American universities you will learn to use latest technology in the field of science,engineering and other related fields.
- Global Recognition: A degree from an American university will not only make you industry ready but will also increase your worth in the eyes of global institutions and employers.All thanks to the reputation that American universities hold in the global scenario.
- Cultural Diversity: Studying in US is a rich and stimulating experience since you get to learn to live in harmony with people of varied cultural backgrounds. It is known to be the melting pot of different cultures, ethnicity and races.
What is the Cost of Living in USA?
Studying abroad in US is an expensive affair for Indian students. Prudent budget planning will help you manage your cost of living in an efficient manner. There are a couple of things which will constitute the most important expenses on your budget list like, tuition fee, accommodation, food, travel expenses and your health coverage. Here’s a list of estimates which will help you plan your budget:
- Tuition Fee: Tuition fee is going to be your main expense if you are planning to study in US. The US universities are basically divided into two- public universities and private universities. The public universities is less expensive as compared to the private ones. To cover your cost of tuition fee you need to shell out $10000 to $55000. This amount will vary depending on the course and university you choose to study in. For undergraduate courses you need to spend some $20000 to $40000 each year. For Postgraduate program you need to spend $20000 to $30000 per year. If you are planning to study arts, humanities or education then the cost will be lower as Medical or engineering degrees which are on the higher side. At the postgraduate Degrees like MBA can cost you a lot more as compared to other programs.
- Accommodation options and cost: US universities offer on-campus residence facilities to international students.They have dormitories, sororities and fraternities options for students from other countries. Living on-campus is affordable but make sure that you apply for it beforehand in order to secure a slot for yourself. Off-campus residence facilities are also available where you can choose to rent an apartment and share with Other indian students or go for a home stay. Accommodation in US can cost you somewhere between $3000 to $8000 per year depending upon the location you choose dwell in. If you’re opting for off-campus accommodation then some extra cost needs to be incurred in order to cover the cost of utility bills.
- Health Support and Insurance: If you’re planning to study in an american university then you should know that a medical insurance is a must for you to procure before the commencement of your program. The average cost of medical insurance is between $700 to $1000 per year.
- Transportation expenses: Your monthly transportation expenses will depend upon whether you are travelling long distance or short distance. For short distance travel you can use buses,regional trains and subways. The cost of short distance travel would be somewhere between $45 to $ 100 per month. For longer distance you could use trains, long distance buses or air transportation.
- Manage your taxes: International students are allowed to work part time during their Semesters and full time during their vacations. So if you are someone planning to work while studying in america, you may have to pay tax on your earned income.
What are the Scholarships offered by American Universities to International students:
Studying in US could be quite heavy on your pocket. But there are a plethora of scholarships which are offered to international students which helps to ease their financial burden. These scholarships are offered to students with excellent academic records and are either partially or fully paid depending upon factors like criteria, course and institution.
Here’s a list of scholarships offered to Indian students:
- Microsoft Scholarships
- Humphery Fellowship programs
- Inlaks scholarship
- Foreign fullbright student program
- Narotam sekhsaria foundation
- Rotary foundation ambassadorial scholarship
Top Cities for Education in USA
13 US cities ranked among the world’s top 100 places for study. Most of the entrants in the QS best students cities ranking are in US. Here’s a list of top ten students cities in US in 2018:
- New York
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Washington DC
- San Diego
How to Apply Universities in US?
Each university and college in US sets its own admission standard. Therefore you have to apply separately for each college and university. It is always advisable to apply in two or more institutions as your “first choice” may not accept your admission. The following steps will ease your application procedure in US universities and colleges.
- After you have selected the universities and colleges of your choice, the next step is to write to them for an application form and also enquire about international students admission information.
- Next, fill in the admission forms and send it to the universities and colleges.
- If you’re applying to study in US then you need to register and appear for tests like, SAT,ACT,GMAT,etc. International students are also required to take an ENglish proficiency test. Your test scored]s will be directly send to the universities and colleges where you have applied for admission.
- After the application deadline is over, you will receive the acceptance letter from your chosen college/university.
- You’ll be asked to pay a deposit in order to secure a seat for you in the entering class.
How to Apply for a US Student Visa?
The US government offers 3 different types of student visa:
- F-1 student visa: This visa is offered to those students who wish to study in an US accredited college or university or to the students who study English at an English language institute.
- J Exchange Visa: This visa is for exchange program students for both high school and university level.
- M student Visa: This is for vocational study or training in USA.
Here’s a checklist of steps that you need to follow while applying for student visa in US:
- The first step is to apply to the university/ college of your choice and receive an acceptance letter from the same.
- Once you are admitted to the school of your choice you will receive one of the two forms; F-1 and M-1 students will receive Form I-20 and J-1 students will receive Form DS-2019.
- Once you receive the I-20 or DS-2019 form from you school the next step for you is to go online and pay I-907 SEVIS fee.
- Next, you find out the nearest US embassy or consulate to apply for the US student visa.
- Complete the Non-immigrant visa application which is also known as Form DS-160.
- After you have completed your Form DS-160 you need to contact the nearest US embassy or consulate to schedule your visa interview.
- The next step is to pay the DS-160 application fee.
- Attend your visa interview. This is going to be the decisive factor. Your visa will depend on this interview.
- Once your US visa has been approved you will have to pay the US visa insurance. This depends upon your nationality and your country’s reciprocity agreement with the US.
- After completion of all the above steps you’ll receive your student visa.
We hope this article will provide you with useful inputs and take you a step closer to your study dream destination.