The USA has the world’s largest international student population, with over 700,000 students choosing to broaden their education and life experience in the United States.
The U.S. higher education system offers an unparalleled choice to international students in the types of institutions, academic and social environments, entry requirements, degree programs, and fields of study that are available. Students can choose from a variety of academic areas, from the humanities, management, to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Why study in USA?
U.S. institutions continue to lead in terms of the breadth of academic specializations and research opportunities they offer. With more than 4500 nationally and regionally accredited institutions in the United States, international students have many choices regarding the institution type and location that is the best fit for them and where they will thrive and reach their academic and long-term goals. In the USA, there are various options for spending and choosing as it an amazing place for the student. It is globally recognized and has many educational programs. A student can get more than they have dreamed of, as they can try a new culture and the lifestyle of the USA apart from just a USA study visa. The USA has the top rank for having a total of 60% of the best universities which gives the best option to an individual for his/her future.
The US boasts of some of the finest universities, a lot of which consistently rank in the world university rankings. American institutions are also known to have high academic standards, follow rigorous practices to maintain quality and are well-supported to be able to offer excellent education to its students. As per the QS World Ranking 2019. 33 of the top 100 universities are from the US. Similarly, Times Higher Education Ranking has also ranked seven of the American universities in its top 10 list of universities.
Whether you want to study Computer Science and become the next tech genius, get a degree in Engineering and invent innovative solutions, or study Business and learn how money makes the world go round, you’ll surely become an expert in your field. These are just some of the most popular programmes in the USA, but there’s so much more. American universities and colleges offer a myriad of courses and programs to choose from. You have the freedom to not only select the course content, but also the structure.
In an effort to make your transition to a U.S. university smoother, these institutions offer plenty of support to prepare international students for their classes. Through various workshops, English-language practice courses, orientations, and trainings, foreign students are given plenty of help to get them ready for their classes. Moreover, there is some effort to allow international students the ability to stay in the U.S. after they graduate, so that they can attempt to pursue a wonderful career at some of the world’s biggest companies.
The United States is the leader in many areas of technology and research, also benefitting from generous funding and offering support to international PhD students. If you’re looking to challenge yourself intellectually and academically, and you aim to become a research scholar, there are several exciting programs ready for you to study.
The other reason for opting for a USA study visa is there are post studies OPT options provided to the student. OPT is the Optional Practical Training is a time period in which undergraduate and graduate students having F1 status can work for one year on a student visa for getting practical training. The student must have completed or pursued their degrees more than nine months is given permission by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). F1 status students are permitted only for 12 months of practical training, after 12 months students from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics degree) background will be eligible to apply for 17 months extension. During this time you might even be hired by a company that’ll sponsor your H1-B or work visa.
The US is a melting pot of different cultures, races and ethnicities. Its diverse environment ensures that there is acceptance among all communities and there is no room for any sort of discrimination. You’ll be learning with students from different regions of the world thereby making it a rich and stimulating education experience. Growing in the midst of diversity will provide you with strong personality traits and skills that will be valuable in the international market.
University campuses in the U.S. have a life of their own and they are like small student towns and encouraging you to socialise and make friends. It’s a known fact that campus life of the US is matchless. Irrespective of the university you study in, you will find yourself in the midst of new cultural experiences and the American way of life. Embrace it and open yourself up to new ideas and new people.
An international degree opens up a wide range of career prospects and a degree from reputed universities widens the scope even further. Due to the varied insight into different fields of study offered by universities of USA, it broadens the scope of the career path that the student chooses and it is known that international companies look for candidates that offer them with a different take or perspective on their products.
If you want to be surrounded by the world’s best and brightest students and academics, then you can’t really do much better than Boston – especially if you include the nearby student-centered town of Cambridge, MA.
The latter is the location of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, ranked first and second in the world in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16
Boston is also home to another five universities which rank in the top 400, and this high concentration of leading universities propels it to joint 13th place in the QS Best Student Cities index.
Employers are undoubtedly aware of Boston’s prestige, with the city earning the second best score in the index for ‘employer activity’.
As well as ‘The Big Apple’ and ‘The City That Never Sleeps’, New York City, ranked 20th in the Best Student Cities index, is sometimes called the ‘Capital of the World’. Few other cities conjure up as many instant associations, be it the skyscrapers that serve as towering monuments to the city’s financial power, the legendary music and fashion scenes, the bright lights and glitz of Broadway or the famous delis and delicious street food. There’s no shortage of top universities in New York either, including Columbia University (ranked 22nd in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16) and New York University (53rd), as well as nine others which are ranked within the top 800 in the world. New York therefore places 5th in the ‘university rankings’ category of the Best Student Cities index, just beating Boston, which is 6th. New York achieves the best ranking out of all of the best US cities for students in the desirability category, offering a high (albeit pricey) quality of life.
Lying adjacent to California's famed tech innovation hub Silicon Valley, San Francisco is another iconic US city, within striking distance of two of the world's most prestigious universities, Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, currently ranked joint 3rd and 26th in the world respectively.
One of the world's leading 10 financial centers, the San Francisco Bay Area is home to hundreds of innovative companies, particularly in the technology sector.
This, combined with the high caliber of its institutions, gives San Francisco one of the strongest scores in the ‘employer activity’ category of the QS Best Student Cities index. Although tuition fees are high, San Francisco is more affordable in terms of living costs than the likes of New York, and ranks at joint 27th overall.
Next in our list of the best cities in the US for students is ‘The Windy City’.) A fast-paced, high-rise economic hub, Chicago is also a city that famously knows how to let its hair down.
Ranked as the 30th best student city in the world this year, Chicago remains well known as the site of an explosion of blues and jazz music during the 20th century, which earned it a reputation as the northern US's answer to New Orleans.
The city is also home to two of the world’s most esteemed universities, the University of Chicago (ranked 10th in the world), and Northwestern University (32nd), plus two more universities within the global top 500.
The education system of USA is independent of federal government regulation as compared to other higher education system of the world. It follows a pattern similar to other systems; curriculum depends widely on the institution. The education system of USA depends on “Credits”, it is an important thing for a student as the whole semester is based on it. Credits are sub-unit of student’s study which is combined altogether to form a course. Every course has a different number of credits which are required in changing the course.
Here’s an overview of the qualifications available in the US:
|Associate degree||2 years||Job oriented programs that allow a graduate to launch a career, it is also equivalent to first two years of a 4-year bachelor’s degree|
|Bachelor’s degree||3 – 4 years||Undergraduate degree that includes core courses, major, minor and elective. The four years are known as Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior.|
|Master’s degree (Professional)||1 to 3 years||Leads students from first degree to particular profession; duration depends on field of study|
|Master’s degree (Academic)||2 years||Generally awarded in traditional disciplines of humanities, arts, and science;|
|Doctorate or PhD||5 to 8 years||Completed under the supervision of faculty advisor, PhD is awarded on completion of dissertation and successful defence before a panel of faculty members|
The academic grading of the education system in the USA depends upon the faculties of universities which examines/test the student’s capability by taking written exams, oral presentation, writing essays, group discussions. The performance of the student is then marked on the scale of A, B, C, D, and F. By this, GPA (grade point average) is calculated; if the GP is above 4.00 then a student is awarded A, 3.00 for grade B students, 2.00 for grade C students, 1.00 for grade D students and 0.00 for grade F students. Here grade A means highest marks and F grade means fail.
The work pressure is based on the students as they can take less credit to pass the semester. The two criteria on which a students’ capability depends is the grading system and credits. If a student cannot pass both of the criteria then he/she is not capable of pursuing the degree. A student depends more on credit than GPA as he/she can remove any subject from his course to cope up their GPA.
There are various types of institutions in the US that provide quality education. These can be categorised into:
- State College or University
A state school is supported and run by a state government. Each of the 50 U.S. states operates at least one state university and possibly several state colleges.
- Private college or University
These schools are privately run as opposed to being run by a branch of the government. Tuition will usually be higher than state schools.
- Community College
Community colleges are two-year colleges that award an associate’s degrees. Community college graduates most commonly transfer to four-year colleges or universities to complete their degree.
- Institute of Technology
An institute of technology is a school that provides at least four years of study in science and technology. Some have graduate programs, while others offer short-term courses.
Minimum 10 + 2 or Equivalent Diploma
3/4 yrs of Bachelors
Minimum 50% depends on the institution
Minimum 60% depends on the institution
Min. IELTS 6 Bands or TOEFL- iBT 60-78
Min. IELTS 6.5 Bands or TOEFL- iBT 79-93
GRE/ GMAT/ SAT
SAT (Avg 1500)
GRE for engineering students (Avg of 152 to 162) GMAT for Management students (Avg of 540)
U. S Universities/ colleges have two major intakes
Fall semester starts in the late August or early September and ends in late December or early January, whereas the spring semester begins in January and ends in April and summer semester begins in May and ends in August. It can be divided in to academics terms of 16-18 weeks known as semesters.
Studying in the US can be affordable if you plan well in advance, so you can apply to a range of scholarships offered by the American universities and colleges before deadlines. Open to meritorious international students to help them fund their studies, these financial aids can be partial or fully paid, depending on the criteria, course and the institution.
Scholarships in the United States can be categorised into two:
- Those allocated by universities
- Those allocated to various funds and organisations, both public and private
The higher the level of the educational program, the better the chances of receiving a scholarship. This means it’ll be much easier for you to obtain a scholarship for a master program than for an undergraduate degree. If your academic performance has been brilliant, you’ve taken part in plenty of social events or volunteer work, or you’ve excelled in sports, you could be considered for a scholarship.
Each university has its own scholarship fund (usually financed through alumni contributions) with its own set of rules and requirements.
How much Scholarship is offered?
The amount of money available and the type of award varies between institutions. Certain research programs may provide up to 100% of the tuition fee besides covering a part of your living expenditures. You may experience higher competition when you apply for government scholarships in comparison to the university scholarships. So, we suggest you start with the procedure about 8-12 months before your preferred intake begins.
Process (Application + Visa)
Book a Free Counselling Session with our Educational Experts at Yuranus Education.
Step 1 – Register with Yuranus Education and we will build your profile on the basis of your academic qualifications, work experience and interests.
Step 2 – Once assessment is initiated, we will shortlist the desired university and relevant course as per your profile and interest.
Step 3 – Complete application will be submitted to the respective university finalized by you.
Step 4 – We will assist you for visa documentation and acceptance of offer letter/ I-20.
Students applying for USA are recommended to begin the application procedure at least 8-10 months prior to the intake.
The US Government provides an opportunity to all Indian students to study in the country but as a prerequisite, you’ll have to obtain a student visa first. The visa you need will depend on your age and the type of study you wish to pursue in the US. Here’s an overview of the types of study visas and their application requirements:
The US Government offers three different student visa types:
Types of student visa
F-1 Student Visa
To study at an accredited US college or university or to study English at an English language institute
J Exchange Visa
For participation in an exchange program, including high school and university study
M Student Visa
For non-academic or vocational study or training in the US
You’re allowed to remain in the United States for up to 60 days beyond the time it takes to complete your degree, unless you have applied and have been approved to stay for a limited period under the OPT program
You should only apply for the F1 visa after receiving your acceptance letter, which states your enrollment.
The visa application process require expertise knowledge, following are the documents you’ll need before visa file lodgement.
- Acceptance at a SEVP approved school and your Form I-20
- Application fee payment for the SEVIS
- Non-immigrant visa application and the Form DS-160 confirmation page
- Your photograph in the requested format, and number
- All Academic Documents
- Supporting documents for gap (if gap is longer than a year)
- English Proficiency Document
- Statement of Purpose/ Covering Letter
- Syllabus (if applying for credit exemption)
- Work Experience letter and salary statement (if applicable)
- Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
- Spouse academics (if applicable)
- Spouse current activity proof (if applicable)
- Application fees (if applicable)
- Name Change Affidavit (if applicable)
- Book a visa interview appointment
- Prepare for the interview
- When you pass the interview, you’ll receive your passport sporting the all-important visa stamp after a few days.
Yuranus team of expert will guide you in each and every step of your Admission and Visa Application. Leave the paper work to us.
Post study work rights
Student visa holders are eligible for a total of 12 months Optional Practical Training [OPT] per educational level completed.
Students with a degree from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) majors get an additional 17 months OPT extension [total of 29 months which includes 12 months OPT as stated above].
F2 Dependent Visa
Who can apply?: The people who can apply for it are the spouse and unmarried children who are under the age of 21 of F-1 student and they may stay in the US as long as the primary student is in legal F1 status.
How to apply for an F-2 Visa?: Your spouse or your children can apply for it and they can also come along with you in the United States. As to apply for the visa you need to contact ENO expert who will help you in applying for a new I-20. You will have to submit the documents to give the proof of your relationship such as the birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc. After this, you also need to submit the evidence of financial resources as to show the income whether it is sufficient for the support of your family living in the USA. This evidence may include bank statements, affidavits and family savings in your country. When you’ll receive a new I-20, the application procedure of F2 will be similar to the procedure of F1 visa. For this, you need to make an appointment to the ENO office and should bring all the documents along with you and also some additional information for a non-immigrant visa. Basically, a child who is under the age of 14 needs not to be present at the F2 visa interview, unless it is specifically mentioned.
Work and Study Rights: In the USA, the F-2 visa holders are not allowed to work and study there. If they want to study or work there then they have to change their F2 status to F1.
Student work rights
- International students studying in the USA on the F-1 status visa are eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours a week while school is in session, and can work full time during vacations / scheduled breaks.
- The spouse of a student cannot work if they have travelled to the USA on a dependent visa.
- Students can expect a wage rate of $8 to $11 per hour depending on job profile and industry. So a student can expect to earn an average of $640 to $880 Per Month.
However, you should keep in mind that as long as you hold an F1 visa, you’re not allowed to accept off-campus employment without permission from the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). You will be allowed to work on campus without seeking prior permission from USCIS though.
Cost of Edu. & Living
The institutes cost mainly depends upon the status and the courses they offer:
- Private Institute’s highest cost is $35,000
- Private Institute’s lowest cost is $18,000
- State Institute’s highest cost is $25,000
- State Institute’s lowest cost is $12,000
So tuition fees are different for different courses chosen by the student.
An international student spends an average of $1000 per month towards living expenses. But from the research, it is seen that Indian students spend around $500 to $600 per month as living expenses which include accommodation, food, entertainment, transportation, etc.
In case of couples, Indian Couple spends around $1000 to $1200 per month.
Students need to show proof of funds for the duration of the study mentioned on the I20. Generally, students are required to show liquid assets to cover the cost of the first year of study and living expenses and other assets to cover the remaining course costs and living expenses. (1 day old balance acceptable).
Evidence of Funds:
- Your family (Parents, Siblings, Spouse and Grandparents) is considered as a natural sponsor for your student visa application. Apart from family, you are entitled to have two immediate blood relatives as sponsors.
- Source of Funds can include Savings balance, Deposits, Provident Funds, Postal Savings, Education Loan, etc.
- Properties, Share market investments, Gold, etc can be counted as the source of funds towards the further years of study.