The U.S. is a country of 50 states covering a vast swath of North America, with Alaska in the northwest and Hawaii extending the nation’s presence into the Pacific Ocean. Major Atlantic Coast cities are New York, a global finance and culture center, and capital Washington, DC. Midwestern metropolis Chicago is known for influential architecture and on the west coast, whilst Los Angeles’ Hollywood is famed for film-making.
Why Study in the States?
A study programme in the USA may help you experience new cultures, learn new ideas, and free your mind to discover the global society in which we live. The United States, a vast country traversing six time zones, is considered the land of opportunity and an exceptional education provider. It’s also a popular destination for international students seeking to study abroad in USA for undergraduate and graduate programs. Students who study in the States may spend time in diverse regions of America while earning credit towards a degree through volunteering, taking classes, interning, and much more. Studying abroad in America might be a highlight of your university career, and may equip you with amazing and challenging experiences that allow you to develop both professionally and academically. Cost of Living/Studying Tuition fees: The United States is one of the most expensive places to study in the world. The average cost of annual tuition fees for international students is around $20,000 (£13,000) at a public university, while private institutions can charge much more.
There are no standard set fees and each institution can charge what they like, with fees between departments at the same university often being different.
Accommodation: The three main kinds of student accommodation open to undergraduates in the USA are:
- University residence halls
- Private student housing
- Homestay accommodation
The most convenient and popular accommodation as an undergraduate student is to live in university halls of residence on campus, which costs around $5,000 per semester, but includes bills, food and rent. Private accommodation is often much cheaper, but depends on where and who you live with. As a guide, you can expect to pay between $300 and $1,000 a month for a room in shared housing. Living costs/rent: America is not the cheapest place in the world to live as a student, but the amount you spend will depend on where you live and the sort of lifestyle you want. As a guide, public transport in the US is relatively cheap, while eating out and groceries are generally cheaper than European countries but more expensive than Asian ones. Visas Before travelling to study a degree in the USA you will need to apply for a non-immigrant visa. The most common kind of student visa is the F-1 visa, which entitles the holder to study at any US accredited college or university. To apply for a student visa, you will need to fill out an application form (found on the US Embassy website) and send appropriate documentation, such as evidence of financial standing and proof of university acceptance and academic qualifications, as well as possibly attending a visa interview at the US Embassy in your home country. It is normally also necessary to demonstrate that you have adequate study abroad travel insurance, which you must buy before you travel. Languages Maybe an English language program is not at the forefront of your mind and you think your English skills are just fine. But, you should carefully consider completing an English language program, especially an intensive English language program. Improving your English language skills will give you a higher TOEFL or IELTS score, which means that you will have even more universities and colleges to choose from. (Remember, each institution has different English proficiency requirements.) You will also have a much easier time in your classes and a more enriched education with strong English language skills.
The classroom environment and higher educational system in the United States is very unique. You will be expected to participate in class discussions, share your opinion, debate and explain your reasoning, give class presentations and work in groups with your classmates. Class participation, along with tests, quizzes and projects will be one of the factors that determine your overall grade for the course.
As well as ‘The Big Apple’ and ‘The City That Never Sleeps’, New York City is sometimes called the ‘Capital of the World’. Few other cities conjure up as many 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 those iconic yellow cabs. There is no shortage of top universities in New York either, including Columbia University (ranked 20th in the QS World University Rankings® 2016-2017) and New York University (joint 46th).
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. This is the location of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, ranked first and third in the world in the 2016-2017 rankings. Other top universities in Boston include Boston University (89th), Tufts University (238th), Boston College (joint 299th), Northeastern University (joint 361st) and Brandeis University (401-410). One of the most historic US cities, Boston is well known for arts and culture, particularly when it comes to contemporary classical music. But it’s not all serious academia and highbrow culture; the city is also renowned for its pubs and bars, and its fondness for sports.
In terms of wealth, population and cultural impact, Chicago only lags behind the behemoths of New York City and Los Angeles. Beneath those imposing skyscrapers is a vibrant and eclectic city, known for its lively mixture of cultures, live music and nightlife, and intellectual life. Nicknamed ‘the Windy City’, Chicago is the third most populous US city, with around 2.7 million residents. In 2015 the city hosted a record of over 52 visitors from home and abroad, making it one of the country’s most visited cities. High-ranking universities in Chicago include the University of Chicago (10th in the QS World University Rankings 2016-2017) and Northwestern University (just outside the city) at 26th. Other strong options are the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (66th), the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) (joint 187th), and Illinois Institute of Technology (401-410).
San Francisco & the Bay Area
The universities in San Francisco and the Bay Area which surrounds it include two of the world’s most prestigious and best-known: Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, ranked 2nd and 28th respectively in the QS World University Rankings 2016-2017. The intellectual might of this pair has massively contributed to the area’s wealth, which is largely founded on the renowned technology hub known as Silicon Valley, home to high-tech corporations such as Apple, Facebook and Google. San Francisco itself, and the branch of the University of California which shares its name, is also known for its ground-breaking biomedical research. The city has been ranked highly on lists of the world’s most livable cities and is a popular tourist destination. Add mild weather, a liberal outlook and a strong party culture, and you can see the appeal for yourself.
Nicknamed ‘the City of Angels’, Los Angeles is inseparable from the creative industries on which its wealth is founded: music, television, and – most of all – film. Other things that might leap to mind when you think of the city are the bright Californian sun, beaches, and the perpetual pursuit of the body beautiful – after all, this is the home of “Muscle Beach”. If you’d rather be exercising your mind than your body, there are plenty of prestigious universities in Los Angeles, including the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 31st in the QS World University Rankings 2016- 2017. Worth a look if you want to combine studies with star-spotting!
For more information about study options in the USA, please contact Equinox Education Services and we will happily manage the whole process for you!