More than twice the size of the Europe, the USA is the third largest country in the world and also has the third largest population. It shares its borders with Canada to the north and Mexico to the south, with coasts on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Made up of 50 states, its landscape is rich and varied boasting mountains, plains and desert.
$5,000 to $50,000 per year
Average Tuition Fees
$1,200 -$4,000 per month
Range Living Cost
- University of Pennsylvania
- Columbia University
- Yale University
- Cornell University
- Princeton University
- University of Chicago
- California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
- Harvard University
- Stanford University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- Business management
- Computer Science
- Information Technology
- Social Science
- Physical Sciences
- Life Sciences
Why study in the USA
Perhaps a little bit more restrictive than some countries, it’s great to know that it is possible for you to work alongside your studies whilst you’re in the USA.You’ll normally have to find a job on-campus for the first year of your studies. Your university should be able to give you more details on what positions are available and will be able to help you find a job.After your first job you may be able to work off-campus via the Optional Practical Training or Curricular Practical Training schemes.You can find more information of what work is permitted on your student visa on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
13 of the world’s top 20 universities are in the USA
To experience a different culture
Use of advanced technology
As well as the varied culture, vibrant cities and exciting opportunities, the USA’s excellent reputation for its higher education standards has a strong bearing on its popularity as a study destination, as well as 30 out of the top 100 universities being on its soil.
Outstanding research and training opportunities abound in this technologically advanced country, which will also enable you great access to training and career opportunities. The campus lifestyle is another plus point, with good support and help available for international students such as airport meet-and-greets and international student societies.
Cost of Living
Of course costs can vary a lot, but you should budget at least $10,000-$14,000 per year to cover your living and accommodation costs.
Average Monthly Costs
$600 - $3,000
Mobile & Internet
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Work and study in the USA
Perhaps a little bit more restrictive than some countries, it’s great to know that it is possible for you to work alongside your studies whilst you’re in the USA.
You’ll normally have to find a job on-campus for the first year of your studies. Your university should be able to give you more details on what positions are available and will be able to help you find a job.
After your first job you may be able to work off-campus via the Optional Practical Training or Curricular Practical Training schemes.
School leaving certificate of successful completion
A qualifying diploma or its equivalent Proof of ability to succeed in university-level studies TOEFL iBT score between 68 and80 SOP
For master’s level
An international equivalent of a bachelor’s degree. A three-year bachelor’s degree holder should complete a Pre-Master’s programme first Official transcripts TOEFL iBT score between 79 and 95
Proficiency in English is, of course, mandatory for students wishing to pursue higher studies in the USA. Most institutions accept TOEFL and students applying for higher educational institutes in the US sit the TOEFL iBT. Given below are the qualifying scores for bachelor’s and master’s levels:
It always pays to get a scholarship to study abroad. It saves cost, and it also boosts one’s morale if your studies are financed. If you are an eligible student, there are a number of scholarships available to you. Check which one fills the bill.
Regardless of where you’re from, you’ll need to apply for a visa in order to study in the USA. Requirements can vary, but you will usually need to apply to both the U.S. Department of State as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in order to secure your visa. With this is mind, it’s worth applying as far in advance as possible.
You should apply for this visa if you want to study English at a language institute, or to study at an accredited U.S. college or university.
F-1 Student Visa
If you are participating in an exchange programme with either your high school or your university, this is the visa you'll need.
J-1 Exchange Visa
If you are looking to do vocational, non-academic, or training in the USA, then apply for this visa.
M-1 Student Visa
USA student visa requirements
- Details of how you will pay for all tuition fees, accommodation and living costs
- Details of your academic preparation, including standardised test scores, diplomas etc.
- Your passport, which will need to be valid for at least 6 months longer than the duration of your stay in the USA
- Proof of your intention to leave the USA once your studies are complete
Scholarships or Bursaries
Avvo Scholarship Program Berkeley College International Student Scholarships Berkeley International Application Form Cappex American Scholarships CDTrader Scholarship
More about USA
Combining plenty of history with a cosmopolitan big-city vibe, Boston is a great place to study. Famous for universities such as Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which were ranked first and third respectively in 2018’s QS World University Ranking, Boston also has a huge student population, 23% of which are International students. This is great for helping you mix with like-minded people, as well as experiencing a mix of cultures and backgrounds.
What students love about studying in Boston
Home to over 250,000 students from all over the globe, Boston is a very student-friendly city
It’s relatively small size makes it easy (and cheap) to get around on foot or on the excellent transport network
With excellent career connections with global companies based in the city, Boston also has excellent networking and work experience schemes which can help you get one step ahead on your career path
A true world city, there’s something for everyone in New York. Ranked as the 18th Best Student City, there are plenty of well-known universities to choose from such as Cornell, Columbia and New York University.
A huge, fast-paced city which draws students due to its academic, cultural and industrial diversity, New York’s excellent opportunities for graduates make it an attractive prospect.
Access to top ranked universities
A melting pot of cultures, languages and backgrounds, The Big Apple is the place to be if you want to meet lots of different people
There’s something for everyone in New York, and it’s a great place to be inspired by the variety of communities, enterprises and businesses that thrive in the city
The largest city on the west coast of America, Los Angeles (or LA as it’s widely known) is probably most famous for its warm climate, stunning beaches and, of course, Hollywood.
Earning itself a reputation as the creative capital of the world, it’s estimated that 1 out of every 6 people in LA work in the creative industry.
Some of the top universities in the LA area include the University of Southern California, UCLA and California International University.
What students love about studying in Los Angeles
One of the top 100 cities for international students, LA is an ideal place to study creative and media related degrees
If you want adventure alongside your studies, you can reach Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks as well as the Grand Canyon within a few hours’ drive
Warm weather and an abundance of healthy, fresh food make the way of life in LA a great experience
Home to Stanford University which is currently ranked second in the world, San Francisco is consistently voted as being one of the most liveable cities in the USA.
Leading the way in the areas of both science and technology, universities in San Francisco are also making an impression on the world stage with their outstanding music and art degrees. There’s plenty to inspire you in this beautiful city too from iconic sights such as The Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island to fabulous parks and museums.
What students love about studying in San Francisco
Home to countless big tech giants such as Apple, Facebook and Google, studying in San Francisco is an ideal way to get your foot in the door of a company you’d love to work for
It’s close to other great cities such as Santa Cruz, San Jose, Palo Alto and the Napa Valley
It’s great for sports. From football and baseball in the city to skiing and snowboarding at Lake Tahoe just a few hours away
Famous for its blues and jazz music, theatres and Chicago-style pizza, Chicago is located on the southern shores of Lake Michigan and is home to the University of Chicago which is world renowned for its programmes in law, science and the humanities.
Known as the ‘Windy City’ due to the possibility of tornadoes in some parts of Illinois (a campus alert system will help keep you safe if there are any tornado warnings), you should also invest in a good down-filled coat as it can get extremely cold during the winter.
The Midwestern people are well-known for their warm welcome and friendly communities
It’s great for getting involved with the local culture with over 150 events being held during festival season
Chicago has 26 miles of beach - perhaps surprising for a city located in the Midwest
It’s easy to talk in general terms when discussing the culture in the USA but, when faced with such a huge country, generalisms usually won’t take into account the sometimes distinctive differences you’ll find in each state. But, with such a strong history of immigration in America, you can be certain that the acceptance of a wide variety of cultural influences will help you settle in.
Although English is the common language, there’s no official language in the USA so expect to hear lots of different languages being spoken depending on where in the country or even city you are.
Sport plays a big part in the culture of the USA, with the Americans being as passionate about watching as playing their favourite sport. Home to some of the biggest sporting events in the world, such as the NBA Finals and the Super Bowl, sport is something that brings people together in the USA.
Some of the most popular sports in the USA include
Christmas:Christmas is celebrated on the 25th December and is an event which is a mixture of religious and family traditions. Homes are decorated with Christmas trees and a traditional Christmas dinner of roast turkey and ham is normally served
Thanksgiving:Celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving is a huge celebration in the USA. A day that gives thanks to the Native Americans who helped the Pilgrims survive their first winters in the new country, Thanksgiving generally covers a 4-day weekend and is a day for celebrating with family.The traditional Thanksgiving meal is legendary, consisting of roast turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, corn and pumpkin pie. The Friday following Thanksgiving has now become known as Black Friday, which has become infamous for its heavily discounted sales which begin the countdown to Christmas.
Hallowen:A festival that is celebrated in lots of other countries, in America Halloween has taken on a life of its own with their tradition of ‘Trick or Treat’.Celebrated on the 31st October, it’s traditional for children to dress up in scary costumes or fancy dress. They then knock on their neighbours’ doors saying ‘Trick or Treat?’. The person opening the door will normally give them a ‘treat’ (sweets or chocolate), but if they say ‘trick’ then they will have a trick or a prank played on them. Lots of houses will be decorated with carved-out pumpkins (called Jack-o-Lanterns) for the occasion.
Independence:Celebrating the independence of America from Britain in 1779, Independence Day is celebrated with spectacular parades, fireworks, picnics and parties. A very patriotic holiday, as well as family get-togethers, many people will display an American flag outside their homes on this day.
Labour Day:The last long weekend before school starts and winter approaches, Labor Day is a popular long weekend for people to go on holiday. A day which celebrates the American’s social and economic achievement, Labor Day speeches and parades are held as well as plenty of picnics and barbecues.
- Apple Pie
- Boston Clam Chowder
- New York Bagels
- Texas Barbecue
- Hominy Grits
- Pumpkin Pie
According to Pew Research Centre, around 276,500 international graduates received work permits through the Optional Practical Training scheme (OPT) in 2017. The OPT scheme is set up to grant graduates temporary work visas in their field of study - great news if you want to stay and work in the USA after your degree is completed.
The job market in the USA is currently looking healthy, and with unemployment rates at or below 4% employment possibilities for international students are reasonably good.
- Drinking alcohol under the age of 21 is illegal in the USA. It is also a crime to serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.
- Smoking isn’t allowed in most public places. Designated smoking areas are provided.
- Buying and selling drugs is illegal in the USA and you may be arrested if you are found with drugs on your person.
- Participate in class discussions. Whilst it might not be in your nature to want to take the spotlight, participating and contributing to classroom discussion is expected and may even contribute towards your grade. It’s not as scary as you think, and your classmates will be supportive.
- Smile and say hello. The culture in the USA is warm and welcoming in general. It’s polite to smile and greet people even if you don’t know them.
- Leave a tip. This is a point of etiquette that you should always remember in the USA. Leaving a tip of around 15-20% is expected whenever you eat out. You can find some great guides online to ensure you don’t go wrong here.
- Don’t share food. Sharing food is not common in the USA. If you do go out for a meal with friends, it’s normal for everyone to order their own meals and to eat just from their own plate.
- Give people space. Maintaining their personal space is important to Americans, in a similar way to that of the British and Irish. Americans normally stand about 2 feet away from each other when talking, so don’t be offended if they step away from you if you’re standing too close.