Why study in the United States?


From apple pie to the Big Apple and from rock and roll to the Rockies, the United States has jam-packed a whole lot into its comparatively brief 230+ year history. This superpower's super-ness includes the area of international education: in fact, last year more than 700,000 international students selected American universities for their academic pursuits. Read on to find out more about the many exciting opportunities that exist for international students to study in the US, "from sea to shining sea.”


1) You can get a scholarship to go study in the US:
Government Scholarship Opportunities for International Students:
  • Foreign Fulbright Student Program: The Fulbright Foreign Student Program offers international graduate students, young professionals and artists the opportunity to study and conduct research in the United States. Uk tudents can also take advantage of the Fulbright Commission’s comprehensive website -- the country’s official source of information about studying abroad in the United States.
  • Humphrey Fellowship Program: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, this program offers young and mid-career professionals from designated countries the chance to study in the U.S. for one year of non-degree graduate-level study.
Scholarships from U.S. Colleges and Universities for International Students:
  • American University Scholarships:The American University (AU) awards a number of partial merit-based scholarships for international first-year students, as well as full tuition Merit Awards for international master’s and doctoral graduate students. Besides, The AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship Program covers all expenses for one exceptional international student to study in the U.S.
  • Cornell University ScholarshipsCornell offers full and partial need-based funding for 30-40 international students in each entering class. Decisions are made at the time of enrollment and are not subject to change for the duration of undergraduate study.
  • East Tennessee State University: Open to new international students seeking both graduate and undergraduate degrees, the International Students Academic Merit Scholarship covers 50 percent of the total tuition and maintenance fees for undergrads, master's and doctoral students. Read more about ETSU here.
  • Iowa State University Scholarships: Awarded to students with outstanding leadership qualities and the goal to positively represent both their home country and Iowa State University are eligible for the International Student Ambassador Scholarships. These renewable awards range between $4,000 and $7,000 per academic year. Read more about Iowa State University College of Business here.
Institutional Funding Opportunities for International Students:
2) It's one of the most fantastic countries to study in:
More than 700,000 international students can’t be wrong. Here are 10 great reasons why students come from near and far to take advantage of American academic opportunities. A hint: It’s about much more than Hollywood and hot dogs.
1. Choices, Choices, Choices
The United States offers thousands of higher educational options celebrated around the world for their top quality, broad range of programs and flexibility. Throw in regional diversity and varying tuition and living costs, and aspiring international students are certain to find the right fit.
2. Sporting Goods
The ballparks alone -- a classic symbol of American life -- are reason enough for sports fans to love studying in America. In addition to baseball, sports enthusiasts enjoy watching and playing everything from football to foosball. Not to mention hockey, basketball, golf, NASCAR...the list goes on and on. And then there's Quidditch, which co-eds can be found playing on campuses across the country.
3. Movie Madness
If you’re more silver screen than defensive screen, there’s no place like the U.S. for film buffs. While Hollywood and movies have been inextricably tied in the collective mindset since the days of the talkies, the options expand well beyond the birthplace of modern movie making. Want to see or learn about the latest Blockbuster before anyone else? The U.S. is the place to do so.
4. Money Talks
It’s a fact: Higher education in the U.S. is expensive. The plus side is that there’s plenty of financial assistance, and the vast majority of universities support their own international students through teaching and research assistantships. Additionally, government support and funding opportunities abound if you know where to look.
5. Work It Out
Most higher ed institutions have work/study programs on campus which pay a fair hourly rate and help cover the cost of living. The universities place students in these positions -- which can range from part time to full time -- based on financial need and personal background. Students are also encouraged to work as interns during the summer months, for which many universities award academic credits.
6. Get a Job
While visa requirements in the U.S. are rigorous, recent grads are allowed to work for one year in a related field after completing their degree through Optional Practical Training Employment Authorization (OPT). After this initial year, permanent work is possible when employers sign on for an H1B work visa sponsorship.
7. Eating, American-Style
American cuisine may have gotten a bad rap thanks to the whole super-sizing thing, but massive portions aside, the U.S. is also a biggie when it comes to being on the gastronomic forefront. Extreme foodies will enjoy everything from deep-fried Oreos to Korean tacos everywhere from food trucks to fine dining establishments.
8. Road Trip!
One of the best ways to get a taste of all that America has to offer is through another typical American pastime. Hit the open highway and take advantage of everything from America’s national parks -- 84 million acres of extraordinary tradition -- to the world’s largest ball of twine. From roadside oddities to mountain majesty, it’s all just a drive away.
9. Help, American-Style
If you’re looking for a little handholding after crossing the pond, U.S. universities offer a designated office just for assisting international students from application through employment assistance as you approach graduation.
10. Diversity University
From climate to culture the U.S. has evolved into a vibrant microcosm of the world at large. Immigration rigors aside, the country is still built upon the premise of welcoming "the huddled masses yearning to be free," and everyone else for that matter.
3) You will be a part of the world-class education with a global perspective:
American institutions dominate the 2013 QS World University Rankings, holding a whopping six of the top 10 spots and 19 of the top 50, with M.I.T. and Harvard heading the list. There’s no better place for gaining first hand exposure to cutting edtge developments, sophisticated equipment, extraordinary resources and preeminent scholars in key areas, such as technology and research.
Not only does the U.S. have the top universities, but a degree from an American university is an extremely valuable commodity for modern employers. Today’s employers --both in the U.S. and beyond -- are looking for candidates with a global perspective and adaptability, including multi-cultural language, communication and business skills.
4) You will improve your language skills:
International students gain critical street cred: Advanced English language skills. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required to gain admittance to most U.S. schools, and experts advise that ample time to study -- several months or more -- including frequent practice test sessions is a critical part of demonstrating the requisite English language proficiency. You can test your english here. One hint? Don’t limit yourself to scholarly materials. In fact, cartoons and movies can be equally useful at learning the language -- and far more entertaining. Once you’re in the U.S., your marketable skills will only grow thanks to interactions with other students.

BONUS MATERIAL:
5 Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions about Studying in the U.S.
  • Where to get information about student visas?
Acceptance and approval to both a school and a program are needed to apply for a visa. Detailed information about student visas can be found at the U.S. Department of State. Another great resource for getting started on navigating the sometimes-tricky is U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It's a months-long process, so give yourself plenty of time.
  • Which mean of transportation should I use?
Getting from A to Z in the U.S. is a different game than public transportation in many other parts of the world. In fact, reliable public transit is available almost exclusively in major cities, and even then it can be limited. Your school may have its own public transportation system for getting around. Some international students buy or lease their own cars, while others enjoy campus-friendly bicycles.
  • Where can I live during my studies?
Options for accommodations depend on the institution. Contact your international student office to learn about on campus accommodations, dining plans, and other school services to help find the right fit. You can contact american universities directly here.
  • How do I get health insurance?
Effective in 2014, individuals -- including international students -- are required to have a minimum health insurance coverage. Contact your school to find out about policies offerings; international students are also eligible for coverage through state-specific health insurance marketplaces.
  • Are American campuses safe?
University campuses are generally both safe and clean, but surrounding areas may require caution. Take advantage of your school’s security offerings, particularly when getting around after dark.

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