Bachelor's level education in USA normally starts after the completion of 12 years of primary and secondary education. Hence, education beyond class XII is also known as 'post-secondary' education, in USA.
Bachelor's programs are of four years duration, and are offered by different types of colleges. Liberal Arts colleges offer a general education in Arts and Sciences that develop general knowledge and reasoning ability. Most of these types of colleges are privately owned and have limited number of programs.
Upper-Division colleges are those that offer the last two years of undergraduate programs, which are specialized.
Community colleges are those that offer Associate Degrees of two years duration. On completion of such two-year Associate degrees, students join either upper-division colleges or universities to complete the balance two years for obtaining the Bachelors degree. Most community colleges are publicly owned ones and offer technical programs that prepare students for entry into job market, with Certificate and Diploma programs of six months to one year.
Specialized programs like Engineering are also offered, that are equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor's degree. These are known as 'transfer' programs. Universities offer a broad range of both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The size of universities varies greatly – right from a two-bedroom apartment to campuses in thousands of acres! The range and diversity of programs offered are quite large. It is only possible to take up research work in universities and not in any other types of colleges.
USA has the world’s largest international student population, with over 800,000 students choosing to broaden their education and life experience in the United States. Nearly 4% of all students enrolled in higher-level education in the USA are international students, and the numbers are growing. Every year, the number of international students in the US rises as more and more students choose the United States as the place they wanted to broaden their experience and continue their education. International students are some of the most valued teachers and researchers in U.S. universities because they bring new skills and ideas to the classroom and library or laboratory. This practical component of your education will prove useful in your future career, and may give you insights into your field that would not be possible through course study alone.
The United States has one of the world’s finest university systems, with outstanding programs in virtually all fields. At the undergraduate level, excellent programs exist in traditional disciplines, as well as in professional fields. At the graduate level, students have the opportunity to work directly with some of the finest minds in their field of study, with the chance to become involved with exclusive research and educational opportunities. U.S. degrees are recognized throughout the world for their excellence.
Variety of Educational Opportunities
The United States is home to several thousand colleges and universities, boasting at least ten times as many campuses as in any other country. As a result, the higher education system in the U.S. has something for everyone. Some U.S. colleges and universities stress broad educational principles; others emphasize practical, employment-related skills; and still others specialize in the arts, social sciences or technical fields. This means that no matter what you plan on studying, you will have a wide variety of programs in your particular field from which to choose.
Universities in the U.S. pride themselves on being at the forefront of technology, research and techniques, and in making the best possible equipment and resources available to their students. Even if your field does not directly involve science or engineering, you will have opportunities to become skilled in using the latest technology to conduct research, as well as obtain and process information. You will find ways to stay connected with researchers, teachers and experts in your field all over the world.
Opportunity for Research, Teaching and Training
You may be able to gain valuable experience through teaching and/or research while you help to finance your education in the U.S., particularly if you are a graduate student. Many graduate programs offer training and teaching opportunities that enable students to become teaching assistants to undergraduates and/or research assistants on special projects exploring different aspects of your field of study.
Although many programs are highly structured in that specific coursework requirements must be met, you will generally be able to find a wide variety of course choices to meet those requirements and the freedom to decide which classes best match your interests.
At the advanced stages of a degree, or if you are pursuing a graduate degree, you will be able to tailor your coursework to fit your specific academic goals, needs and interests. When you choose topics for independent study for a graduate thesis or dissertation, you can emphasize ideas that are important to you, your field and your country.
Support Services for International Students
Studying in the United States is a rewarding experience, but navigating your way through day-to-day issues can be a challenge. Many international students find that the college and university international student office is a great resource when it comes to adapting to a culturally and academically different environment. The mission of the international student office is to assist students like you, and there is often a wide range of student services that they provide.
Global Education and Long-Term Career Prospects
Experience in an international setting is a marketable commodity. Many employers seek the wide range of knowledge, adaptability and experience that international students acquire by studying in the United States. Companies in the U.S. are increasingly seeking to become a strong presence in the global marketplace. They often look to hire employees who not only have multi-cultural language skills, but those who can also help communicate, negotiate and conduct business across different cultures.
The United States is not the only country seeking strong candidates when hiring; international students are in high demand elsewhere, as well. In recent years, international companies have become much more proactive in recruiting from the pool of strong international student graduates. Your long-term career prospects can be enhanced by your experiences through the development of self-confidence, independence and cross-cultural skills - attributes which are in high demand with employers worldwide.
Campus Life Experience
When you continue your studies in the U.S., you are making a choice to broaden not only your educational opportunities, but your cultural experience, as well. Whether you attend a small, private college in a small town or a university situated in the middle of a large urban area, most universities offer a variety of student clubs and organizations to match the wide array of student interests. You can have the opportunity to immerse yourself in American culture, meeting new people and making new friends, through different organizations and associations.
International students often find that the international student office is a good starting point for campus offerings, as well as the campus student center. Your time studying abroad can be enriched by taking part in the social and cultural scene surrounding you, and you will likely find that U.S. campuses provide a rich variety of academic, cultural and athletic activities that add new dimensions to your life.
Education is mandatory in the United States until the age of 16, and the majority of students do finish high school. After completing 12 years of primary and secondary school, students often begin higher education. The first level of higher education is undergraduate study; beyond an undergraduate degree a student may choose to receive a graduate education, also known as postgraduate work.
University students who are pursuing a Bachelor’s degree are called “undergraduates.” Most universities offer undergraduate students a liberal education, which means students are required to take courses across several disciplines before choosing one major field of study in which to specialize. Courses at most universities are only one semester long. Each course is assigned a number of credit hours, generally based on how much time is spent in class. Most courses are three credits, but some might be one, two, four, or five credits. All degree programs require that their students completely a minimum number of credits before they are eligible for graduation. Most Bachelor’s degree programs do not require students to write a final thesis.
Students who are pursuing a Master’s or Doctoral degree are called “graduate students.” Graduate and professional programs are specialized, meaning students have one field of study from the beginning.
Students continue to take courses at the graduate level, and a final thesis is required for most programs. Doctoral students take courses until they have earned enough credit hours to attend their qualifying exams, which are usually taken over several days and often include both a written and oral examination. After doctoral students pass their qualifying exams, they are advanced to candidacy and can begin writing their dissertation. Before the degree is given, the candidate’s completed dissertation must be orally defended before the candidate’s faculty committee.
The United States of America provides International students four years of undergraduate and two years of Masters Programs in the higher education system. Students can apply for Masters by research and Doctorate Program, as well. They can offer some fantastic benefits to international students.
The education system in universities is distinctive and innovative in terms of quality education, practical learning, and research opportunities for the students.
Cost of Education
Bachelor's level education in USA is rather expensive compare to Master's level. Students are expected to take more credits per semester, which leads to an increase in costs. Average cost of tuition fees is approx. 10,000-20,000 $ per year, depending upon program, institution and location.
Living expenditure would add up to another 8,000-10,000 $ per year, according to the student's lifestyle.Financial Aid is very rare for Bachelor's level international students. While there are several options like Federal Stafford Loans and others for domestic students, such facilities are not available for non-domestic applicants. Since Bachelor's is a four-year program, the costs tend to be very high overall. This is one of the reasons why most students prefer studying from the Master's level in USA or elsewhere.
It is not easy to support oneself with part-time employment since the program is intensive and students hardly find time to work beyond their study schedules. Also, Teaching and Research Assistantships are available for Master's level and not for the Bachelor's. Thus, part-time employment options are limited.
Most U.S. colleges and universities will require international undergraduate and graduate students to demonstrate their knowledge and English language proficiency as part of the admissions process through standardized tests. These tests are valuable as a common measure of the skills and abilities of people from different educational backgrounds. Most U.S. colleges and universities require that you take one or more standardized admissions tests in order to gain entrance into their programs. SAT, ACT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, TOEFL, IELTS .scores on these tests will play a role in determining whether or not you are admitted to your schools of choice.
Below are different exam and score requirements:
Undergraduate - 6.0 IELTS / 79 TOEFL IBT and SAT above 1200
Post Graduate – 6.0 to 6.5 in IELTS/ 90 TOEFL IBT/ GRE 290 to 300 or GMAT 450 to 500
As an international student one needs to send the admission application to universities as per the admission guidelines of the particular university. The requirements include academic performance records, English language proficiency, valid scores of SAT / GMAT / GRE as per the program. All the universities have their set deadlines to accept the international applications for particular intake. The student has to follow the general and specific guidelines to obtain the I-20 from respected universities.
Various Scholarships and loan facilities are available for International students willing to pursue higher education in the United States. However, a student must meet the various requisites in order to avail those Scholarships and Loan facilities.
Scholarships for International Students Studying in the USA
Avvo Scholarship Program
Berkeley College International Student Scholarships
Berkeley International Application Form
College Week Live
Federal Student Aid Types
Fulbright Foreign Student Program
Organization of American States - The Leo S. Rowe Pan American Fund
The BrokerFish Scholarship for University Students
The Ultimate Scholarship Guide
Loans for International Students Studying in the USA
Global Student Loan
For the duration of your course and after, as an International student, one can choose from 3 accommodation options which are:
And home stays
Apart from paying for the extra facilities like long distance calls, you won’t have to incur a lot of costs. You’ll be well oriented to all the details in the orientation classes that universities provide. The off-campus housing office can assist in helping international students acquaint themselves with the surrounding areas and amenities when guiding them to find a place to live.
Passport valid for travel to the United States valid at least for 6 months
Old Passport (If you have any)
DS 160 and date pages
SEVIS fee paid printed-1 page
I-20 with student’s signature (Original 3 pages)
Last degree transcripts
Photograph 1 (2X2 inch, white background)
Visa Application fee $160 for students
United States has always been considered as the “land of opportunities”. Being one of the leading nations with a strong economic structure, the nation offers an array of job opportunities to international students in all fields of work.
In the USA there are options to work part-time on campus during your first year of study. You can also explore opportunities for sponsorship following your studies. International students in the USA can work in a job on campus up to 20 hours a week. Many students find that their time is better spent taking internships or practical training, which allows them to work for university credit in a job in a related field. Nearly every university, even those not located in big cities, has employees dedicated to helping students secure internships. All USA universities also offer extra-curricular activities that provide real-world job experience.
There is also a plethora of internship programs available that can be taken up by the international students. That not only helps them understand the intricacies of the preferred industry but also lets them earn an income while working part-time.
USA is one of the most desired destinations for people looking for career opportunities after education. Students will get a chance to work after studies and with a genuine sponsor they can plan further stay. Permanent Residents (often called green card holders) are authorized to live and work on a permanent basis in the U.S. Whereas most nonimmigrants must document their intent to depart the U.S. after a period in the U.S., green card holders should have the intent to remain in the U.S.There are several ways to obtain permanent residency in the U.S, including:
A petition from an employer
The employment-based green card application system allows for five preference categories, commonly abbreviated as EB-1, EB-2, etc. Each preference category may have several sub-categories.
Marriage to a U.S. citizen
Sponsorship by a close relative who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
The U.S. Department of State diversity lottery program.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
There are so many schools in the U.S. How do I decide which schools to apply to?
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