What would it mean to have an American university listed on your resume? Why would potential employers pause and take notice of your education credentials from the United States?
It would mean that you have advanced English language skills and valuable intercultural experience. It would show that you studied within one of the best higher education systems in the world, with access to advanced technology and research. They would know that you received in-depth instruction, learned to problem-solve and have knowledge of modern practices within your field.
It would mean that you have more opportunities.
Studying in the United States and abroad doesn’t just give you tangible degrees and certificates. Your experience says something about who you are. Living and studying in another country—especially where your language isn’t spoken—is challenging, requires courage and a positive attitude. Sometimes, these characteristics are more influential than your degree.
Life here, both as an international student and visitor, will probably be different from what you expect. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that the images from films and television programs are not always true. Americans come in a variety of sizes, colors and shapes and in general are very friendly and will be interested in learning about you and your country.
For any international student, the USA has a lot to offer: one of the most prestigious, top ranked higher education systems in the world, eclectic cities and beautiful natural parks, culture, history and a very multicultural population.
Diversity and Variety
The United States offers variety.
There is a wide range of schools, countless areas of study and specialty degrees. If you are interested in studying business, you are not relegated to just general study, but can choose from many concentrations: accounting, marketing, international business, business management, business administration, or finance. (There are many more!) This type of specialty study is available at the undergraduate, graduate and doctorate level, too.
One option you may not be aware of is studying at a community college, which is a two-year school in which you can begin your university study. You can complete the first two years of your bachelor’s degree at a community college and then transfer your credentials to a four-year university. This is extremely common in the USA. Community colleges offer lower tuition costs, smaller class sizes and more personal attention. Many community colleges also offer intensive English language programs.
Or, you can begin your studies at a four-year university or college. The variation and number of choices reflects the diversity and enormity of the U.S. You can study at a large public university or college. If you prefer a more intimate campus and a smaller community, you may choose a small private university.
The land and people of the USA are also incredibly varied. Wherever you choose to study, you will encounter a regional culture rich in history and local traditions. For instance, the West Coast region has many beaches, outdoor activities, the people have a relaxed attitude and you will probably find many local international communities. The Midwest has many large research universities and the people are known for their hospitality and kindness. The USA is a multiracial society that is still absorbing new immigrants, which makes it a very dynamic and exciting place to experience. While students must exercise caution in a few locations, streets and university campuses are generally clean and safe.
A Unique Higher Education System
U.S. universities and colleges may differ from those in your home country in several ways. For one thing, small class sizes are very common. There may be as few as 10 to 20 students in a class, giving you the personal attention you need in order to succeed. While in class, students are encouraged and expected to contribute to the discussion. Professors meet with students in their offices or even share coffee or meals with them. The close relationship between students and faculty serves to motivate students and fosters a personal approach to the curriculum. Studying in the U.S. gives you the opportunity to gain a mentor in your given career field, an invaluable resource.
You may be surprised at your professors willingness to challenge authority. Academic freedom is one of the hallmarks of a U.S. university. You will notice different perspectives on instruction. Here, students are trained to observe and analyze a problem, then solve it. You will be expected to listen to your classmates and challenge their points of view. The goal is pragmatic, so that you will gain confidence and the ability to organize and present an argument.
Most American university students live on or near the school campus. You will have many opportunities to join planned and informal activities with other students, such as hiking, skiing, museum visits, excursions to new cities, and local tourist attractions. Imagine visiting New York City and taking a ferry to the Statue of Liberty! Many schools have international student organizations and clubs that also plan activities. This interaction with other students will enhance your English language skills. Your fellow students will also teach you about American culture and about the diverse cultures represented on any U.S. university or college campus.
The Leading Edge
The United States is the leader in many areas of technology and research. While studying here, you will be exposed to advanced technology and research. You may be fortunate enough to meet, and even study, with the leading scholars in your chosen field. Why not study with the best?
Living and learning in the USA will exhilarate you. It will change the landscape of your life permanently. We guarantee that you will return home changed—more confident, more open and knowledgeable, making you a citizen of the world with a much broader perspective!
Use our Study in the USA® magazines and StudyUSA.com to help you embark on this exciting academic voyage and make your next decision—where to study as an international student.
Diversity of people, cultures and regions in the USA
“I love the diversity of the people here, as well as the quality of the teachers.” Cruzkaya Barbosa from Venezuela, studying English and Nutrition and Dietetics at Howard Community College
Variety of programs
“The education system in the USA is very flexible, offering courses and topics that broaden our worldviews, helping us realize our true selves and dreams.” Elene Beridze from Georgia, studying Political Science - Criminal Law at Manhattanville College
Unique education system
“My biggest surprise about the U.S. education is its creativity. Studying in the U.S. gives me a lot of opportunities to practice what I have learned. I really enjoy it, especially in my major, biochemistry. Every week I need to be in lab class to practice what I have learned in lectures.” Thao Tran from Vietnam, studying Biochemistry at North Seattle College
“I was surprised that students in the U.S. are free to present their points of view, and the teachers do not deny them; rather, they welcome the spirit by giving extra points and with class discussions.” Nhi Tran from Vietnam, studying English at the Intensive English Center (IEC) at St. Cloud State University
Cutting edge technology and research
“I think the technology involved in the education process surprised me, like the high-tech equipment that the American teachers have available to help the students learn complicated subjects in an easier way.” Cruzkaya Barbosa from Venezuela, studying English and Nutrition and Dietetics at Howard Community College
Choosing the USA
Every year, the number of international students in the US rises as more and more students choose the Unites States as the place they wanted to broaden their experience and continue their education. In fact, the US is now the most popular country for international students. Why do so many international students choose U.S. colleges and universities?
Before you pack your bags, you should learn what the U.S. has to offer you:
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.
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.
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. For example, liberal arts coursework for an undergraduate program will include classes in languages and mathematics, but you will be given a wide variety of classes which fit 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
An orientation program upon your arrival is just the start of the many programs and benefits of the university international student office - throughout your time in the U.S., they can help answer questions you may have regarding your visa status, financial situation, housing, employment possibilities, health concerns and more. If you choose to complete your degree in the United States, this office often provides resume and employment assistance as graduation nears. The international student office will be an invaluable source of information and help as you make the transition into academic and cultural life in the United States.
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 academic, cultural and athletic activities that add new dimensions to your life.
If you are looking to study in the USA, check out our USA School Search where you can pick your criteria and find the perfect school that meets your unique preferences.
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