If you are planning to live, learn and grow in the United States, you already possess a well-known American characteristic—a sense of adventure! As an international student, you will experience many new and exciting things.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to discuss exactly what "Living in the U.S." means to everyone. American culture has been enriched by the values and belief systems of virtually every part of the world. From an international student's perspective, that diversity is very valuable. If you choose to live in a completely different environment, you may be challenged with new situations every day; but if you decide to live in a part of the U.S. that resembles your home country in some ways, you may find comfort in those similarities.
Learning more about yourself is perhaps the most important part of your decision to travel to the U.S. Once you know what you want to achieve, then you can identify the right place to study and live and grow in the States.
Choose from the wide range of universities on offer: There are over 4,500 US universities offering undergraduate degrees. With such a wide range of universities and degrees on offer, there is bound to be one that is a great fit for you!
Experience American college life: US universities are known for their vibrant campus life. Cheer your university's football (American that is) team to victory. Join a club - there are hundreds to choose from. Become a leader in student government, or write for the university newspaper. Act or sing in the campus arts program or volunteer in the community. There are so many ways to get involved in American college life.
Have the flexibility to explore your academic interests before choosing your major: Undergraduate degrees in the US are quite flexible. You can apply to US universities as "undecided" about your major (field of study). Under the "liberal arts philosophy", you will take classes from a variety of subjects during the first 1 - 2 years before specializing in your major field. Students who already know what they want to study can complete a "double major," degrees in two academic fields often completed within the normal four years of study. Students may also earn a minor qualification for completing 3-5 classes in one field.
Take advantage of funding opportunities: Many students are able to fund their studies through scholarships from US universities and external funding bodies. In fact, nearly a quarter of international students report US universities as their primary source of funding. Scholarships are often offered to students based on merit, extracurricular achievement, financial need, talent and/or personal characteristics, such as country of origin, field, gender or ethnicity. If you look hard enough, there is a scholarship out there for you!
Internationalize and strengthen your CV: Studying and working abroad can make you stand out in the job market when you return to the UK. According to a Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) survey of 230 UK companies, one in three employers valued job applicants with international study experience, while 65% of employers favoured applicants with overseas work experience. International students in the US have the opportunity to gain work experience during their studies and to work in the US for up to one year after graduation on the Optional Practical Training scheme. Students in the sciences and engineering stay on for up to two years.
Travel in the US and learn about another culture: The US spans six time zones and has a great diversity in geography and culture. Long university summer holidays and programs organized by the international student office, such as holiday trips and host family schemes, offer students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the US and immerse themselves in another culture.
Every year, around 600,000 international students from around the world travel to the United States to further their education. Most will tell you that the years they spent studying in America were the best of their lives.
Much of a student’s time is spent on the campus interacting with the other 20,000 students that may also attend the university. The atmosphere on most college campuses is a special one; everything is within easy reach; attending classes, sports practices, home games, going out with friends during leisure time etc.
Studying in America represents, for many, a way of opening up to the world – the world of new, very different, and interesting cultures.
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