Why Study In The United States of America?
The United States of America is the number one destination for international students seeking to obtain a first class career advantage. At the end of 2012 there were 760,500 international students studying in the USA.
The American higher education system offers flexible options to fit students’ individual needs and learning styles:
o Direct entry to undergraduate programs.
o English preparation programs leading to degree programs if necessary.
o Transfer opportunities (2+2) to second and third year of undergraduate programs.
o A wide-range of graduate programs, Diplomas, Masters and PhD.
• Choice Of Study Program:
Students can choose to earn a two-year, four-year, or post-graduate degree or a professional certification at a public or private institution.
Students who study in the US benefit from incomparable cultural diversity, world-class instructors, and leading technology.
• World Class:
US universities dominate all the recognized global ranking tables.
• Choice Of Institution:
The US education system is vast, there are over 4,000 Schools in a wide variety of geographical, urban and rural areas – and there is a choice between public and private providers.
• Cost Of Study:
While some the leading private universities in the US command premium fees, many high-quality public universities offer very competitive fee packages. Community Colleges are cheaper and also offer the opportunity to transfer to university programs.
• World Wide Recognition Leading To Excellent Career Prospects:
International students who complete their studies in the USA are highly sought after by companies worldwide.
The US Education System
The US has the world’s most developed educational system. Apart from the attributes listed above, students have the freedom to choose their subjects, change their majors or apply for multiple specializations. Although many programs have specific requirements it is possible for students to design their course work to suit their specific needs.
The US system also offers students the opportunity to gain valuable experience in their field through teaching and research fellowships. Many graduate programs provide opportunities for students to work as teaching/research assistants to undergraduates. Apart from the practical experience gained, the stipend from these teaching or research positions helps students to finance their education.
All US universities have international student support programs. These programs help international students to adapt to life in the US. The services offered, include: orientation programs, student socials, career support, and English and academic writing courses.
Types of Institutions
Institutions often feature a variety of “colleges” within them that can include areas of concentrations, providing both large and small classroom experiences.
• Liberal Arts:
Colleges are generally smaller than public institutions and focus their offerings more on the humanities and sciences.
• Ivy League:
Schools are among the oldest and most famous in the US and stress undergraduate liberal arts education, but have notable graduate and professional schools.
• Technical Institutes:
Are generally for those International students who are at the graduate level, where the focus is primarily in engineering and science. These institutes are noted for their research and graduate programs.
• Associate Degrees:
Are generally offered at two-year institutions and are designed for students seeking practical (applied) courses, and also for those wanting to enter a four-year program in the future.
• Bachelor’s Degrees:
The Bachelor’s degree or undergraduate degree is a four-year course. It is usually structured to have four general areas of study – major, cognates, general education courses and electives. Although certain specifications have to be met, these programs are flexible and allow students many options. Some universities also accept international students who have completed a part of their undergraduate degree as a transfer student.
• Graduate Degrees:
A master’s program can be taken upon completion of 16 years of education. Certain universities accept students with a three-year bachelor’s degree into some programs, but in most cases, students who have not completed 16 years of education are required to complete one year of a master’s program or a post graduate diploma. GMAT/ GRE and TOEFL/ IELTS exams are compulsory for admission.
Graduate programs can be research-based, coursework-based or a combination of both. Master’s programs are usually one or two years in duration, depending on the university and the course. Successful graduates are awarded a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS).
Doctorates or PhD’s are awarded after advanced study beyond the bachelor’s and master’s degree; they can take anywhere from three to five years to complete, depending on a range of factors.
Employment in The US
Students must obtain a US work visa in order to work. There are different types of American work visas which include the Employment based preference visas (E1-E5), the F1, J1 and M1 student visas, the H1B Visa and the L-1 Visa. International students are eligible to apply for an F, J1 or M1 student visa depending on the type of study program they have chosen and their nationality. Universities usually have international student centers that provide advice on obtaining work visas. Please visit the US visa services website for more information.