Study in USA: A comprehensive guide for International Students

The USA has the world’s largest international student population, with more than 1,000,000 students choosing to broaden their education and life experience in the United States. Nearly 5% of all students enrolled in higher-level education in the USA are international students, and the numbers are growing. From the mid-1950’s, when international student enrollment was only just reaching 35,000, international education in the USA has come a long way.

Some of the most popular subjects to study in the USA include MBA, IT, architecture, and finance. If you are planning to pursue any of these streams, there are plenty of institutions in the USA where you can earn a world class degree!

Top reasons for studying in the USA

Quality education, unique curriculum, multicultural environment, and abundant opportunities are just some of the reasons why many Indian students want to study in the US.

Here are top 5 reasons why studying in the US could be the best decision of your life:

1. Academic excellence The US boasts of some of the finest universities, a lot of which consistently rank in the world university rankings. American institutions are also known to have high academic standards, follow rigorous practices to maintain quality and are well-supported to be able to offer excellent education to its students. As per the QS World Ranking 2019, 33 of the top 100 universities are from the US. Similarly, Times Higher Education Ranking has also ranked seven of the American universities in its top 10 list of universities.

2. Flexible education system American universities and colleges offer a myriad of courses and programs to choose from. You have the freedom to not only select the course content, but also the structure. At the undergraduate level, you have the liberty to pursue different courses before you declare your major at the end of the second year. This helps to explore your subject interest and then decide without much hurry. Similarly, for your graduate studies, you can choose your preference and when you progress for your dissertation, you can focus on the ideas you want to emphasize upon.

3. Excellent support system for international students American universities understand the struggles of international students and therefore conduct regular orientation programs, workshops and training to offer assistance. In fact, the international student office helps students like you to get accustomed to a new kind of lifestyle – whether it is an academic query, cultural or social, the staff will be there to assist you round the clock.

Another great aspect is the scope of amazing scholarships and financial aids. If you are planning to pursue MBA in USA, which is one of the costliest of courses, you should take a look at this table below for possible list of scholarships:

School Total Scholarships Average Grant % of MBAs on Scholarship
Harvard Business School $31.5 million $32,000 50%
Wharton $16.9 million* $30,500 33%
Chicago (Booth) $16.3 million* $30,000 60%
Stanford GSB $15.7 million $35,830 52%
Michigan (Ross) $15.4 million $22,360 48%
New York (Stern) $12.8 million $26,400* 62%*
UCLA (Anderson) $12.1 million $25,860 65%
Northwestern (Kellogg) $11.8 million $22,800 35%
Columbia Business School $10.1 million $20,500 46%
Virginia (Darden) $8.4 million $30,800 43%
MIT (Sloan) $8.1 million $28,220 35%
Duke (Fuqua) $7.1 million $20,950 33%
Rice (Jones) $6.7 million $33,320 94%
Yale School of Management $6.2 million $23,028 31%
UC-Berkeley (Haas) $5.8 million $29,060 50%
Cornell (Johnson) $5.7 million $12,000 33%
Dartmouth (Tuck) $5.4 million $27,550 35%
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) $5.3 million $21,853 57%
Emory (Goizueta) $5.0 million $24,905 57%
Georgetown (McDonough) $3.3 million $30,000 27%

4. Cultural diversity The US is a melting pot of different cultures, races and ethnicities. Its diverse environment ensures that there is acceptance among all communities and there is no room for any sort of discrimination. You’ll be learning with students from different regions of the world thereby making it a rich and stimulating education experience. Growing in the midst of diversity will provide you with strong personality traits and skills that will be valuable in the international market. These days employers prefer students with a multicultural background, which you would get a great taste of in the US.

5. Lively and vibrant campus life It’s a known fact that campus life in the US is matchless. Irrespective of the university you study in, you will find yourself in the midst of new cultural experiences and the American way of life. Embrace it and open yourself up to new ideas and new people!

Top Institutions to Study in USA

Here is a list of institutions that are famous among the Indian student community. These are the best universities for Indian students for a plethora of reasons, so have a look at them!

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)

With a large part of the student body classified as international (59% of grad students and 24% of undergrad students), Illinois Institute of Technology is one of the few colleges with most Indian students in the USA. Not only do they have a strong international community, but they also have a number of organizations and events for their Indian students.

Boston University

Whether it’s reliving your cuisine at one of the most famous Indian restaurants or playing Holi with your classmates, Boston University, has it all for Indian students! Located in the heart of its namesake city of Boston in Massachusetts, it’s one of the few US universities with most Indian students. This University presents its students with solid academics, a friendly student community, and a very famous hockey team, The Boston University Terriers.

Northeastern University

Northeastern University is a private university and very popular among Indian students. With many events organized for and by international students, NU is doubtless one of the best universities for Indian students. Events such as UTSAV and Sanskriti by Northeastern University bring together the Indian students in the USA. Also, if you’re interested in gaining real-life work experience while studying, Northeastern which is highly famous for its Cooperative Education Program is the place for you.

New York University

Situated in the heart of the Big Apple, NYU offers a grand selection of courses. You can connect with the Graduate Indian Students’ Association and other organizations for all your networking purposes, making NYU one of the most popular US universities with most Indian students. In addition, NYU has a plethora of Indian restaurants that promise you some very delicious Indian food. Moreover, NYU fosters an impressive community of events, traditions, and cultural experiences that leave no room for any nostalgia.

Columbia University

A private Ivy League research university in New York City, Columbia is the fifth oldest institution in the United States. The university is home to more than 15,000 international students from 156 different countries, including China, India, South Korea, and Canada. Students at Columbia mainly choose to learn subjects like Social Sciences, Engineering, Computer & Information Sciences, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and Arts. What’s more, the Indian Students’ Association at Columbia (ISAC) will make you feel welcomed and safe at the university.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is a private research institute in Los Angeles, California. A global center for arts, technology, and international business, the university is home to the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, and 21 unique academic schools and units. Home to over 19,000 undergraduates and 26,000 postgraduates, the university proudly announces that more than 22% of its student population is international. USC’s alumni include 11 Rhodes scholars, nine Nobel laureates, six MacArthur Fellows, and one Turing Award winner!

Study architecture in USA

Choosing to study architecture in the U.S. is an excellent idea for any international student who has been mesmerized by the beauty, creativity and even the legacy of buildings and various structures. There are a variety of innovative and successful schools within the US that will help develop the ideas and hopes of young architects all over the world.

From historical to modern, from Asian to eco-friendly, there are many choices when it is time to choose an architectural specialty. There are schools that focus entirely on an education for commercial architecture while others want to encourage the romanticism and history in the restoration of old buildings. Be sure to research and pursue the school where you will become a master of the kind of architecture you want to study. Some of the top architecture programs include Cornell University in New York, Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles, and Rice University in Houston, Texas. Each of these schools provide different architectural programs, internship opportunities, modes of instruction and faculty research and specialization. In many schools it will take five years to complete the entire program. As an international student, it will be very important to research other factors such as cost, entrance requirements and other internship opportunities while you study architecture.

Study Engineering in USA

There are numerous engineering degree programs throughout the United States for international students to choose from. Engineering is becoming a widely popular area of study because of the job opportunities and compensation that it affords. While most universities offer engineering programs, departments typically offer specializations within the field. If you are an international student considering a career in engineering, be sure to speak with students and faculty to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each program you are considering. Some of the common types of engineering offered include industrial, mechanical, electrical, chemical, and civil.

According to the U.S. News rankings, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, and University of California—Berkeley top the charts when it comes to undergraduate engineering programs. International students who want to study engineering in the US and want a top tier education should consider applying to these programs. There are also many other programs that offer high quality engineering degrees that should not be discounted as they may offer a specialization and other unique qualities on campus. University of Kansas, for example, offers programs in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Engineering Physics/Applied Physics, Engineering Science, and Engineering/Industrial Management.

Study MBA in USA

The United States offers a range of amazing B-schools to study MBA at. But more importantly, if you land a MBA in a respected American University such as Wharton, Booth, Columbia, etc.; your career path will never waiver again! One of the most important aspects of your MBA application is the GMAT test. To land a good MBA opportunity in the USA you need an average score of above 700. Needless to say, the higher your GMAT score, the better your chances of getting admitted!

Almost every MBA program in the United States requires students to have full-time job experience before applying. Depending on the school, the requirement can be between 3 to 5 years of job experience. The top American MBA programs are known for having a high percentile of international students, but the competition is stiff. Start preparing from day 1. Start your networking process, if possible do a campus visit, attend seminars organized by your target B-schools, and perhaps retake the GMAT to improve your score.

The tuition fee can widely vary between $70,000 and $120,000, and even more upwards. At the same time, every B-school in the USA provides a hefty amount of scholarships for their students every year. Top-tier universities such as Harvard and Stanford are known for partially funding the tuition of 50% of every class at an average! So, if you are applying at top-tier schools then always try for the scholarships. Read more about MBA and scholarships in the USA

Are you ready to start shortlisting the programs you want to apply for? Watch this video to get started!

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