Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity and is the dream for many students. Undoubtedly, the USA is the most popular study abroad destination for many students. Here are some tips for International students while choosing US universities. Despite making the best efforts to choose the right University during the application process, the students may not like the University they chose once they enroll in the classes. International students on F1 visa are free to transfer to another University anytime once they land in USA.
1. Consider ranking and accreditation of the Universities
There are a lot of Universities in the USA offering their Bachelor’s, Master’s or advanced Professional degree courses for the International students. If you take the list of the world’s best colleges, the top 10 list will comprise about 70% of colleges from the USA. Among this, Stanford University having 95% graduation rate bags in the third position. There are many state Universities as well as Private Universities in and around the USA. The most important thing before selecting a University is to confirm whether the University has a national or regional accreditation by the US Department of Education. Only then the degree you earn will be worthy enough to get a job or higher education. The accreditation is a national recognition certificate provided by the authorized body which evaluates the college based on the variety of factors such as quality of education, facilities, student ratio, etc. From 2001, there came a rule that only the accredited qualified universities can use the domain name .edu in their website link. But this domain name is still used by some unqualified universities in their website link which existed before the new amendment.
2. Choose a STEM program
A STEM program is a degree in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It is said that the world demands professionals in the STEM field. Also, there is a shortage of skilled professionals in this field. And the unfilled positions for these jobs are expected to increase even more in the coming years. The jobs related to the STEM field are given more priority in the USA because the economic and industrial growth of the nation is dependent on this field. Since the USA is known for its global leadership in the STEM field, they need more STEM professionals to sustain in this competitive environment. And so, it is very easy for a STEM professional to find a job and get settled in the USA. The only qualification necessary to get a job in this field is to get a 4-year certification or an equivalent higher degree in a recognized STEM field.
3. Pay attention to Tuition and expenses
The cost of the Tuition fee in the USA can vary from USD 15,000 to USD 60,000 or more on an average per year. Many universities provide financial aid for international students in the form of scholarships, loans, etc. The living expenses in the USA are quite high compared to other countries because of the high tech facilities and high cost of labor. Mostly, an international student can pay for their living expenses by doing some on campus part-time jobs after class hours. It is not much difficult for a student to find a part-time job that provides an average salary of about USD 10 per hour or more.
4. Eligibility Requirements
US universities grant admissions to International students based on the scores secured in standardized entrance exams such as GRE, SAT, GMAT, etc. These exams test your analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning skills. Students from non- English speaking countries should also take English proficiency exams like IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, etc., before they can apply to US Universities. The student should score a minimum cutoff as stipulated by the University in each/ any of these exams. The minimum scores can vary as per the universities.
- GRE: It is the Graduate Record Examination whose score is used by many graduate schools across the USA for the admission to their Master’s and Doctoral degree programs.
- GMAT: It is the Graduate Management Admission test whose score is used to admit students to graduate management programs of Business schools.
- SAT: It is a standardized test used by the Universities to admit students to their undergraduate courses.
5. Check Weather conditions
Usually, a new academic year in the USA starts in the Fall, which is normally from September. Weather in USA varies across different geographic locations at different times of the year. Extreme cold weather is common in northern and northeastern parts of the country. States in the south and southwest can be extremely hot in summer. States like California and Florida have mild and moderate weather compared to other regions in the USA.