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Study in USA

Here’s a comprehensive guide for International students who want to study in the USA

Home to diverse ethnicities, highest number of top ranked universities, and picturesque landscapes, the USA is truly a land of opportunities. Choosing to study in the USA offers you the wonderful avenue of growing academically, culturally and socially.

Know all about the intakes available in the USA

Intake

Duration

Fall Term

From August to December

Spring Term

From January to April

Summer Term

From May to August

Student visa requirements for the US

The US Government offers three different student visa types:

S.No.

Types of student visa

Description

1

F-1 Student Visa

to study at an accredited US college or university or to study English at an English language institute

2

J Exchange Visa

for participation in an exchange program, including high school and university study

3

M Student Visa

for non-academic or vocational study or training in the US

*For detailed information, please visit the US Government’s Department of State website.

How much will it cost to study in the US?

School

Tuition fees in USD (indicative)

English language studies

$700 to $2,000 a month

Community colleges

$6,000 to $20,000 per year

Undergraduate
bachelor degree

$20,000 to $40,000 per year

Graduate programs

$20,000 to $45,000 per year

Doctoral degree

$28,000 to $55,000 per year

Education System

After completing their high school (12th standard), the students in USA go to colleges and universities to pursue higher education. The education system in USA offers tremendous diversity for international students. There are about 4,500 accredited higher educational institutions in USA that offer three types of degrees:

  • Undergraduate Degree: It is a full-time undergraduate degree which is referred to as a Bachelor’s degree in USA. The duration of the degree is 4 years.
  • Associate Degree: It is a degree taken at an undergraduate level. It is equivalent to a diploma and is offered by community colleges in USA. It is of 2 years duration.
  • Graduate Degree: A graduate or master’s degree mostly covers 2 to 3 academic years in the universities of USA.  
  • Doctorate Degree: A doctorate degree takes a total of 5 to 8 years to complete.
 
 

Top Courses

Students looking for the best courses to study in USA are presented with a wide range of options. However, there are certain courses that US Universities are known for. Here’s a quick look at best courses to study in USA for international students: 

  • Engineering & Technology 
  • Business and Management
  • Marine Biology and Life Sciences
  • Maths & Computer Science
  • Social Sciences
  • Medicine
  • Liberal Arts
  • Law
 

Cost of Living

The cost of living in USA for international students again depends upon the type of living you choose. If you have a tight budget, you must opt for student accommodation. Besides, there are some costs that are unavoidable. An average cost of living in USA for international students is discussed below:

Particular 

Average Cost Per Year

Apartment housing including utilities  

$21,710

Food

$8,500

Dormitory housing

$7,588 – $11,914

Transportation 

$2,180

Books and supplies

$13,800

Miscellaneous

$1,000

Best Student Cities

With more than 50 states hosting world famous universities, the USA offers many options of cities for you to choose from. Each of them is equally pleasant in terms of education and exposure. Given below is a list of best place to study in USA:

City 

Average Cost of Living 

Boston

$22,000/ year

Chicago

$20,000/ year

New York

$21,000/ year

Los Angeles

$20,000/ year

San Francisco

$20,000/ year

 
 


Post Study Work Options For International Students In USA

Most of the international students in USA hold the US non-immigrant student visa F-1. Having the F1 visa grants them the permission to work in the USA after finishing the studies depending on the course. However, there are certain guidelines and restrictions issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in this regard.  

 

Work Opportunities

Having a student visa allows the international students to opt for part time jobs in the USA. 

The US government follows a 20 hour work per week rule for part time jobs in USA for international students. 

There are two types of student employment: On-campus and Off-campus. The former is the work that takes place within the college/university campus. Off-campus on the other hand is the work that is affiliated with the institution. Off-campus jobs can be undertaken by students under 4 categories – Optional Practice Training (OPT), Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Economic Hardship and lastly, International Organizations. 

 

Work Visa & PR in USA 

Once the extension under F1 student Visa is over, students are allowed to stay in the country after obtaining a H-1B USA work visa. With this visa , students can live and work in the US for up to 6 years. 

 

 

FAQs


1. When does the academic season in the US begin?

Ans: The academic year usually runs from August through May. Most universities run with the semester system (two terms) but some also go with a trimester system (three terms).


2. There are so many universities in the US, how do I navigate through them?

Ans: There are 4500 accredited universities in the US. Navigating through them can be a difficult task. You can try the Grad School Finder tool here. You can then discuss the results of the Grad School Finder with seniors or other peers on Yocket discussions or read reviews of universities on Yocket. You should also check the accreditation of the universities on the official government website.


3. Is it possible to apply for Masters with a three-year Bachelors?

Ans: This is a tricky question for US universities. Most top universities seek for a 4-year under-graduate study but still there are individual universities (even good ones) that may accept three-year. The best option is to check within the eligibility criteria of your shortlisted university.


4. Which English language test should I choose?

Ans: US universities generally accept both TOEFL and IELTS.


5. Which term?Fall or spring has better internship opportunities?

Ans: Fall has more internship opportunities. Students who enroll in the spring season face a problem of fulfilling 9-month enrolment criteria for companies.


6. While applying to on-campus jobs, what should I avoid mentioning in my resume?

Ans: Your date of birth, religious preference, nationality, passport number, or home address should not be mentioned in the resume.


7. How to get on-campus jobs in the U.S?

Ans: You should be proactive in terms of networking and volunteering. Reach out the university’s career center for a job. Getting hand-on tips from seniors also helps.


8. Do I need to take care of the duration I work for CPT?

AnsYes, you should. If you work part-time for a CPT for less than 12 months, you can still apply for OPT. However, if you have been working full time for CPT for 12 months or more, you lose your eligibility for an OPT.


9. Can I get my OPT after coming back to the U.S from my home country?

Ans: No, if you had not received an Employment authorization document before leaving, you will not be readmitted after coming back.


10. What documents do I need to come back to the U.S. after receiving my EAD for OPT?

Ans: A valid passport, valid F-1 visa, valid EAD card, letter of employment including dates and salary, and all I-20s with page 3 endorsed to travel by the student’s international student advisor in the last 6 months.


11. Can I work for more than 12 months through OPT?

Ans: Students employed by companies under the E-Verify program and studying any of the following subjects can apply for a special extension of the OPT program for an additional 24 months. Subjects include Actuarial Science, Computer Science Applications, Engineering, Engineering Technologies, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Military Technologies, Physical Sciences, and other STEM Designated Degree Programs


12. Why is a labor condition attestation (LCA) required for an H-1B visa?

Ans: It ensures that you get salaries and benefits at par with other American counterparts and you are not exploited by U.S. companies.


13. Will I be able to fit the U.S. culture as an international student?

Ans: U.S. universities welcome international students with open arms. They provide lots of support with clubs for students from each country as well as offices for international students. There are so many ways to enjoy life on campus. With universities being bigger than some actual cities, the activities and student clubs can be really interesting to take part in. Also, students are exposed to so many cultures and different types of people. It helps them grow individually as well.


14. Is the U.S. education system flexible?

Ans: As a student, you have the flexibility of working and pursuing extra-curricular activities while studying the course. Also, you can take up classes at night if it isn’t feasible for you to take classes during the day (like if you have a job or child that you need to care for).


15. Where is the end date of CPT mentioned?

Ans: It is mentioned in the I-20 form. CPt needs to be a part of studies.