In pursuit of the American Dream, each year, over a million students plan to study in the USA with anticipation and optimism. The freedom of choice in how to live, the opportunity to aggregate wealth, own a beautiful home to share with a loving family, to contribute to the ever-burgeoning marketplace of ideas, to pursue a successful career and lead a comfortable life are factors that propel students to seek admissions at US universities that prepare them for a progressive future.
“A basic element of the American dream is equal access to education as a lubricant of social and economic mobility” — Nicholas Kristof, an American journalist.
The factors that constitute the American dream could be yours with the right guidance from Galvanize professionals.
According to the Institute of International Education, the US hosted around 1,095,299 international students in the academic year 2018-2019, contributing $44.7 billion to the country’s economy.
To help you set aside your reservations and doubts, experienced Galvanize professionals address those niggling doubts and fears that may stop you from letting your ambitions soar. It is not a weakness to question the possibilities, but a failing to let those concerns bog you down.
To lift your hopes and ambitions, you will find the information in these pages a great starting point to chart your study abroad plans. With this, the ‘Study in the USA’ dream could be yours.
1. Why should you study in the US?
With all the options available, why choose to study in the US? There are different answers to this question, depending on the angle you take. The US has one of the best education systems in the world, and most universities invest in state-of-the-art technologies that provide a wealth of research opportunities.
The curriculum is flexible, and the classroom experience is optimized to allow students to access resources online and have an enhanced virtual experience. This abundance of options attracts students from all around the world, presenting a high diversity ratio and allowing you to gain a global perspective.
What are the benefits of studying in the USA?
The USA is well known for its quality education and the various benefits it offers. According to the US News and World Report, almost 50% of the top 100 Global Universities are in the United States. Following are the advantages of a US higher education:
1. Worldwide recognition
The US education system has always been held for its high regard and the powerful influence it has all over the world. Obtaining a degree from the US is considered a major accomplishment as it is recognized and accredited by various organizations and professional bodies.
Some of the well known accrediting bodies are ABET, AACSB, and ACEN. These programs will help you get qualified for employability anywhere in the world. We will be glad to assist you in finding your dream university and boost your career to the next level. Contact us to give wings to your dreams!
2. Flexible Curriculum
The curriculum, as well as the flexibility provided, makes the US education system stand apart. Courses offer the right measure of core and elective courses that are designed to meet the students’ development needs to upskill for future employability.
The theoretical and applied nature of the teaching methodology makes learning interesting, as well as exciting. Students have the flexibility to take the required courses and then choose from a wide array of related subjects to complete their formal degree program.
They can choose to take courses from their own department or even from other departments to suit areas of interest. This ability to customize your curriculum to your needs makes the education system more appealing than the traditional top-down structure of other curriculums, allowing you to be at the cutting edge of your discipline.
3. Enhanced Research and Technology
Home to more than 250 Nobel laureates, the universities in the US are well known for their remarkable research contributions over the years. To remain competitive in sectors shaped by technology, US funding for Research and Development increases each year. Investment in R&D is indicative of the country’s economic power.
According to Forbes magazine (Jan 20, 2020),
Total global R&D expenditure expanded threefold between 2000 and 2017, rising from $722 billion to $2.2 trillion, and the United States is a global leader in R&D, investing more than US$545 billion in 2017 alone.
Gaining access to the most cutting edge research resources at US universities will help students gain a spot at the forefront of innovation in their field.
4. Internships and Career Advancement
Internship programs or Co-op programs are offered by many universities and colleges in the United States to kickstart a student’s professional career.
Most students utilize the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) option to obtain internships while still enrolled at the university. This allows students to take advantage of the hands-on experience and to get access to better paying jobs after they graduate.
While international students may choose to return to their home country or remain in the US to work full time, their US education will definitely boost their career success. Career Services on the university campus conduct Job Fairs for students to showcase their talent to potential recruiters.
They offer guidance on resume building and provide students access to a database of recruiters and professional alumni networks to support students’ career aspirations.
2. US Education System Vs Indian Education System
The Indian Education system has a traditional outlook towards imparting learning with a strong emphasis on Science and Math. The curriculum is structured around a one-year academic term concluding with annual year-end examinations. It is currently undergoing a number of significant changes.
There are a variety of agencies that recognize and oversee academic institutions and programs in India.
They are UGC, the AICTE, the Distance Education Bureau, and professional regulatory bodies like the Medical Council of India or the Pharmacy Council of India, some of which have overlapping responsibilities.
Due to R&D spending constraints in India, the scope for research and innovation remains relatively low.
This is evidenced by the lack of an inquiry-based approach to learning or self-directed learning across educational sectors limiting the innovation potential of Indian students and faculty to address the most cutting edge, global challenges through a convergence of knowledge from the science, technology, arts, and humanities.
The US educational system is well known for its academic excellence, cutting edge technology, generous access to R&D opportunities, a wide variety of educational options, flexible curriculum, and hands-on training through a variety of work-study options for an enriching student life.
The US Education institutions are accredited on a national or regional level by independent accrediting bodies such as AACSB for business, and ABET for applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.
The campuses are sprawling and beautiful with start-of the art infrastructure including libraries with up-to-date collections, well-funded student clubs, adequate health facilities, career support services, recreation facilities, and additional support for international students with the dedicated office staff.
Most importantly, US graduates are best poised to tackle some of the most pressing challenges of their times and are employable anywhere in the world.
3. How is the education system in the USA?
There are different types of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the country.
Public universities, also known as state universities, are those that are funded by the state and, therefore, are inexpensive for those who are residents of that state. However, this subsidy is not applicable to international students.
Private universities, on the other hand, are not supported by the government, and the tuition is considerably higher for both native and international students.
Ivy League schools are a group of eight elite universities that offer a wide range of programs from medicine, to law, to liberal arts. But considering their elite status, the competition is very stiff, and the fee, needless to say, is pretty high.
There are also some colleges that focus on a particular type of program.
Liberal Arts colleges are those that concentrate on promoting the arts, while Technical Schools primarily focus on technical and professional courses.
Community colleges aim to prepare their students for the workforce, and as such, offer a variety of degrees, certificates, and diplomas.
It includes community colleges, Liberal Arts colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal colleges, Master’s colleges and universities, and Doctoral- granting universities. The type and status of an institution can be understood by using the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
The USA is also known for its Ivy League colleges, which are the most famous top-ranked private research universities in the world. The Ivy League is a group of eight historic private universities in the northeastern United States. The eight universities in the group are:
The Ivy League was formed as an athletic association in the 1950s. The term Ivy League was first used when these eight institutions became part of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletics Association).
The name Ivy League has become synonymous with prestige and privilege as well as strong academics. These universities have groomed many US presidents and other major U.S. and world leaders, as well as leading intellectuals, artists, and Nobel laureates, among others.
The Structure of the US Education System is as follows:
4. Are US universities really better than Canadian universities?
Both US universities and Canadian universities are on par when it comes to the international education provided. However, there have been recent changes in the number of students getting enrolled in Canadian universities. In 2018, more than 720,000 international students entered into Canada to pursue their higher studies.
There are three reasons why International students consider opting for Canada as their destination. They are:
- Increased international student recruitment
- Expedited study permit, work and residency opportunities
- Excellent healthcare policy
However, US universities are better known for their research as well as funding opportunities. Based on a report by The Global Innovation Index, the following facts substantiate the same.
- No. 1 Public and Private R&D Expenditures, with over $510B being spent on research and development.
- No. 3 in Global Innovative Index rating (2019).
- Approximately 18 billion in Global App Downloads produced by local companies (2018).
As a student, your thoughts would be – what parameters should I consider while choosing between US and Canadian universities? You could consider the quality of education, courses offered and its average salary, tuitions and scholarships, university ranking, lifestyle and expenses, post-study work permit, and career opportunities.
5. Factors to consider when choosing a University to Study in the USA?
Choosing the right university is one of the biggest decisions to make when it comes to education. While the process can be overwhelming, it would be great to consider several factors to make the task less daunting. You could consider the following factors:
1. Rank your priorities
Take the time to weigh the pros and cons of a particular school when you are working on choosing the right college. The ranking is important but more than that, you will have to see if the program will meet your developmental needs.
2. Start early on the application process
It is important to complete all tests and gather all documents to apply for universities well ahead of time. Experts suggest starting the process 10 to 12 months in advance for graduate studies, and at least 2 – 3 years in advance for undergraduate studies depending on your university target.
3. Choose your Academic field/Major
Check to see where your choice of academic major is provided. While most universities offer popular majors, only a few would provide specialized majors such as marine biology or archeology. It is important to go through it in detail.
4. Academic standards and Ranking
Admissions to universities are highly competitive, especially for international students to study in USA. You can talk with your study abroad counselors to understand your probability of being admitted to your selected school. You can reach out to us to guide you through the admissions process.
5. Location and Region
Geographic region and location can be highly influential when choosing a university to study in USA. Where you choose to study would affect your overall experience and provide you access to professional opportunities. Some students might prefer to live and study in city areas while others might choose rural areas.
6. Total cost of your education
Understanding your tuition, as well as living costs to study in USA, will help you narrow down the university of your choice. This information will be available on the university website. Private colleges and universities have higher tuition costs than public universities. Understanding your budget to complete your coursework will help finalize the university.
7. Diversity ratio
For many international students, the diversity ratio is a factor of concern. As of recent years, most US universities have taken efforts to increase their diversity index.
While culture shock is still an experience most international students undergo, a culturally diverse environment can help to significantly lessen the effect, knowing that your experience is not isolated. Furthermore, a lot of US universities conduct orientation programs and other events to help foreign students adjust to the new campus.
These are the universities in the US that host the largest number of international students (IIE):
|Rank||Institution||Total International Students|
|1||New York Univeristy||19,605|
|2||University of Southern California||16,340|
|3||Northeastern University - Boston||16,075|
|5||University of Illinois - Urbana - Champaign||13,497|
|6||Arizona State Univeristy - Tempe||13,324|
|7||University Of California - Los Angeles||11,942|
|8||Purdue University - West Lafayette||10,943|
|9||University of California - San Diego||10,652|
|11||University of California - Berkeley||10,063|
6. Where should you study in USA?
The table given below details the top ten states in the US that have the largest population of international students (Migration Policy Institute). This table will be useful to you if diversity of the region is important to your choice of destination.
|State||International Students||Total Immigrant Population|
|Number||Share of US Total (%)||Number||Share of US Total (%)|
You might prefer a specific location based on the industry concentrated in the area to study in USA. For instance, California has the largest population of international students as it is home to Silicon Valley, abounding with global technology companies.
New York City is another popular destination for international students thanks to Wall Street, making it one of the largest international Financial Centres. Others may choose a location to study in USA, based on proximity to family and friends, and that is very reasonable as they provide a strong support system.
But climate could also be a factor to consider. While the country generally has a continental climate, some regions are colder than others, and some are relatively warm all year round.
If you find it impossible to adjust to certain temperatures, you should choose carefully. Moreover, the culture in each of the country’s fifty states is different and unique, so it is important to select a location that you are comfortable with.
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