Study in USA
Student Culture in the USA
Consistently topping the wish-list of study abroad destinations, the USA has a strong reputation for excellent standards of higher education, and is home to some of the best and most respected universities in the world; including 30 of the top 100 world universities.
A technologically advanced country, it has outstanding research and training opportunities, great career opportunities, a renowned standard of campus life and is well-known for the levels of help and support that is given to international students who choose to study in the USA.
As well as earning a degree in your major subject, US universities also instruct their student in the ‘liberal arts’ (maths, sciences, philosophy, history and literature), which can really help you become a well-rounded graduate who is more than prepared for life after university.
Manners and Behaviour
You might think that you have a good grasp of the American culture from what you’ve seen in Hollywood movies, but the reality can sometimes be somewhat different.
The USA is a huge country with a variety of cultural influences. Although English is the common language, there is no official language and so you’ll hear lots of different languages being spoken depending on where in the country, and even the city, you are.
In general, Americans are very direct. They value independence and individuality and are not afraid to share their thoughts, values and beliefs openly with others. Timekeeping is highly valued and they are well-known as a nation of people who work hard and who are devoted to their studies or jobs.
A melting pot of cultures and cuisines, every state will have its own take on American specialities, but the iconic ones look a little bit like this:
Specialities to try:
- Apple Pie
- Boston Clam Chowder
- New York Bagels
- Texas Barbecue
- Hominy Grits
- Pumpkin Pie
- Deep-dish Pizza
- Tater Tots
Cost of study in the USA
As education in the USA isn’t subsidised by the federal government, the States has a reputation for notoriously high tuition fees. Fortunately, there are still some ways you can reduce the cost, with plenty of scholarships and funding schemes dedicated to international students.
For undergraduate degrees, you can expect to pay anywhere between $17,000 and $45,000
Please bear in mind that these fees are indicative only, and are subject to both increase or decrease depending on which course you choose to study and where.
Student Accommodation in the USA
As you would expect, where you choose to study will have a huge impact on how far your budget stretches in the USA. Major cities such as New York, Boston and LA are some of the most expensive cities in the world, whereas smaller cities or rural areas can be much more affordable.
Costs can vary a lot, but you should budget around $10,000 -14,000 per year to cover accommodation and living costs.
Average monthly costs in the USA might
look something like this:
look something like this:
- Accommodation: $500 (New York could be as much as $1500)
- Utility bills: $100
- Mobile Phone: $50
- Broadband internet: $20
- Study materials: $60
- Travel: $80
- Groceries: $150
- Typical night out: $40
- Cinema ticket: $12
Work and Study in the USA
There’s no getting away from the fact that studying in the USA is expensive. Working alongside your studies in America is possible, but there are perhaps more restrictions than you might find in other countries.
In general, you won’t be able to work off-campus during your first academic year, but you will be able to take employment in an on-campus role. Your university will usually be able to assist you in finding suitable employment or with getting access to specified training schemes.
After your first year, there are specific programmes available which are designed to help international students gain employment such as Optional Practical Training and Curricular Practical Training.
Find more details about what work you are able to do alongside your studies on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
Scholarships and funding
As well as financial aid programmes, reduced tuition fees for students from certain countries and regional exchange programmes, there are also lots of other ways for international students to receive help to finance their studies in the USA.
These are awards given to new students whose relatives are alumni of the university.
USA visa guidance
Depending on where you’re from, the visa requirements for study in the USA can vary. However, all international students must apply for a visa in order to study in the USA regardless of their county or origin.
As you will need to apply to two separate government agencies to arrange your visa (the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security), it’s worth doing some research into what you might require well in advance of when you want to travel.
Types of USA student visa
F-1 Student Visa – You should apply for this visa if you want to study English at a language institute, or to study at an accredited U.S. college or university.
J-1 Exchange Visa – If you are participating in an exchange programme with either your high school or your university, this is the visa you’ll need.
M-1 Student Visa – If you are looking to do vocational, non-academic, or training in the USA, then apply for this visa.
USA student visa requirements
You can find detailed information on the requirement and how to apply for your visa on the U.S. Department of State website.
Some evidence you will need to provide includes:
- Details of how you will pay for all tuition fees, accommodation and living costs
- Details of your academic preparation, including standardised test scores, diplomas etc.
- Your passport, which will need to be valid for at least 6 months longer than the duration of your stay in the USA
- Proof of your intention to leave the USA once your studies are complete
The earliest you can apply for your visa is 3 months before the start of your course.
USA visa fees
USA visa fees
The fee charged for your student visa is dependant upon your country of origin, you can check for the latest update on visa fees here.