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How Do I Find the Right US University for Me?

There are many US colleges that could be right for you as an international student. Here's some expert advice on how to go about looking for the right fit.

Thomas B. HassettThomas B. Hassett
Director of International Admissions

Gannon University
With well over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, how do you, as an international student, make the right choice and find the right college for you? The following questions will help you make informed choices. 

  • Where in the United States do you want to study? Regional differences include climate, cost of living, safety, and access to airports. You may also have family or friends in certain regions who will help you with your choice.
  • Do you want an urban, rural, or suburban setting? The more urban a campus, the more activities you will find at all levels, from recreational activities to internships. Rural or near-rural campuses are in regions that usually have a low cost of living, high safety, and provide all the activities and services that you will need for your education.
  • What size university are you looking for? Bigger research universities have more choices in academic offerings and activities; they also have large auditoriums for classrooms and student teachers. Smaller schools tend to be more personal and nurturing, with greater access to professors who teach their own courses.
  • Is the community international? Ensure to look for a college that embraces diversity and knows how to support students who come from different cultures. Is the community friendly and supportive, or does it encourage competition and independence?

There are other questions you’ll need to answer eventually; however, if you provide honest answers to the questions above, you will have a foundation you can use to find universities that meet your needs. Of course, if you are interested in an academic program that isn’t typically offered, then you’ll need to consider schools that have your program as well. You’ll find that most universities in the US offer a similar selection of academic programs and the real differences come from other considerations, like extracurricular offerings on campus. The good news is that there are likely many universities that will meet your needs.

Find the best fit US colleges that are looking for international students just like you with our featured global colleges lists.

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