The American Dream is still alive, and many international students have stated that it was one of the reasons they decided to pursue their higher education in the United States. In May 2017, there were 1.18 million international students enrolled in American universities, with a whopping 77% being persons originating from Asia.
There are many reasons international students opt to study in the United States, including numerous research and internship opportunities and funding. Whatever the reason may be, it’s fair to say that American universities come with many advantages. However, every student aiming to start their studies in the United States should consider whether they fulfill the criteria and whether they’re eligible to do so. Many countries require a visa in order to travel and study there, so those students aiming to do so should initially apply for a visa and gather the necessary documents before traveling.
Related: Everything You Need to Know About Student Visas for US Universities
Below are the top seven reasons why you should consider studying in the United States.
1. America is the center of the world
Let’s be honest: even though the American economy seems to be dropping and China is on its way to being the next world power, the United States still has a lot of influence. From TV shows, movies, news, and more, you’re aware of American culture. Studying in the United States provides you the chance to live the American Dream and experience its way of life. Furthermore, the United States is the home of growing innovation in fields like medicine, business, robotics, computing, physics, and so much more.
2. A variety of funding options
Getting a university education isn’t a cheap venture. You have to consider tuition fees, accommodation, food, travel, and other expenses. A huge deterrent to studying abroad is the lack of student financing. And even if financing options are available, some students have a hard time going through the application process. Luckily, the American school system caters to the financial needs of international students by providing a variety of funding options. Check out scholarships, grants, bursaries, and assistantships, and ask your universities of interest what other types of aid they offer international students.
Related: The Complete Guide to US Financial Aid for International Students
3. American degrees are renowned worldwide
What if you study in the United States but don’t wish to remain there for work? Not to worry. A degree you receive at an American university is usually recognized and trusted worldwide and can be used if you’re applying for a job overseas.
4. Renowned professors
The United States is the home of many new innovations. Therefore, it’s also home to men and women who’ve paved the way for their field. At times, these pioneers will teach at certain universities, whether that school is their alma mater or not. Some of these people take on permanent positions at the school, while others often give guest lectures. Whatever the case may be, it’s a great opportunity to learn from and possibly meet these powerful people and have role models. For example, Elon Musk, a man who left a huge mark in the technology sector with SpaceX, gives lectures at times at his alma mater, Stanford University.
5. Great career opportunities
The end goal of studying for two or four years and acquiring a degree is that you can obtain a job in your field of study. Some countries may expect that at the end of your study, you’ll pack your bags and go back home. But what if it’s your dream to work, live, and raise a family in that country? Fortunately, the American school system provides international students with sound and trustworthy methods to attain available jobs in your sector. One of these is the Optional Practical Training program, or the OPT program. This program allows you to stay and work in the United States in your field of study for one to three years. In addition, other programs promise they’ll source a job for you within 60 days of graduation.
Related: International Students and the Job Search
6. Practice your English skills with a diverse group of people
If one of your dreams is to achieve fluency in English, here’s your chance. If you choose to study in the United States, you’ll be immersed in the language, which will give you the push you need to master it. Also, since the US is known as a melting pot of different cultures, food, people, and languages, it’s a great chance to find people from the same country as you or meet others from different backgrounds.
7. Various customizable programs
Did you know that 41% of the top 100 universities worldwide are in the United States? There are approximately 4,400 degree-granting institutions currently in the United States where you can enroll, so it’s safe to say you have a lot of options to choose from. Try searching by location, programs offered, known professors, available research facilities, the history of the university, etc. Moreover, you’re allowed to customize your program to your liking at many US institutions.
Related: How International Students Can Culturally Prepare to Study in the United States
If you’re interested in studying in the United States, there are so many choices of where to go and resources to help you along the way. Universities want to make the process easy, seamless, and not stressful at all, so take this advice into account when you start your journey.
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