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Study in USA
It is no surprise that the USA is a much sought-after study destination for its prestigious institutions, flexible curriculum, experiential learning and holistic educational experience. When you choose to study in the USA, you are not just selecting a course but aligning yourself with a future that is at pace with the evolving demands of the contemporary world. To help you get prepared to study abroad in the USA, the article below aims to cover all possible queries you might have. So, keep reading!
Why Study in the USA?
The US houses over 4,000 higher education institutions and offers some of the world's top programs.
The USA hosts over 1 million international students, making it the world's leading educational destination.
In the US, international students enhance skills, broaden networks, and make lasting friendships.
The USA is home to over 4,000 higher education institutions, providing some of the globe's premier programs.
Cost of Studying in the USA
In a country as big and diverse as the USA, starting an educational journey might feel like setting sail into the great unknown. So understanding the financial undercurrents is therefore crucial. Developing a comprehensive awareness of the costs serves as the base for your American dream. To help you get an idea of the approximate cost of studying in the USA, here is a table that consolidates the range for each study level.
Level of Study in the USA
Cost of Study in the USA in USD (approx.)
$40,000 - $50,000
$30,000 - $60,000
$28,000 - $55,000
Cost of Living in the USA
When you consider the cost of studying and living in the USA, It's not just the tuition fees that matter. Rent, food, the occasional night out, healthcare, and perhaps even the coffee that will power late-night study sessions make up the expenses. As an international student, you can make the best of your education in the USA with the help of a well-planned budget that accounts for all of the other costs like accommodation, travel, food and such. To help you plan ahead, here is a table that encapsulates the approximate cost of living in the USA:
Average Cost Per Month in USD (approx.)
Utilities (Electricity, Water, Gas)
Food (outside dining)
Entertainment (Movies, Events, etc.)
Admission Requirements for Studying in the USA
It is crucial to fulfil specific academic requirements in order to fully immerse yourself in the educational environment the USA has to offer. Make sure that your prior education meets the requirements established by American educational institutions. As international students, it is your duty to get familiar with the intricacies of the academic eligibility requirements to build a solid basis for your future studies.
In all American educational institutions, English is the medium of teaching. By passing these English tests, you prove your competence in understanding your classes, taking part in class discussions, completing assignments, and communicating successfully with classmates and teachers. Most US universities and colleges recognise the following standardised tests for English proficiency:
English Language Test
Most of the universities in the USA accept an IELTS band score of 6-6.5
TOEFL score between 90 to 110 is needed for admission purposes
The minimum PTE score for USA is between 50-70
Duolingo English Test
Most universities generally require a score of around 100 to 120
Navigating the realm of US student visas can seem a daunting task, but by being aware of the many visa kinds that are available, their distinct objectives and the documents required, you can streamline the process. The types of visas to study in the USA include:
- F-1 Visa: For students attending recognised U.S. academic institutions. It allows you to stay for the duration of the academic program and on-campus work opportunities.
- J-1 Visa: For participants in exchange programs, including exchange students and visiting lecturers.
- M1 Visa: For non-academic or vocational training. M1 visa holders typically cannot work during their stay.
Let’s take a look at the list of documents needed to be submitted by international students when applying for a visa:
- Fundamental Documents:
- Valid Passport: This should remain valid for at least six months beyond the intended period of your stay in the USA. (Exceptions might apply based on country-specific agreements.)
- Acceptance from a SEVP Approved School: Before you apply for a visa, you must be accepted by a school approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Along with this, you'll need your Form I-20 issued by the school.
- SEVIS Application Fee Payment: Remember to pay the fee for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
- Non-immigrant Visa Application: Complete the online visa application known as Form DS-160 and ensure you have the confirmation page.
- Photograph: Ensure that your photograph meets the specific format and number requirements.
- Optional Practical Training (OPT):
For those students who look forward to taking up opportunities for practical training during or after their studies will require the following:
Besides the Form I-20, you'll also need to apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an Employment Authorisation Document (EAD), which grants you permission for the OPT.
- Additional Documentation (may vary based on individual circumstances):
- Academic Credentials: These include transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended.
- Proof of Sufficient Funds: You must demonstrate your financial capability to handle living expenses during your stay. This evidence can be:
- Bank statements showcasing your financial health.
- A commitment by a sponsor to cater to your living and accommodation costs.
- An official scholarship program.
- Evidence of Departure: It's essential to show your intent to leave the USA post your studies. This could be an air ticket pointing towards your departure to your home country.
- Personal Interview:
Once your documents are in place, be prepared for a face-to-face interview at the nearest US embassy or consulate. This is a pivotal step in the visa application process, where you'll be assessed on your intent and readiness for studying in the USA.
Intakes in the USA
If you plan to study in the USA, just choosing the right course and university won't cut it. You need to know the right time to apply for your desired course, and for this, it is essential to understand the different intake options available to international students. To make an informed decision that aligns with your goals, schedules and preferences, it is best to familiarise yourself with the various intake periods available.
Intakes in USA
September Intake/Fall Intake
January Intake/Spring Intake
May Intake/Summer Intake
Top Courses to Study in the USA
The USA, with its world-renowned universities, boasts a wide variety of courses spanning numerous disciplines. While the USA's education offerings are vast, it seems that courses in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields capture the imagination of most aspirants. However, the nation’s diverse educational landscape ensures there are also other programs that are just as compelling.
Here is a list of popular courses to study in the USA as an international student:
- Computer Science and IT
- Business Management
- Medicine and Health Sciences
- Art and Design
- Social Sciences
Top Universities to Study in the USA
To study in the USA is to be a part of a legacy—a tradition of innovators, leaders, and global changemakers. So, if you're dreaming of making a mark on the world stage, these universities are where your aspirations will find wings. The United States, with its rich legacy in higher education, stands tall as a beacon of academic brilliance, capturing the imagination of global learners year after year.
Name of the University
University Best Known For
QS Ranking 2024
THE Ranking 2024
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Engineering & Technology
Entrepreneurship & Computer Science
Business & Law
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
University of Chicago
Economics & Social Sciences
Mathematics & Humanities
Journalism & Arts
University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
Environmental Studies & Political Science
Drama & Music
Scholarships in the USA
Whether you’re a valedictorian or a talented athlete, or simply someone with a genuine financial need, there’s a scholarship waiting just for you. In the USA, every dreamer can find a fit for their budget and background. Types of scholarships in the USA include
- Merit-based Scholarships: Given to top candidates based on academic and test achievements like SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores.
- Need-based Scholarships: Aimed at academically talented individuals with financial constraints to ensure education remains accessible.
You can browse the financial assistance parts of the university applications as you get started. Here is a table of scholarships in the USA available for international students:
Name of Scholarship in the USA
Cost of Scholarship USD (approx.)
For international students in various fields
Graduate students, young professionals, and artists
Up to $35,000
United World Colleges (UWC) International Youth Scholarships
For undergraduate studies
Must be a UWC graduate
Up to $25,000
Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program
For master's degree studies
Must be from developing countries
Up to $50,000
Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees
Various subjects at the Masters level
Up to $30,000
The Joint China-U.S. PhD Scholarship Program
For PhD studies in the USA
Up to $45,000
The Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program
Professional academic experiences
Must be from eligible countries
Student Life in the USA
Embarking on your educational journey in the USA is similar to stepping into a realm of infinite possibilities and vibrant experiences. As an international student, you'll quickly find that the USA offers more than just prestigious educational institutions. You will be stepping into a melting pot of cultures, where you can savour cuisines from around the world, celebrate a myriad of traditions, and forge friendships that span across continents. When it's time to take a break from your studies, you have natural wonders ranging from the sun-kissed beaches of California to the majestic Rocky Mountains to explore. Now if you are a sports enthusiast, you are in for some luck! You'll be thrilled to know that the USA hosts a vibrant sports culture, and you can either participate in it or cheer for your favourite teams.
Post-Study Work Opportunities in the USA
The dream doesn't end when you finish your studies in the USA; it just begins. America offers many overseas students much more than just academic opportunities. The greatest thing is that the American labour market is actively looking for individuals who are skilled.
There is a high demand for international graduates with specialised knowledge and competence due to a noticeable skills shortage in many American sectors. Whether you're an international student with a passion for medicine, filmmaking, real estate, the retail industry, agriculture, engineering, or computers & information technology, the USA opens up a world of opportunities for you. Here is a table that will give you a comprehensive overview of the approximate salary you can earn in various fields
Approximate Annual Salary in USD (approx.)
$75,000 - $100,000
Education and Training
$65,000 - $85,000
$80,000 - $110,000
IT & Computer Science
$90,000 - $120,000
Statistics and Data Science
$85,000 - $115,000
Why Choose AECC?
AECC provides free tailored counselling for students, assisting from course selection to scholarship and visa applications.
AECC excels in visa approvals and offers guidance on visa processes, health insurance, and housing.
AECC has partnerships with over 750 universities across 12 countries, including some of the best higher education institutions in the USA.
AECC provides IELTS coaching for students aiming to enhance their English scores.
- The US Department of State granted over 411,000 student visas in the 2022 fiscal year (October 2021 to September 2022), marking a 15% growth from 2021.
- The United States has added new degrees that will be eligible for the postgraduate STEM OPT programme.
Frequently asked questions
The cost to study in the USA varies widely, but on average, tuition fees range from $5,000 to $50,000 per year for public and private universities, respectively.
Eligibility to study in the USA typically requires a completed application, relevant academic transcripts, English proficiency tests like TOEFL or IELTS, and often a statement of purpose or essays.
To get a scholarship to study in the USA:
- research opportunities specific to your field of study
- maintain a strong academic record
- demonstrate leadership and extracurricular achievements, and
- submit compelling scholarship essays or applications
Students can choose OPT for up to 3 years post-graduation (1 year for non-STEM) or seek H-1B sponsorship or further studies.
International students on F-1 visas can work up to 20 hours a week on-campus during the academic year. Off-campus employment opportunities, like Optional Practical Training (OPT), are available but require authorisation.
AECC provides personalised guidance to students, helping them select suitable courses and universities based on their preferences and qualifications. They offer assistance with the entire application process, including document preparation, submission, and follow-up.
Absolutely! AECC offers comprehensive visa assistance, ensuring students understand the requirements and assisting with document compilation.