How to Study and Succeed in the US as an International Student
On the one hand, studying in America means getting an international diploma and a real chance to settle down in the US. On the other hand, you have to deal with difficulties of adaptation, relocation, the language barrier, and serious financial spending.
- Career choice: who should you be?
One of the most universal specialties for studying abroad is IT. In addition to the fact that this profession is in demand in the States and is well paid, after graduation you can find work anywhere in the world. Getting a bachelor’s degree usually takes four years, and getting a master’s degree takes six years. The same applies to specialties in economics, finance, and marketing.
There may be difficulties with medical or legal education, even at the application stage and getting a student visa. You need to keep in mind that the legal system in America may differ from the one in your country. After returning to your country, it may happen that you will be limited in the choice of work. Of course, you can get a job in an international corporation, but then it makes more sense to stay in the USA. The American side also understands this, therefore, they may refuse to provide you with a student visa. In addition, the study lasts 8-10 years, which is long and expensive.
- In-state and out-of-state tuition
If a student is a state resident, then on average, college or university studies cost three times less than coming from another country or even another state. As you know, becoming a local is not easy. To do this, you must be either a US citizen, or have another form of legal immigration status (for example, being a green card holder).
This is a well-known fact that leads to a sad conclusion: the cost of education for foreigners is very high. But there is a little trick that very few people know about: you can become a local for a state without being one. Everything is absolutely legal and completely real. How do you do it? One of the working options is the program of international cooperation between the USA and other countries. It can be found in sister cities.
Within the framework of the same international cooperation, there are scholarships for students from sister cities. Sometimes they suggest permanent discounts, sometimes temporary ones. But in any case, this provides a significant savings in studies.
To receive preferential conditions, a student must prove that he or she really lives in this locality and has the right for special conditions. In most cases, a passport with a residence permit is sufficient. Different educational institutions can be satisfied with different documents. As a rule, this is a rather formal moment.
Often, employees of a college or university are not aware of such bonuses, so you have to explain this to them with documents in hand. Documents can be found on the websites of educational institutions or local municipalities.
- Learning English: at home or in the US?
If you are not particularly skilled in the English language, then there are two options: learn the language in your country or come to America and gain knowledge there. Why is the second option good?
First of all, it is a good option because you will make connections at the college or university and gain practical experience. You can study the language at a special course; the duration of study is a year and a half. The cost is about 6,000 to 8,000 dollars per year.
Secondly, you can start learning several times a year. This gives a more flexible schedule for enrolling language courses and for moving to the USA.
Thirdly, it is better to enroll in the language courses of the college or university where you plan to study further. This will not only allow you to get acquainted with the features of the future educational institution, but can provide benefits during admission.
By the way, almost all educational institutions require students to write an admission essay. If you are not skilled in using English, you probably need help. You can order an admission essay if you simply ask, write my paper for me here and receive a paper in proper English.
- Where to apply: college or university?
You have decided to graduate in the United States. It would seem logical to apply to a university and enter the first course that interests you. However, you should not hurry.
For example, if you write to UCLA, you will be told that the cost of education is about $35,000 a year for California residents and more than $60,000 a year for residents of other states. These costs are just for studying. It is a lot of money, even for a local resident, and for a foreigner the sum seems completely out of reach. Multiply this sum by four or five (approximately how many years it will take to receive higher education in the USA), and the amount will frighten even the most purposeful person.
But there is one trick that will help you save up before admission. Subjects in the specialty begin at universities only from the third year, therefore it is wiser to first apply to a community college with accreditation in relation to the university. In such a college, you can study the first two years, and only then transfer to a university for the third year, and sometimes immediately for the fourth or fifth year. In this way, you will save a lot. A year in college is sometimes five or six times cheaper than at a university.
Here are the most popular budget colleges in America:
- Seattle Central Community College (Washington). After studying at this college, you can enroll in almost any university in America. There are no requirements for foreigners to speak English.
- Community Colleges of Spokane (Washington). The college program is created so that a student can begin studying from one of the terms of the year, not necessarily from September. The college collaborates with many American universities.
- Hawaii Community College (Hawaii). In this college, you can improve your level of English in intensive language courses. After studying, students enroll both in the University of Hawaii and other universities in the country.
- East Los Angeles College (California). It has about 30,000 students who, after graduating from college, can enroll in many Californian universities.
- After application
Imagine that you are already in the States, you’ve studied in college, and have transferred to a university. Are there any savings options at this stage? Of course. It all depends on the task you set. For example, you can find a job on campus and earn extra money or apply for a scholarship that can reduce the cost of studying by 50-60%.
Practically all students work in the USA, both local and from other countries. Of course, local people have more choices, as no one limits their choice of work. But those who come with a student visa can work no more than 20 hours a week and only on campus. However, in some cases, educational institutions allow working outside of it, if it provides a unique experience in the chosen profession.
Here is a list of scholarships offered by popular American universities:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Scholarships in the amount of 36,000 to 43,000 dollars annually are given to 90% of the students. This amount covers almost the entire cost of studying for the year.
- Illinois State University. Foreign students can receive a presidential scholarship of up to 11,000 dollars a year (44,000 dollars for 4 years of study at an undergraduate degree).
- University of Wisconsin. Students can receive a scholarship in the amount of one third of the cost of education.
After you enroll in a college or university, you need to follow some tips.
- Do not be afraid to seek help
Can’t find an audience? Not sure where the campus is? Don’t understand anything in the documents and scholarships? Believe me, you are not alone, and there are dozens of people around who can help. In many universities, newcomers even have a curator – a senior student who will show you everything and answer your questions. Do not be afraid to look stupid with questions like, “Where is the dining room?” It is okay not to know this, as you are visiting the university for the first time.
- Try unusual things for yourself
Consider a dance group, student television, choir, or even a cheerleading team. No one knows where you will find yourself. The university provides such opportunities that were not provided at school. Take everything from these opportunities: contests, festivals, and much more, until the weight of working days does not fall on your shoulders.
You will learn how to plan your time so that you don’t stalk your teacher during exams. After all, it will be completely unpleasant to drop the choir and the volleyball team at the same time because you can’t cope with everything. Now time management is everything to you.
- Be active at classes
If everyone in school loved to sit in the back row in silence, it is better not to do this at the university. If you are active at classes, and the teacher remembers you, you will have a chance to get a better grade at the end of the semester.
Good luck with your enrollment and enjoy academic life!