Why should I choose the USA as my study abroad destination? 

The United States consistently ranks high in the top 10 places for studying abroad. The American education system allows you to explore your interests while letting you earn your qualifications with amazing credits from standalone courses. 

What are the different programs on offer in the United States? 

Associate Bachelors 2 years program. Usually offered at Local community colleges 
Bachelors 3 to 4 years course. To enrol, students need to demonstrate previous academic achievement and standardised test scores. 
Masters and doctorates Students should have completed their bachelor’s or master’s. Length varies from 2 to 5 years 

Is the English language test mandatory to study in the USA? 

If you are not a native English speaker, almost all universities in the USA mandate TOEFL for admissions. 

What will be the living costs in the USA? 

Living costs vary widely across the USA. It varies somewhere between $1350 to $1500 in the most expensive cities like Atlanta, Georgia, and New York. 

What are the different categories of US Student visas available for international students? 

F1 Visa: Common entry visa for studies in the US. It allows part-time or On-campus employment and provides optional practical training (OPT) for up to a year after the completion of the academics 

J1 Visa: A Non-academic or Vocational studies visa issued to students for acquiring practical knowledge that is not available in their country of residence. It offers the same employment benefits as F1 Visa. 

M1 Visa: Students are not permitted to work during the study period.  

How is the cost of living different in the USA than in any other study-abroad countries like the UK and Germany? 

Unlike UK and Germany, there is no state healthcare in the USA and the entire healthcare system is private and run free in the market.  Thus, health insurance is mandatory in the US and should be carefully chosen. 

What will be the average tuition fees in US Universities? 

Tuition fees in the US are very expensive.  The tuition fees vary across different universities. Please check the respective university you are applying to for the tuition fees. 

Are there any scholarships available for international students? 

There are hundreds of, thousands of scholarships available for international students. These range from stipends, and bursaries to fully- funded. However, please note that some of the scholarships depend on the subject of study, school or the state you study in.  

What are the entry requirements for undergraduate courses in US universities? 

Entry requirements vary among different universities.  Please check with the respective university.  Not all universities in the US recognise international qualifications.  In such cases, you may need to take up the SAT exam. 

How should I apply for studies at US Universities? 

Unlike many European countries, there is no national portal for applications.  You will need to apply to individual universities as per your choice. 

What is the general procedure for applying to US Universities? 

Are there any mandatory tests to be taken to qualify for study in US Universities? 

Below are a few of the mandatory tests to be cleared to qualify for the intended course in the US 

Test Approximate cost in INR Field of study 
Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) 18500 Test for Admission to MBA Programs. Tests English, Mathematics and reasoning 
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) 16000 For MA or MS admissions 
Law School Admission Test (LSAT) 12000 For Admissions to Law Reading and Verbal reasoning ability Test 
Scholastic Admission Test (SAT) 7000 For UG Admissions. Tests Literacy and writing ability, and analytical and problem-solving skills  
TOEFL/ IELTS/ PTE  13800 / 14000 / 13500 English language tests 

What are the different types of accommodation options available for International Students in the US? 

Residence Halls – These are enormous buildings with plenty of flats with single rooms or sharing facilities. These are connected with the University. It ranges approximately from $800 to $900 

Self-catered residence halls – These are similar to the residence halls, however, have a communal kitchen for the students to cook their food themselves. It ranges approximately from $600 – $800 

Shared apartments – Unlike the residence halls, these are not connected to the Universities. They sign up tenancy agreements and can be shared with another individual. It ranges from (Approx) $400 – $ 600 (shared by 4) 

Luxury accommodation – This is an extremely expensive choice. These are privately owned apartments or studios that come with security and concierge services. It costs approximately $2000 

Homestay – Students can opt to stay with US families at their homes for rent.  This provides them with safety and comfort in a foreign land. It ranges approximately from $300 – $500 

What are the different Intakes offered in the Universities in the US? 

There are 3 intakes in the Universities of the USA.   

  1. Fall Intake – September to December 
  1. Spring Intake – January to May 
  1. Summer Intake – In May 

What are the requirements for studying master’s in the US? 

For Masters, the requirements are course specific. Apart from the Bachelor’s in the related field, some of the course requires work experience. 

How many months is a semester in the USA? 

Semesters in US last for three to four months 

Which is the preferred intake in the USA for International students? 

The preferred Intake is during Fall, as spring and summer intakes are not available in some universities. 

Can I work in the US, while on a Student visa? 

If you are on F1 or J1, you can work for up to 20 hours a week during the course period and can work full-time during holidays. 

What is the Credit system in the US? 

Students in the US received semester credit hours that are based on the number of contact hours accumulated in a semester.  In simple words, the credit value reflects the number of hours the students will meet the professor each week.  One has to take approx. 5 courses in a semester, where each course is worth 3 semester credit hours, ideally equivalent to 45 – 48 hours. 

Which are the most popular courses among international students in the USA? 

STEM courses are more popular among both domestic and international students.  Apart from that, psychology, business administration, education, economics and political science are the most sort out courses among students. 

How easy is getting a scholarship in the USA? 

Scholarships in the USA are in high demand.  You may be provided with a scholarship if you hold an excellent academic record or other outstanding excellence in athletics, and cultural activities or have made a significant contribution to society. 

What will be the approximate cost of studying in the US? 

Course The approximate cost (in $) 
Graduate Programs 20000 to 45000 
Bachelors 20000 to 40000 
Doctoral 25000 to 55000 

Is health insurance necessary for International students in the US? 

The Government does not mandate international students on F1 visas to have Health Insurance. However, the University may likely require it.  

What are the differences between a community college, a college and a university? 

Community College – These are state-supported colleges that offer the first two years of a four-year undergraduate degree 

College – It offers only undergraduate courses 

University – It offers both undergraduate and Master’s programs. 

Why should I choose community colleges? 

They offer lower fees and an easy admission process. They have close ties with state schools and offer most of the courses connected to a degree. 

How do you transfer from a community college to a four-year university degree? 

The transfer process varies from school to school.  It is better to target the four-year university and then determine what is required to transfer 

Do students need to study a definite set of subjects or they can choose their majors? 

It varies. Some degree courses are highly structured, while some allow the students to create their program. 

What is the US Grading system and how are they determined? 

Percentage  Grade Grade Description 
90 – 100% Excellent 
80 – 89% Very Good 
70 – 79% Improvement Needed 
60 – 69% Fail 

Grades are determined by Quizzes, midterms, final exams, papers, projects, attendance and class participation. 

What is the difference between state universities and private universities? 

State universities are funded by the state and are usually larger and less expensive than private universities. 

Can I transfer to a US University from a university outside the US? 

Yes.  It is known as a “Transfer student”.  However, you may lose some credits and require extra time to complete your degree.  

What will be the ideal timeline to start the application process for study in the US? 

It is usually advised that the students start their application process ideally 12 – 15 months before their intended Intake. 

Can I change schools after I reach the US? 

Yes. Students are allowed to switch schools after they reach the US, as upon Arrival, the students are governed by the USCIS rule. However, they are required to complete at least one semester in the school before switching. 

What are the stay-back options available for international students in the US? 

Students, after their graduation, are allowed to stay back for a year and work in the US, popularly known as OPT 

Students of STEM programs are provided with a 36-month stay-back period. 

What are the requirements for doing research in the USA? 

PhD admission requirements vary based on the university and the field of study.  However, almost all universities in the US would require a GMAT  or GRE score along with the necessary documentation such as transcripts, SOP and LORs. 

How many years does it take to complete a PhD in the USA? 

Depending on the field of study, it takes 4 to 8 years of study after the Bachelor’s, while it may take a year or two less for students who already have their master’s. 

If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?

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