Why Study In the United States?
A U.S. university gives international students flexibility, access to a wider variety of subjects, and valuable opportunities. If you’re deciding whether to study in the United States, Janet Turner, Center Head and Senior Advisor at EducationUSA in Ahmedabad, India, has some advice for you.
EducationUSA advises 250-300 students a year on the process of applying for and completing Higher Education in the United States. The organization offers expert advice to help students make an informed decision about whether study in the United States is right for them.
Janet recommends that students ask themselves a few key questions before deciding to study in the United States.
1. What do I hope to accomplish by studying in the United States?
To be clear, earning a degree should be just one of the things you hope to accomplish. You should have a clear reason for wanting to earn that degree in the United States. Are you looking for exposure to many different cultures and ways of thinking? Do you want to study a subject that isn’t widely offered in your home country? Are you seeking an internship opportunity to gain international work experience?
Whatever your reason, you should be able to clearly explain it. Your Visa interviewer will expect you to have a good answer for the question: “Why do you want to study in the United States?”
Turner says that students in science, technology, engineering and medical fields can get special benefits from studying in the United States. The subjects make up the STEM field, which is in high demand in the United States. The United States is home to many universities that offer unique research opportunities to students in these fields. Students may get involved in research that makes fundamental contributions to STEM.
Another benefit for STEM students is the Optional Practical Training extension. Students who apply for get an OPT extension can extend their visa by an additional 24-months. During this time, a student can work for a STEM employer in the United States without applying for a separate work visa.
2. How will I pay for my education in the United States?
Students and employers from many countries know that a degree earned at a U.S. University is valuable. Studying in the U.S. gives you access to diverse people and experiences. Students are supported throughout their studies by professors, staff, and counselors who care deeply about student success.
To get this kind of experience, you’ll need to be able to pay your tuition, housing, and expenses while you’re in the United States. Both your school and your Visa investigator will check to make sure that you have the funds to pay for all of this.
3. Do my test scores and grades make me a competitive applicant?
Many students want to study in the United States; universities are selective. Students need to be able to prove that they can do well at U.S. universities. Doing well means keeping up academically, having strong English language skills, and being excited to learn.
Remember that there are more than 4,000 degree-granting institutions in the United States. Some you have most likely heard of. Others you may not. Some of these lesser known schools may be a perfect fit for your interests, while better-known schools will have many more applicants. Look for a university that is the right fit for you, rather than one with the greatest name recognition.
This wide variety of choices is one of the things that attracts many international students to study in the United States. Ask an admissions counselor for help choosing your best-fit university.