The US remains the world’s leading destination for international students. In 2011-12, around 764,500 international students chose to study in the US, according to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors report. The most popular states for international study in the US were California, New York and Texas, and the most popular subjects were business and management, engineering, mathematics and computer science.
Lucrative Job Opportunities
On completion of your degree, you are legally authorized to work in the US in your related field for about a year. You need to apply for Optional Practical Training Employment Authorization (OPT). Most international students get inducted into the company that hires them during their OPT period, by sponsoring their H1-B or work visa.
A Unique Higher Education System
U.S. universities and colleges may differ from those in your home country in several ways. For one thing, small class sizes are very common. There may be as few as 10 to 20 students in a class, giving you the personal attention you need in order to succeed. While in class, students are encouraged and expected to contribute to the discussion. Professors meet with students in their offices or even share coffee or meals with them. The close relationship between students and faculty serves to motivate students and fosters a personal approach to the curriculum. Studying in the U.S. gives you the opportunity to gain a mentor in your given career field, an invaluable resource.
Calculate your Own Costs of Studying in US
In recent years it’s become easier for individual students to calculate how much they could expect studying in the US to cost. All US universities are now legally required to include a fees and financial aid calculator on their websites, allowing students to get a rough idea of how much their intended course of study would cost and what aid they may be eligible for. These “net price calculators” can be accessed via the government’s College Affordability and Transparency Center, which also provides details of the US universities with the highest and lowest tuition fees and net costs.
Average fees at US Universities, 2014/15.
Average Living Expenses
The approximate annual living expenses are about $10,000, which includes accommodation as well as other daily expenses. However, the expenses are different for different people depending on the lifestyles and this is just a rough idea. The main expenses can be split up as:
- Rent $ 400 per month
(you can live alone with that amount in a place like Auburn or share an apartment with 6 people in NY)
- Groceries $ 100 per month
- Utilities $ 100 per month
- Phone $ 100 per month
- Sundry $ 200 per month
So, about $1000 per month is a good estimation. Most people can survive with $700-$1000 a month. The key here is to share apartments/houses so that you save on the utilities, fixed charge portion of phone and to some extent on groceries.
Employment as Student
Many students hold on-campus jobs, and work opportunities are nearly always available. Most jobs pay about $7.25 per hour and entail work in a laboratory or in food service. You may be taxed for income earned in the United States. Money is deducted each pay period from most employees’ paychecks for federal and state income taxes. The amount of the deduction varies greatly.
In general terms, students are permitted to work on campus 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semester and 40 hours per week during school breaks when classes are not in session.
The school calendar usually begins in August or September and continues through May or June. The majority of new students begin in autumn, so it is a good idea for international students to also begin their U.S. university studies at this time. There is a lot of excitement at the beginning of the school year and students form many great friendships during this time, as they are all adjusting to a new phase of academic life. Additionally, many courses are designed for students to take them in sequence, starting in autumn and continuing through the year.
The academic year at many schools is composed of two terms called “semesters.” (Some schools use a three-term calendar known as the “trimester” system.) Still, others further divide the year into the quarter system of four terms, including an optional summer session. Basically, if you exclude the summer session, the academic year is either comprised of two semesters or three quarter terms.