Your trip to the US as an international student will start with choosing the college and academic program you want to enroll in. A US university associate’s degree usually takes two years to complete. In the USA, a bachelor’s degree typically necessitates three to four years of study. After earning your bachelor’s degree, you may want to think about attending graduate school to further your education.
A master’s degree (earned after two years of study) and a doctorate or PhD are available for graduate or postgraduate programs. While associate’s and bachelor’s degrees are typically more general in nature, graduate master’s and doctorate programs concentrate on a particular academic field.
How to start Researching the best university to study in USA
The U.S. Department of Education’s College Navigator website is a good place to start your online search for associate’s, bachelor’s, and advanced degrees (such as master’s and doctoral degrees). Other websites offer options to search for undergraduate US schools and universities across many different programs, features, or traits, such as College Board’s Big Future.
Look at college rankings to assist you in identifying the best universities for international students. There are official government rankings of the best universities in many different countries (e.g., league tables in the UK). There aren’t any publicly available standardized college rankings, nevertheless, in the US. Instead, a number of commercial organizations evaluate and rank universities in the USA. Top Universities for International Students is one of the many categories in which universities and colleges are ranked by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, one of the most well-known ranking systems.
Forbes, The Princeton Review, and Times Higher Education are a few more well-known college ranking publications. Rankings can be used by international students in the US to determine which universities offer a high-quality education. But keep in mind that rankings shouldn’t be your only consideration when picking a university.
A Shorelight advisor can help international students find universities that are friendly to students from around the world and that also fit with their academic and career objectives.
Contacting the University Advisor
You can discover more about studying in the US and locate universities that suit your academic interests, personal preferences, and career goals by speaking to a US higher education expert.
You can visit a center in or close to your home region to get additional information because EducationUSA, a network of the U.S. Department of State, has more than 400 educational advising centers in more than 170 nations. In order to assist international students in the US in locating universities that suit their needs, Shorelight also provides sessions with enrollment counselors.
Attend college or university fairs featuring several US higher education institutions if you want to meet representatives from American universities in person. Virtual webinars with university experts may also be available for home attendance.
Choosing University Program
Your major (or the subject of your academic studies) may be the most crucial consideration when deciding which universities to apply to in the United States for many overseas students studying there. You might be able to complete a double major at a particular institution or university if you have several academic interests. The alternative is to add a minor.
Do not worry if you are unclear about what you want to study in the United States: 40% of undergraduate students start their first year of college with an undeclared major in the United States, while most students change their minds about what their intended major will be during their time in college.
Academics are important, but you should also think about the type of university experience you want when choosing where to study for your bachelor’s degree in the USA.
You can target colleges and universities that meet your needs by looking at their locations in the US, climate (weather), test requirements (academic standardized and English proficiency tests), costs, scholarships, international student services, campus facilities, internship and job placement rates, and more.
You can find reputable degree programs by looking at listings for graduate programs, such as U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools. However, just as with undergraduate degrees, you must look past the rankings.
It is time to start applying once you have decided on the curriculum you want to pursue and have created a small list of universities to pick from.
You can start the application process for a program at a US university online using the websites of the individual schools or a third-party platform like the Common App (which nearly 900 colleges accept). You could also be able to apply directly through Shorelight, depending on the university. Regardless of the method you select, you must provide the university’s list of needed documents.
Fulfilling Admission Criteria
Despite the fact that each US university has its own admissions standards, they all have a few things in common. Generally speaking, American colleges want the following from prospective international students:
- Standardized test scores. Click on the following links to start preparing yourself.
SAT or ACT
English proficiency test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, iTEP, PTE Academic) Getting Ready for TOEFL® or IELTS™
- You can also take the:
Free TOEFL Test
Free IELTS TEST
- Copy of your valid passports
For international students, some schools and institutions may also demand proof of funding. (Read Shorelight’s college application checklist for overseas students for more information on the prerequisites for college applications.) Some colleges may also require an interview, which you can arrange with staff or alumni who are currently living abroad.
Remember that deadlines for college applications are significant. You might need to submit your applications by November or December if you want to be considered for admission to more selective colleges that use early action or early decision.
If you are thinking about attending a Shorelight partner university in the US, you can apply directly to one or more colleges or universities using a separate online application. Many of these institutions do not require international applicants to submit an essay or SAT/ACT scores.