BLOG

Tuition Fees and Costs of Living for International Students


Study in U.S.A..The U.S. is a country of 50 states covering a vast swath of North America, with Alaska in the northwest and Hawaii extending the nation’s presence into the Pacific Ocean. Major Atlantic Coast cities are New York, a global finance and culture center, and capital Washington, DC. Midwestern metropolis Chicago is known for influential architecture and on the west coast, Los Angeles’ Hollywood is famed for filmmaking.

The USA is the number one destination for international students and it’s not hard to see why. Find out what it’s like to study in the ‘land of opportunity’

Spanning six time zones the USA is regarded as one of the finest education providers in the world and sees increasing numbers of postgraduate students flock to its universities each year.

Studying in the USA you’ll have the pick of thousands of institutions and degree programmes, as well as the opportunity to broaden your cultural horizons by experiencing American campus life. You can also give your CV a boost by getting involved in the huge variety of clubs and organisations on offer, including sports.

Popular student cities include Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco but if you’re sights are set on a less obvious destination you have 50 states to choose from.

American universities

The country has one of the largest education systems in the world with more than 4,500 institutions. While English is the main language in the USA, you’ll have to get used to the differing academic terminology. Universities are generally known as colleges, of which there are two main types:

  • Public colleges – large, state-funded institutions that have lower tuition fees but more students. International students will pay higher fees.
  • Private colleges – smaller universities funded by private donations, tuition fees and grants. The opposite of public colleges, they have higher fees but fewer students. Overseas students pay the same fees as state residents.

Five of the top ten universities in the world are US institutions according to the QS World University Rankings 2019. These include:

  • 1st – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • 2nd – Stanford University
  • 3rd – Harvard University
  • 4th – California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • 9th – University of Chicago.

Eight institutions also make up the Ivy League, a group of prestigious colleges:

  • Brown University (Rhode Island)
  • Columbia University (New York)
  • Cornell University (New York)
  • Dartmouth College (New Hampshire)
  • Harvard University (Massachusetts)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania)
  • Princeton University (New Jersey)
  • Yale University (Connecticut)

The academic calendar is split into two semesters; fall (autumn) runs from mid-August to December, and spring runs from January to May.

Degree courses in the USA

There are two types of undergraduate degree on offer in the USA:

  • Associate degrees – take two years to complete and are usually studied at technical, community or junior colleges. Students can study for an associate qualification in a range of subjects and then transfer to a Bachelors programme to complete an additional two years of study to gain a Bachelors degree.
  • Bachelors degrees – take four years to complete. They differ from UK undergraduate degrees in that students study a variety of subjects before deciding on which to focus on, known as a ‘major’. Students may also gain a ‘minor’ qualification by completing classes in an additional subject alongside their ‘major’.

For entry onto a Bachelors degree you’ll need at least five GCSE passes and two A-levels. To ensure that your chosen university recognises your qualifications you’ll need to contact the admissions office.

Masters degrees

Known as ‘graduate degrees’ in the USA around 1,700 colleges offer programmes in a variety of subjects.

There are two types of graduate degree:

  • Academic/research – usually completed in two years (some courses may only take one). Academic graduate degrees generally lead to a career in academia or research.
  • Professional – these are designed to prepare students for particular professions. They take two years to complete.

Unlike in the UK there are no pure research graduate programmes on offer. Instead students learn through a combination of taught and research components. Students are also assessed on a more regular basis in the USA. Instead of undertaking a small number of large assessments you’ll face more frequent, smaller assessments.

Applying for a Masters degree follows a similar process to the UK. You will need a minimum of a 2:2 undergraduate degree from a recognised institution. It is worth remembering that there is no official conversion rate between UK A-level/degree results and US grades. Most institutions will have their own policy so it’s vital to get in touch before you apply.

You can search for US Masters degrees by field of study and location at International Student School Search.

PhDs

A Doctoral degree is the highest qualification that a student can achieve in the USA. They typically take four to six years to complete.

To be awarded with a PhD you’ll need to pass comprehensive examinations and produce original research, usually in the form of a dissertation.

Commonly studied subjects include anthropology, biology, education, engineering, psychology and sociology.

Student exchanges

UK students and graduates can apply for a range of exchange opportunities with the Fulbright Commission’s Fulbright Awards Programme. You can attend a US institution to pursue a postgraduate degree or lecture and conduct research in the USA.

Many UK universities are partnered with a US counterpart or are members of the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP). For example, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is an ISEP member and has partners in the USA and other countries.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.