A Guide to Studying in the US for International Students

Student Visa Requirements

If you want to study at a university or academic institution in the United States, you must apply for an F-1 visa, which allows you to travel to the country to study.

The SEVIS I-901 Fee (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) is $180.00 when applying for an F-1 visa to study in the United States. When applying for an F-1 visa, you must provide proof of payment for this.

A valid passport with at least six months validity left (with the exception of UK passports) is also necessary, as is an I-20A-B Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, which is part of the application for an F-1 visa.

You will also be expected to supply information on previously issued US visas, as well as declare whether you have ever been arrested, warned, or convicted; or if you have ever been deported or denied entry into the United States.


There are numerous on-campus and off-campus housing alternatives available to students in the United States, and it is usual practice for colleges to provide information about where to reside in their orientation packs for overseas students.

Many American institutions provide on-campus housing for overseas students, allowing them to be closer to classrooms, cafeterias, and other vital services and facilities they will need to study.

If you do not want to live on campus, you can take advantage of the possibilities for off-campus housing. Most American institutions have departments that will assist you in finding housing and accommodation prior to your study.

For students under the age of 18, there is also the option of a homestay, which places students in a family home within 45 minutes of your study location, which may be a perfect choice for individuals who are apprehensive about living alone in a new country.


Applying to University in the USA

Applying to universities in the United States, which can be done through a variety of application services such as the Universal College Application, Coalition Application, or Common Application. These are the most convenient ways to apply to multiple institutions at once, but you can also apply to specific universities directly.

You will be asked to take a SAT before being accepted to authenticate your level of knowledge. Some of your qualifications may be relevant or transferable, but you must contact each university to find out if you need to take the test.

There are two types of degrees available: an associate’s degree, which is a two-year program, and a complete degree, which is a four-year program. It is feasible to earn an associate’s degree and then transfer to another school to finish further coursework to earn a bachelor’s degree.


Tuition Fees and Finance

Tuition fees in the United States vary depending on whether you study publicly or privately, as well as whether you are a resident of the state in which the university is located (which you almost certainly will not be as an international student). Even for US citizens, in-state students pay far less than out-of-state students.

Tuition rates vary depending on where you study and the curriculum you select; two-year associate’s degrees are normally approximately $3,300 and above, while four-year degrees range from $24,000 to $33,000 depending on the institution you apply to.

Because America has a strong scholarship culture, the majority of full-time undergraduate students will not be paying anywhere near the listed tuition fees, with many universities offering generous support packages to ensure that if you meet the requirements to study, money will not be an issue.

If you are unable to obtain financial aid, you may apply for a student loan. There are various companies that provide student loans, and you should evaluate interest rates and repayment schedules, as many of them require an American citizen to be a guarantor for your loan.



Although English is the major language spoken throughout the United States, there are parts in the south, particularly in border states near Mexico, where Spanish is equally as widespread as a second or even first language in some situations.

Most institutions in these southern states will have facilities to accommodate Spanish-speaking students, with many even having bilingual signs.

There are also locations in the southern United States, particularly around Louisiana and New Orleans, where French is widely spoken as a result of ancient colonial ties following the American Civil War. This isn’t as common as Spanish, although it may be encountered on a daily basis in these locations.



Because American culture is heavily impacted by different cultures from Europe, Africa, and the South American continent, it is impossible to isolate any one culture as a centralized point of reference. There will be a rich cultural heritage in the region of the United States you choose to study, including art, music, cuisine, literature, and more, with something to appeal to everyone.

Religion is important in many states, and the separation of church and state is still being implemented in many parts of the country. Christianity and Judaism are the most common religions encountered, but Hinduism and Islamism are becoming more prevalent.

The United States has a large sporting culture, with major events in American Football, Baseball, Basketball, and, in the northern areas, Ice Hockey developing a festival-like atmosphere.

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