What makes the US a preferred study destination for International Students?

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    Shahid Baig

    Content Curator

    The USA is one of the top destinations to attract international students from all around the world. Around 1.08 million international students get admitted to the top universities in the USA. More than 4000 courses and universities in the U.S.A provides children with world-class education. 

    Along with the quality education, USA has emerged as a leader in Research and Innovation in the world. Home to the 7 of the top 10 universities in the world, USA offers world-class higher education to students from every corner of the world.

    Education System in the U.S.A

    US Education system is known for its flexibility. Students studying in us are not limited to a rigid coursework. From Admission cycles to the types of institutions to choose from, the US education system provides flexible options in everything. This is one of the greatest reasons why many international students come to study in the U.S.A. 

    US universities offer admissions to students three times a year. Students who couldn’t take admissions in the fall semester can catch up the same year by taking admission in the spring semester. Also, the 3 types of institutions i.e. 4-year Public Universities, 4-4year private universities, and Community colleges offer a plethora of choices to students.

    Students can choose from any of the 3 institutions considering different factors without compromising on the equality of education.

    Students earn credits in each semester and these credits can be transferred from one institution to another. Many students take admission into community colleges and transfer to 4-year universities after completing 2 years of their education.

    Also every year more than a million students from Non-US institutions transfer to US universities owing to the flexible credit transfer system in the US.

    Home to the Best Universities in the World

    The USA houses some of the best universities in the world. According to QS world ranking, world’s top 4 universities are MIT, Harvard University, Stanford University, and Caltech. Ranking all the universities on the basis of 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators, Times Higher Education includes 7 USA universities in its top 10 universities in the world.

    These universities are ranked in the Top 10 on the basis of the Five major performance indicators:

    • Teaching (the learning environment)
    • Research (volume, income, and reputation)
    • Citations (research influence)
    • International outlook (staff, students, and research)
    • Industry income (knowledge transfer)

    The USA has a good number of universities in the world’s top 10 universities in the following field:

    Fields No. of universities
    Engineering and Technology 4
    Medicine 6
    Business management 5
    Architecture 3

    Study in the U.S.A- A world leader in Research and Innovation

    The USA is the no.1 research and development Centre in the world. It has devoted the largest amount of human and financial resources to the research and development department. According to the Research and Development Statistics Report, USA had spent 464,324 million dollars in R&D.

    USA spends 2.73% of its GDP on research and development projects opening millions of research-based career pathways for international students.

    Not only the US government but the US universities and private firms also spend large sums on research projects to inculcate the habit of innovation in the students and Employees. According to the National Science Foundation data, U.S. universities and private institutions spent 22 billion dollars on research and innovation in the year 2015. The test requirements to study in the U.S.A especially the ones for research courses are not so easy to crack. 

    Study in the U.S.A: Wide Variety of Courses

    USA universities offer the widest range of courses to international students. Be it Bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. degrees from 4- year universities or Associate degrees and certificate programs from Community colleges, USA education system has it in all sorts.

    Top Undergraduate Majors in the USA

    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Economics

    Top Graduate majors in the USA

    • Computer Science
    • Embedded Systems
    • Wireless communications
    • Power Engineering
    • Management Information Systems

    Top Associate Degrees in the USA

    There are 3 types of Associate degrees offered in the USA. Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science.

    • Associate of Science in Aeronautics
    • Associate of Science in Radiation Therapy
    • Associate of Science in Computer science

    Study in the U.S.A: Witness Cultural Diversity 

    Out of the 4.6 million international students studying in countries other than their home country, 1.1 million students study in the USA. Students from all around the pursue higher education in the USA. This makes the USA the most culturally diverse nation in the world. Inspite of knowing the fact that the visa to study in the U.S.A is not easy to procure, it still remains the most preffered study abroad destination. 

    The US states with most numbers of international students are California, New York, and Texas. One in three international students studied in these 3 States.(see Table 1). Other major states that host international students include Massachusetts, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. California is home to about 15 percent of international students.

    Cultural diversity in the USA is evident from the following table

    Country origin of students No. of students % of total international students
    China 3,51,000 32.5
    India 1,86,000 17.3
    South Korea 59,000 5.4
    Saudi Arabia 53,000 4.9
    Canada 27,000 2.5
    Vietnam 22,000 2.1
    Taiwan 22,000 2.0

    Post-degree Opportunities for International students

    For international students there are multiple options post degree completion in the U.S.A.  F1 Visa students can pursue Optional Practical Training. Under this training, graduate students can specialize in a particular field and work in the USA for the next 12 months under the permittance of USCIS.

    According to Institute of International Education, 175,000 international students opted for optional practical training in the year 2017.


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