For over three generations, the USA has been the preferred destination of choice for students from India and other South Asian countries. This is no surprise considering the fact that American institutions consistently feature in the top Universities of the world. In the QS World University Rankings 2015-16, five of the top 10 Universities are American institutions. They are as follows:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - 1st position internationally
- Harvard University - 2nd position internationally
- Stanford University - 3rd position internationally
- California Institute of Technology (Caltech) - 5th position internationally
- University of Chicago - 10th position internationally
- Strong Asian community presence in the major American cities.
- The guarantee of a world-class education.
- The wide variety of research-centric science and technology courses.
- Job-oriented management courses.
- Large number of scholarships and fellowships offered by institutions and the American government.
- Part-time job opportunities while you are studying and career guidance after completion of studies.
- An American degree is highly regarded by many employers around the world.
- A vast country with varying landscape that offers a lot for the tourist and the nature-lover.
The Value of the Dollar
The USA is made up of 50 states and is one of the largest countries in the world in terms of land mass and size. The country covers different time zones and the climate varies from the freezing cold of Alaska to the pleasant tropical climate of Hawaii.
Being the world's most powerful economy, changes in the American economy dictate the global economy. Be it the Great Depression of 1929 or the latest recession, it is the American dollar that dictates terms in the modern world.
With breath-taking natural beauty from the Grand Canyon to the Niagara Falls and man-made marvels like the Statue of Liberty, The Golden Gate Bridge, Disney Land, The Smithsonian Museum, The Library of the Congress and much more; the country offers a lot for a traveller.
There are a lot of scholarships options available for Indian students as well. These scholarships will help reduce the financial burden of studying in the US.
With a fair mix of people of Caucasian, African and Asian origin; the USA is a land of opportunity that offers shelter, support and success to those who work hard and persevere. Slavery might have been abolished long back and an Afro-American may be the President of the USA; but it is an inconvenient truth that racism still exists in quite a few cities.
Overall, the people are friendly, open-minded and very frank and love speaking to others. This is unlike life in the UK, where conversation among strangers in public places is rare.
Law and Safety
Post the horrific attacks on 9/11, the law enforcement agencies have become extremely strict. It is advisable that students travel in groups for the sake of safety in numbers. It is important to keep one's official documents like passport, visa and identity cards safely. It is best to avoid any flashy jewellery and accessories. It is wise to keep your friends and local guardians informed of your travel plans.
Life as a Student in the USA
As a student in the USA, it is important that one is aware of one's rights and the local laws, which one should follow. All leading institutions conduct a 'Student Orientation Programme', which helps the student acclimatise to life in the USA.
It is best for students to stay on-campus as it offers quick access to learning resources and the company of friends. Participating in the extra-curricular activities organised by the institution allows students to make friends and gives them a chance to develop their hobbies. Most institutions have hobby-clubs and student organisations for hobbies as diverse as photography, computer games and spirituality.
Read more about student life in the US.
Research by leading educational agencies and student recruitment firms suggest that the MBA and an MS in Computers, Bio-technology and Electronics are amongst the most popular courses in the USA. Other specialised post-graduate courses in streams like medicine, cosmetic surgery, para-psychology, diabetes-research and genetics are also extremely popular.
Highly Valued Degree
With stiff competition from countries like the UK, Singapore and Australia; American institutions are going all out to woo students from Asian countries. The change in the value of the US Dollar and the poor performance of some Asian currencies are worrying factors that may lead to a decline in the number of students opting for an education in the USA.
But in spite of all this, the value of an American University education has not declined. A degree from a reputed American institute is valued highly all around the world and students who seek to impress employers should seriously consider studying in the US.