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The basics
THE USA: Destination Guides

Why study in America?

Find out why America is one of the world’s most popular study abroad destinations in the world

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A global leader in technology, media, business and economic development, the USA welcomes increasing amounts of international students each year. In fact, the US attracts 1.1 million international students which is 24% of all students choosing to study abroad.


Thinking of studying in the US? Let our overview of why you should consider studying in America help you decide.


Quality of education

Who can pretend they’ve never heard of HarvardMITColumbia or Yale? Most top American universities are household names all around the world.



American education consistently scores highly in international rankings and quality surveys. For example, 25 out of the world’s top 50 universities are based in the US (Times Higher Education World Ranking 2020). The California Institute of Technology sits in 2nd place in the world for its overall score and Stanford University sits comfortably in 4th. US universities took 7 out of the top 10 places, reflecting America’s dominance and prestigious reputation within higher education. The US also placed 1st in the 2019 Universitas 21 survey, based on resources, policy environment, international links and research.  


Students at American universities have the option to undertake studies across UndergraduatePostgraduateVocational and Doctorate levels, in virtually any subject area or professional field. 


General education model

American undergraduate study programmes are based on the general education model, which means that students are required to meet basic academic standards across a range of general study areas such as writing, reading and numerical literacy. Students will take subjects not necessarily related to their field of specialisation, creating graduates who are more broadly educated and have a wider range of critical skills.


Students will complete a Bachelor’s Degree in a general area of study, such as arts or science, within which they need to nominate an area of specialisation known as their ‘major.’ You will always have the option to change your major, provided you meet the credit requirements of your study programme. This freedom to choose and engage with different areas of interest opens up a range of possibilities to students and enables them to develop supplementary skills to give them a unique edge in the ever-competitive employment market.


This education model also takes pressure off students in determining a path they’d like to pursue professionally until they’ve gained some academic maturity and have a better sense of their strengths and weaknesses.


Scholarships, bursaries, awards and everything else

Do your research into the kinds of scholarships, bursaries and any other kind of financial aid available to you. There are many avenues for you to apply for one, with an association, with your government, with the institution itself and even approach a company (of course for these, you would be bonded to the company for a minimum of 3-5 years). Don’t just limit yourself to a specific type of scholarship, apply for all that you qualify for. The search doesn’t stop once you’ve gained admission into the institution, there are bursaries and awards given out to students who do well each semester, aim for those as well.


Understanding American culture

It’s no secret that American culture has keenly influenced pop culture, social attitudes and values worldwide. Besides the global prevalence of Hollywood and brands such as McDonald’s and Gap, the very existence of the term ‘Americanisation’ only underscores just how widespread and influential ideas of American culture really are.


Whether in pursuit of the unique US college experience or seeking to verify what’s been seen on television, it makes perfect sense for students to flock Stateside to experience American culture for themselves.  In doing so, students will develop a unique international perspective, and be better positioned to understand the world around them in a much more complex way. Not to mention that they’ll be able to dispel a number of cultural misconceptions about America through their own personal experiences.



Graduate prospects

With a spectrum of job opportunities available across virtually any sector, many American cities are key international hubs in most professional fields, including media and communications, business, finance, economics and research. The US is known as a global economic superpower, with a number of key exports such as electronics, vehicles, aircraft and chemicals. The nation’s media sector is also the world’s most established, with American media outlets, film and television industries enjoying a global audience and being keenly influential in global cultural and social trends. The US is also the world’s largest economy and as of September 2019, the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 per cent which is the lowest it’s been for the past 50 years.


An international education is a key asset to any graduate’s CV, demonstrating skills of initiative, adaptability and academic aptitude to employers. American tertiary qualifications are highly regarded worldwide and will without a doubt give you a unique international edge in the eyes of any employer.


So much to see

So, you’ve probably seen a lot of America from watching Hollywood films, especially cities like New York and Chicago. You may have even visited these places while on holiday. But have you wondered what it’s like to actually live in these famous cities as a student? You’ll have a lot more time to explore and find cool places to eat, drink, shop and be entertained which tourists don’t know about – these are the places only the locals will know! That’s not to say you shouldn’t see famous sights like the Statue of Liberty or the White House; in fact, they could become a part of your journey to class each day – just imagine!

Many extremes

America is a very large country which means there is a lot to experience but also a spectrum of attitudes and beliefs. This makes America a very complex country even if you feel like you’ve seen it all in films and television shows. For example, California is known for being progressive and liberal, while Nashville is considered rather conservative and traditional; meanwhile the music, food and ways of life will also be completely different. So, while it might feel like you know a lot about the States, there’s always more to uncover.


Now that you’re inspired to pursue your studies in America, why not start browsing courses now?


Read more:

The US higher education system... simplified

Tuition fees in the USA

Study in the USA


'Study in the USA' eBook

Enjoy what you’ve read? We’ve condensed the above popular topics about studying in the USA into one handy digital book.

Get your eBook

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