Studying OverseasStudying Overseas

What to consider when studying abroad in the US

From amazing coastlines and breathtaking mountains, to exciting cities and quaint rural areas, there really is something for everyone in the U.S. So it's no wonder that many students opt to study abroad in America to take advantage of an opportunity to explore and meet new people.

Taking the time to do some research in advance will make everything from filling out your application to applying for scholarships much easier, with fewer surprises along the way. Key considerations include:

  • How much it costs to study abroad in the US
  • How to save money as a student living overseas
  • What to see while you're abroad and
  • How to apply to a university in the US

How much does it cost to study in the USA for international students?

If you're an undergrad student at a private four-year college, you might need a yearly budget of $51,000 USD to cover everything.1 However, the type of program that you enroll in, and the caliber of school that you plan to attend, will influence how much it will cost to study abroad in the U.S.

For example, a public four-year college might cost, on average, almost $21,000 USD annually when you factor in tuition and fees, as well as room and board. On the other hand, a private, non-for-profit four-year college might cost, on average, nearly $47,000 USD per year for tuition, fees, and room and board.1

Public college Average price of $21,000 USD annually
Private non-for-profit college Average $47,000 USD annually

And let's not forget that there are other living expenses that come with being on your own in another country. It's important to include these additional costs in your budget.

Tip: Use OFX's handy currency charts to see how your home currency will convert into U.S. dollars, and to gain a clearer perspective on just how much money you’ll need to fund your studies abroad.

Students on the grass

How to save money while studying in the United States

Don't let the cost of education dissuade you from following your dream of studying in the States. Although the government of the United States might not provide assistance in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans to international students, you could ask the university that you're currently attending to point you in the direction of assistance programs.

Grants and scholarships

You can also contact the U.S. school that you're planning on attending to ask their international admissions office about financial aid options. There might be grants and scholarships that you qualify for, and these might be offered by businesses, non-profits, and private foundations, as well as schools.

Transfer tuition using an international money transfer provider

In addition to financial aid, there are other smart ways to save money by leading a frugal lifestyle and implementing smart strategies. One such strategy involves using OFX, an international money transfer service, to transfer funds from your home bank account to your school's account. This is an efficient and secure way to pay your tuition and fees on time.

Things to do while studying abroad in the United States

There are a host of benefits that come with studying abroad, many of which extend beyond the classroom. For example, the U.S. has its own holidays, such as Thanksgiving and the 4th of July, that you can celebrate while studying there. These alone are great opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture and festivities of the country.

Another one of the best things about the U.S. is that it's such a big country, with so many ways to explore everything from natural spaces and big cities, to amusement parks, museums, and sports arenas. Take it all in while you can by making plans with friends to see as much as possible, even if you have to go on a short road trip to see a special place.

New York

How to apply for overseas study in the United States

What are the requirements to study in the U.S.? Well, first off, there are many colleges and universities to choose from throughout the country, many of which are considered top schools for students pursuing a variety of degrees.

Compare programs

You can begin by comparing schools based on the programs that they have to offer, where they're located, and how much they cost.

Narrow down your choices by searching for colleges and universities that are certified as Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) schools.

Then, once you've found a school that you're interested in, and they accept international students, you can submit the application for enrollment.

Read the application requirements

Different schools might have different application requirements, so be sure to read through the information carefully to ensure you submit all of the necessary documents.

For example, you might have to submit information on your academic coursework and degrees. You might also need to complete one or more standardized tests, as well as what's known as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Once you receive your scores for these tests, you can add them to your application.

Register for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVP)

After you've been accepted by a school that's SEVP approved, register for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, also known as SEVIS. At this point, you'll be charged a SEVIS I-901 fee. Also, the school will give you form I-20, which you can use to apply for your student visa.

Apply for a student visa

Next, it's time to apply for your student visa to reside in the U.S. There are two types of student visas, known as an M visa and an F visa. No matter what, you'll need Form I-20 for your interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate when applying for your visa.

What's the difference between F and M student visas? Basically, if you're planning on attending a college, university, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory, or other academic institution (including language training programs), you'd need an F visa. On the other hand, you'd need an M visa if you're planning on attending a vocational or other nonacademic institution (other than language training programs).2

After filling out Form DS-160 online and uploading a photo, you'll be able to schedule your interview and pay the appropriate application fee.

Then, gather all of the necessary documentation that you'll need for your interview. This might include things like your passport, transcripts, test scores, and information on how you'll cover the costs of your education, travel, and living in the U.S.

Studying abroad in the U.S. can be a thrill!

From New York to Los Angeles and everywhere in between, the United States can be a wonderful place to grow as a student. Regardless of where you choose to study in the USA, by taking advantage of top study abroad programs for college students, you'll be able to live, learn, and make memories in an unforgettable place.

Sources:
1. https://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/student-finance/how-much-does-it-cost-study-us

2. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/student-visa.html

3. https://www.usa.gov/study-in-US

4. https://idc.edu/10-things-must-studying-abroad-us/

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