1. EXCELLENT ACADEMICS
The USA is known for its finest higher education globally, especially in technology. US degrees are considered the most prestigious and are accepted worldwide.
2. HIGH-QUALITY RESEARCH
For students passionate about research, the USA is the best choice. There are many opportunities in all fields where students gain practical experience. The USA government public and private corporate sectors help and fund students who research and excel in academics. Students often receive scholarships, stipends, and living expenses while researching their respective fields.
3. FLEXIBILITY IN COURSE CURRICULUM
Based on the students’ interests, other than their area of study, they have an option to choose courses (often referred to as ‘electives’) in other subject areas. As the selection of the course offerings varies from university to university, the students have a chance to ‘cross-register’ or choose the courses at a different university as a part of their degree program.
4. FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
In some situations, the international students are financially assisted by the universities in teaching and research assistantships. These are based on the student’s academic performance rather than their financial needs. Students are also given benefits like stipends and sometimes partial or full tuition fees as waivers. Students who perform exceptionally well in their study area may be offered the full course fee for free. Students also have the opportunity to receive loans and scholarships from various organizations.
5. ON-CAMPUS WORK OPPORTUNITIES
Most colleges/universities allow international students to work on-campus as their part-timers. Students on F-1 visas can work on-campus up to 20 hours a week during course time and up to 40 hours a week in their vacation, semester holidays, and summertime. Students are paid an hourly rate (approximately ranging from USD 8.00 – USD 15.00) depending on the role of the job, and these earnings help them cover their living expenses. Most students are placed in jobs based on their experience, financial need, and personal/communication skills. For example, a student with good English speaking and communication skills may be placed at a university library. Someone with a lifeguard certification may be placed at the campus Aquatic Center.
Students can work as interns in their respective academic fields/areas in small companies to large organizations during the course and vacation time. These internships are considered the best and most valuable part of students’ academics, which help them gain practical experience during course time. Most universities also offer academic credits for the internship experience.
7. JOB OPPORTUNITIES/PROFESSIONAL TRAINING
After graduation, international students can work full-time for one year in their respective fields to gain practical experience. As of 2008, students in certain subject areas can extend this up to 17 months. This extension of the program is called Optional Practical Training (OPT). Many talented students are hired as permanent employees when they finish their OPT program by getting a sponsorship from their employers for an H-1 visa. The H-1B visa is a temporary work permit visa given to foreign nationals to work in specialized areas like Software, Teaching, Marketing, Engineering, Marketing, etc. The international students have a chance to continue their jobs without leaving the country (USA) after this status change approval.
8. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AFFAIRS OFFICES
Most of the colleges/universities in the USA have international student affairs offices with advisors who provide extraordinary support to international students. They advise choosing the right course/university, academic advice, and immigration bureaucracy and getting the most out of their educational experience. In addition to all these, they host events and workshops that help international students meet other students, get involved in campus life, and gain international exposure.
9. CULTURAL EXCHANGE
Apart from education, international students can learn, interact and know different things from other students who come from different countries. They also get an opportunity to know about diverse cultures, religions, economic and ethnic backgrounds. This experience will help international students get global exposure and become true global citizens.
The USA offers a high-quality education that is valued anywhere in the world. A student’s success always depends on the amount of dedication and hard work shown in their academics. The variety of skills and cross-cultural environment can make a great and unique learning experience.