USA needs no introduction as it is one of the most popular countries both educationally and travel wise. It is talked of as the land of dream fulfillment, of cutting edge quality, of mega bucks and of life as you want it to be. The US market is home to around 4 per cent of the world 's population, approximately 273 million people. It is the fourth largest geographic area and covers 4 time zones - 6 including Alaska and Hawaii. It has an integrated and largely self-contained economy and every major industry is represented.
Geography & Climate
USA is country which enjoys a cool climate almost round the year. The USA shares its borders with Mexico in the south and Canada to the north. To the west is the Pacific Ocean, to the south, the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico; to the east, the Atlantic Ocean. The geography of the USA is hugely diverse ranging from glacier and tundra to sub-tropical forest and desert, vast plains and lofty mountain ranges.
The official currency of USA is Dollar. The symbol is US $.
USA boasts of one of the best education systems as far as higher education is concerned. No wonder it is the favorite amongst international students, especially Indians. The U.S. educational system is very different from its Indian counterpart. U.S.A. has more than 3,300 accredited Colleges and universities, which offer a wide range of graduate and undergraduate programs.
New York, California, Washington, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco.
The American culture is very forward in its views. Americans are constitutionally guaranteed freedom of worship; dominant faiths include Protestantism, Catholicism and Judaism, among others. American English encompasses a multitude of regional accents of differing degrees of intelligibility. Modern American culture is a juicy burger of mass culture garnished with 15 minutes of fame.
- Why Study in United States of America (U.S.A.)
- Type of Education in United States of America (U.S.A.)
- Living in United States of America (U.S.A.)
- Map of United States of America (U.S.A.)
Why Study in United States of America (U.S.A.)
If you have come from a country with a health-care agreement with the UK, or you are enrolled on a course for six months or more you may be able to get medical treatment on the National Health Service (NHS). Short-term students who are here for less than six months are not entitled to free medical treatment and you will have to pay for any treatment you get. Please make sure you have enough health insurance to cover your stay
Permission to work:
1. You may take part-time or holiday work but you must not:
2. Work for more than 20 hours per week during term time unless your placement is part of your studies, has the agreement of your education institution and leads to a degree or qualification awarded by a nationally recognised examining body
3. Do business, be self-employed or provide services as a professional sportsperson or entertainer
4. Work full-time in a permanent job
Student Support Services:
Most schools, Colleges and universities have special international student advisers to help with academic and personal concerns. International offices are open throughout the year, and you can seek advice and information on any subject at all. These staff are there to make you feel welcome and to help you adjust to living in the UK. At universities and many Colleges, there are student counselors available to advise on personal, financial, practical and health matters; and specialist careers advisers will discuss your career options with you and help you formulate practical plans. Most boarding schools, Colleges and universities have professional health care staff on site to advise on day-to-day health matters. Most universities have an International Students Association-or an Overseas Student Association.
Arrival and Reception in UK:
Many schools, Colleges and universities will send a representative to meet new students at the nearest airport and provide transport to the campus. Many institutions also arrange orientation programmes for new international students at the beginning of the academic session. The duration and content of these programmes vary considerably: some last only one or two days and others for a whole week. Typical elements include: a tour of the campus, an overview of the facilities and how to use them, explanations of the institution's rules, help with registering for your course, an outline of teaching methods, discussion of important aspects of life in the UK, and social events where you can meet staff and other students.
Type of Education in United States of America (U.S.A.)
Under graduate study:
State universities are founded and subsidized by U.S. state governments, to provide low-cost education to residents of that state. They may also be called public universities to distinguish them from private institutions. Some include the words "state university" in their title or include a regional element such as "eastern" or "northern." State universities tend to be very large, with enrollments of 20,000 or more students, and generally admit a wider range of students than private universities.
Private institutions are funded by a combination of endowments, tuition fees, research grants, and gifts from their alumni. Tuition fees tend to be higher at private universities than at state universities, but there is no distinction made between state and non-state residents. Colleges with a religious affiliation and single-sex Colleges are private. In general, private universities have enrollments of fewer than 20,000 students, and private Colleges may have 2,000 or fewer students on their campuses.
Provides two-year associate degree programs, usually called the associate of arts (A.A.) or associate of science (A.S.) degrees, as well as excellent technical and vocational programs. Community Colleges can be public or private institutions and are sometimes called junior Colleges or two-year Colleges. A growing number of international students are choosing to study at community Colleges. Tuition costs are often lower at two-year than at four-year institutions, and many have agreements to allow students on transfer programs to move easily into the third year of a bachelor's degree at the local state university.
Technical and Vocational Colleges
These institutions specialize in preparing students for entry into, or promotion within, the world of work. They offer certificate and other short-term programs that train students in the theory behind a specific vocation or technology, as well as in how to work with the technology. Programs usually last two years or less. There are several thousand technical and vocational Colleges across the United States, and they may be private or public institutions.
The two graduate degrees offered in the United States are the master's degree and the doctoral degree; both involve a combination of research and coursework.
Private and Public Institutions
Both public and private universities offer degree programs. Public universities may also be called state universities; state universities tend to be very large with enrollments of 20,000 or more students. Since public universities obtain a part of their support from the state in which they are located, the tuition they charge is often lower than that charged by private institutions. In addition, public institutions generally charge lower tuition to state residents (those who live and pay taxes in the state) than to students coming from outside the state. Private institutions are supported by student tuition, investment income, research contracts, and private donations. Tuition fees tend to be higher at private universities than at state universities, and they charge the same tuition to all students, both state and non-state residents. Colleges with a religious affiliation and single-sex Colleges are private. In general, private universities have enrollments of fewer than 20,000 students, and private Colleges may have 2,000 or fewer students on their campuses.
US universities offer two main semester intakes
Fall Semester (September/October):
This is the main intake and almost all programs are offered at this time. More financial aid is also available for this semester and as funds are allocated for the entire year during this time.
Spring Semester (January/February)
This is the mid-year intake. There is limited financial assistance available for this semester as most universities allocate funds to projects in the fall semester Some universities also have a summer intake around July.
Living in United States of America (U.S.A.)
Public transportation in the United States varies significantly from city to city. Several of the major U.S. cities have a dependable, comprehensive system. Others have very little public transport. Depending on where you live in relation to your College or university campus, public transportation can be the simplest, least expensive and most reliable way to get to school. If you live on campus, you may find that you rarely need to get any place that you cannot walk to; therefore, basic public transportation may be sufficient. If you plan to live off-campus and will not have access to a car, make sure you know how frequently your street or area is served by public transportation, the times of scheduled stops, and the price of travel
Cellular or Mobile Phones
Cellular phones are widely available in the United States, and most mobile phones purchased in other countries will not work in the United States.
Public ("Pay") Phones
These telephones can be found in many locations in commercial areas. Directions for making calls are printed on the telephone. You usually need to insert 35 to 50 cents to make a local call. Most telephone companies sell debit cards.
Internet and E-mail Services
At most U.S. Colleges and universities, you will be assigned, upon request, a free e-mail address. In some cases, Internet services are also free. Generally, U.S. Colleges and universities have several computer rooms where you can check your e-mail, use the Internet, or use various software programs.
Every city has a main post office, and larger cities have several full-service branch post offices and small, minimum-service substations, as well. Regular post office hours are usually from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Saturday. Substations have the same hours as the business in which they are located. Most post offices deliver mail once a day, except on Sundays and federal holidays.
Mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the south-west; low winter temperatures in the north-west in January and February.
Most students cook at home. Most cities have Indian grocery stores and Indian restaurants. Indian grocery stores offer almost all spices and grains that are necessary for Indian cooking. Several students eat at American fast-food restaurants such as Burger King, McDonalds, Taco Bell, Jack in the Box, etc. Fresh fish and seafood are widely available on the coasts and near major rivers and lakes, and a wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruit is available year-round. Americans eat a lot of fast food such as hamburgers, pizza, and fried chicken, but their diet embraces an enormous range of foods from all over the world. Staples include potatoes, pasta, breads, and rice prepared with a variety of sauces.
The basic unit of exchange in the United States is the dollar ($), which is divided into 100 cents (¢). One dollar is commonly written as $1 or $1.00. There are four denominations of commonly used coins: 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, and 25 cents. Paper money (often called bills: for example, a "one-dollar bill") comes in single-bill denominations of one dollar ($1.00), two dollars ($2.00, but these are rare), five dollars ($5.00), ten dollars ($10.00), twenty dollars ($20.00), fifty dollars ($50.00), and one hundred dollars ($100.00).
During your stay in the United States, you may wish to do a little touring. The US has a lot to offer the international visitor. Tourist season runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. During the off-season, the attractions won't be as crowded and hotels won't be as full. However, some attractions, such as amusement parks, shut down when school is in session. Some of the more popular attractions include:
- Niagara Falls
- The Smithsonian Institution
- Disney World
- The Grand Canyon
- Yellowstone National Park
- Mt. Rushmore
- Statue of Liberty
- Boston Fenway Park
- Maine Lobster
- Mall of America
- Florida Everglades
There are also several cities worth visiting for their abundance of museums, culture, events, attractions, and history.
The hours of operation depend on the store, and can vary significantly from city to city. Most stores will open between 9:00 and 10:00 am and close at 5:00 or 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Some stores will open as early as 8:00 am and some will close as late as 9:00 or 10:00 pm. Some stores will be open on Saturday. A smaller number of stores will be open on Sunday. Large grocery store chains are usually open 24 hours a day, except possibly on Sunday. Some pharmacies will also be open 24 hours. Supermarkets are large grocery stores, often part of a chain of stores. It is generally less expensive to shop in a supermarket than in a small local grocery, and the selection is larger. The major department store chains are Sears, Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, Kohls, and JC Penney.
You will find many cultural activities on a university campus. Events such as plays, concerts, films, lectures, and art exhibitions are advertised in school publications and on bulletin boards on campus. If the university is located in or near a metropolitan area, you will find many more opportunities advertised in the entertainment and arts section of the city's newspaper.