STUDY IN THE USA
The USA has the world’s largest international student population, with more than 1,000,000 students choosing to broaden their education and life experience in the United States. Nearly 5% of all students enrolled in higher-level education in the USA are international students, and the numbers are growing. From the mid-1950’s, when international student enrollment was only just reaching 35,000, international education in the USA has come a long way.
Every year, the number of international students in the US rises as more and more students choose the Unites States as the place they wanted to broaden their experience and continue their education. In fact, the US is now the most popular country for international students. Why do so many international students choose U.S. colleges and universities?
The United States is a complex and vast country made up of 50 states plus the city of Washington, D.C. – the nation’s capital – all of which have a distinct regional identity. If you are an international student planning to come to the US to study, our USA State Guide can help you prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.
Careful planning is one thing that you will have to do in order to make you time abroad a success. With so much to plan, you need to start early and use a timetable in which to do things. As with your application proces to select a school you need to make a list with everything you will need to make your time abroad easier.
As an international student coming to the United States, there are three different student visas that you could be issued: F1 Visa, J1 Visa or M1 Visa. The F1 and J1 visas allow for the possibility of employment in the US during your stay, while the M1 Visa does not. You need to be familiar with the types of visas, how they impact your financing while in the USA and how to go through the application and arrival processes.
Unlike many other countries, the United States does not provide socialized health care. It will be helpful for you to learn about the local health care system before it is actually needed. The American health care system is one of the best (and most expensive) in the world. Health care for a major accident or illness can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars; therefore, most Americans have health insurance to minimize the costs. Yet the U.S. health care system is difficult to understand, even for Americans. New and pending legislation within the federal government complicates matters even further. Quality health care is available everywhere in the country from a variety of sources. The key lies in knowing the proper procedures, and in knowing where to go for specific kinds of care. This knowledge can save an international student significant amounts of time and money. Most college and university campuses offer some type of general medical care; services vary from basic first-aid and treatment of minor ailments to sophisticated multi-doctor primary care centers offering x-rays, laboratory tests, prescription drugs and access to specialists. The cost of on-campus medical services is normally not very expensive. During your first week on campus, take a copy of your medical records (including immunization and vaccination records and prescriptions) to the school’s health care center or infirmary.
Going Off Campus for Health Care If you prefer to visit a medical practitioner off-campus, you have several choices (though the cost is generally higher). Private doctors treat non-emergency patients by appointment during regular office hours, typically 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Minor emergency clinics do not require appointments, and are usually open on weekends and holidays. In case of serious emergency, go to the nearest hospital emergency room — by ambulance if necessary.
Hospital emergency rooms are designed to treat life-threatening ailments; this is typically the most expensive place to receive care. If you need to use a medical facility, but are uncomfortable with your English skills, ask a friend to go with you. Proper communication is very important! Many colleges and universities have their own health insurance plans for their students. According to a recent independent study, larger U.S. schools tend to have better international student insurance programs than smaller schools. Participation in the plan is often mandatory, especially for non-U.S. students.