Posted on November 8, 2021
#studyabroad2022 #USuniversities #studentlife101 

Studying abroad is a dream for a significant number of students worldwide. When choosing a country, students are well-advised to consider every factor related to the quality of education and life they'll find in their destination. Inevitably, one country stands above all others when receiving international students: the United States of America. For a long time, the USA has been at the top of study abroad rankings due to its incredibly high academic prestige and welcoming environment for international students. 

According to Boundless, more than one million international students study in the USA, making up 5.5% of the country's total student body. If you're about to join this diverse student community, here is how you can make the best of your time in the USA.

Start the process early

Preparation with the help of Apps 

If you want to study abroad, it's never too early to start preparing. The process of researching programs, preparing your documentation and finances, and filling out applications is a long one, and it shouldn't be overlooked or left to the last minute. The ideal approach is to start looking into your options at least one year or three semesters before your intended starting date. With this approach, you can ensure you have given the proper attention to every step of the process and avoid any last-minute rush.

Put your effort into research

There is no such thing as "too much information" on the programs you're interested in. When choosing a study abroad destination, you need to consider location, program length, university infrastructure, faculty, cost of living, cultural fit, and many other factors. Start researching as early as possible and explore every bit of information you can find on your programs of interest. 

Reaching out to the admissions office and department administration is a great way to ask any questions you may still have after reading through the university's website. And don't hesitate to find other students and alumni on LinkedIn and other social media to connect and ask about their experiences on the program - their insights will give you a detailed understanding of what life in a specific university looks like.

Look into financial aid options

look into finance early

Higher education isn't cheap - especially for international students. As well as tuition costs, students need to factor in travel and living expenses and extra documentation and visa procedures that may result in additional incidentals. Luckily, there are countless scholarships and other funding opportunities available at U.S. universities. Reading through the financial aid page on your university of interest is the first and most crucial step to understanding what kind of financial assistance will be available to you. 

Embrace the challenges

Pursuing a degree in a university is a challenge in and of itself. Doing it in another country, with culture and perhaps even a language entirely different from your own, will be an even more daring experience. When you land in a foreign country, you are challenged every step of the way. Everything will be new, from navigating the city to figuring out transportation to engaging with the locals to connecting with your colleagues on campus. Embrace the challenges and enjoy the adventures of your time abroad!

Document your experience

Your experience abroad will be unforgettable - that doesn't mean you shouldn't document as much as possible. Take pictures on nights out with your new friends, make videos of your home and surroundings, write about your days and how you feel. Once you get back home, even a short video of a trip to your local supermarket can spark fond memories and make you look back to your life in the U.S.

Invest in your future

invest in yourself

University life in the USA is full of professional development and networking opportunities. Be sure to make the most of events such as career fairs, symposiums, and conferences - they are great ways of meeting people in your field and possibly connecting with faculty and professionals with an opportunity for someone just like you. The connections you make while abroad can render you a chance to return for a more advanced degree or a position in an international company.

Enjoy a world-class education

The USA has some of the finest universities in the world. Besides institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, and Harvard University -- three of the five best institutions in 2022 according to the Q.S. University Rankings -- the USA has many other universities with intense academic rigour that provide excellent higher education. The quality of education promoted by the U.S. is nearly unmatched, and a degree from an American university will be a significant accomplishment in your career.

Master your English

One of the best advantages of living in a foreign country is learning a new language and developing your fluency during your stay. You will constantly interact with locals and practise your English in informal, casual environments and professional, academic situations. At the end of your stay in the U.S., you will have improved your listening, speaking, writing, and listening skills and developed a perfect mastery of the English language.

Travel around the USA

If you're already in a foreign country, you might as well take the chance to be a tourist and go sightseeing. There will be no shortage of beautiful places for you to see, and researching the best destinations close to you is an excellent way of taking advantage of your weekends. 

If you want to take longer trips and spend a few days in the country's best tourist destinations, or if you're going on a fun road trip, the summer break is the best time to go travelling with your friends! But don't forget to plan -- budget accordingly and make sure not to leave any coursework unfinished! 

Enjoy the vibrant campus life

As the most popular study abroad destination globally, the USA has an incredibly diverse academic environment. Universities across the country welcome students from different cultures and ethnicities and provide them with plenty of opportunities for integration. 

Besides academic excellence, American universities are known for their lively campuses and variety of extracurricular activities. It doesn't matter if you're into sports, theater, music, literature, or cooking -- you will indeed find your place in a group that shares your interests.

Have fun!

When in Rome Eat Like the Romans

When you're in university, your focus should always be on your education. But that doesn't mean you won't have time to enjoy yourself! Whether you're in New York City or a small rural town, there will be a lot to do and see during your stay. 

Make sure to explore the nightlife, try the different cuisine, and engage in the local culture. You will probably make friends with many other international students, so take the time to bask in the new culture and share new experiences with your new friends!

Ultimately, studying abroad isn't just another impressive bullet point to add to your resume. It's a life experience you will carry forever. What you learn during your study abroad time goes well beyond the walls of your campus - you will become part of a different culture, you will make friends for life, and you will learn to see the world in a different light

Speaking about his experience in the country, one former international student Cristian Fabiano says, that he now speaks English more than he speaks Italian. He has friends from all around the world and has traveled so much that he could never get enough of it. And he can proudly say that his American experience was one for the books and would highly recommend other fellow students to spread their wings and be brave.

How Can Amber Help You?

Amber is an international student accommodation booking platform that is devoted to giving you the best experience and option for student accommodation. They have upgraded continuously with the COVID policies and would be more than eager to assist you in finding the best home away from home.

With only one click, book a perfect place to stay anywhere in the world at Amber.

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