Target USA: Important Things to Know

Sep 2015

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America! The land of opportunity, initiators of Rock n Roll, home for the Woodstock, is today home for people from all around the globe. With above 2.8 million Indians living in USA, it has also become the second best home for us Indians. Even though, these 2.8 million Indians constitute roughly 1% of the American population, this is still a huge number. To put things in perspective, there are more than 15 countries in the world with a population lesser than the number of Indians in USA. So, if you enroll in an American University, don’t get surprised to find some of your classmates talking about tandoori chicken in a recently acquired accent.




Boasting the Ivy Leagues and seven universities in the world top ten list, America has become the most preferred study destination in the world. The liberal and modern education system of the United States is tempting Indian students, just like the Pied Piper of Hamlin. Indians are the second largest international students in America with more than 1 lakh enrollments every year. America is the most preferred abroad study destination for Indians, followed by United Kingdom and Canada. The number of Indian students is expected to rise even further due to motivating examples of Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai. So, who wants to be the next Nadella or Pichai? If you are aspiring to walk in the footsteps of these personalities and pursue education in America, there are 5 things you must know about American education system:

5 Things You Should Know Before Selecting American Education

1. Types of Universities in America

Just like we have two types of colleges or universities in India; private and government, even USA has State colleges or Universities and Private Colleges or Universities. The state schools are run by the local or state government while their counterparts are privately run. Every American State has at least one State University and many Private Universities. Although the education standard is almost similar, there is a stark difference in the tuition fees. The fees in the State Universities is generally lesser than the private institutions. Find below the top 5 State and Private Universities in America

Top State Universities

  • University of California, ​Berkeley
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • University of North Carolina, ​Chapel Hill

Top Private Universities

  • Princeton University, New Jersey
  • California Institute of Technology, California
  • Williams College, Massachusetts
  • Harvard University, Massachusetts
  • Wellesley College, Massachusetts


2. Credit System

Unlike the syllabus pattern in India, where the student has to gulp down the whole course at one go, the Credit System in USA breaks the course in certain number of credits. Generally, the number of credits is equivalent to the number of hours dedicated to the course every week. Mostly the credits for the course vary from 3 to 5 and it also denotes the difficulty or importance of the course. The full time courses in most of the universities is covered in 12 to 15 credits which cover four or 5 courses in every term. Every student has to earn a minimum number of credit to graduate.


3. Fees

The tuition fees in US Universities defer on the basis of several factors like location, course and type of university. However, the biggest factor is whether the college is private or state run. All universities have different tuition fees it varies according to the selected course. The fees generally varies from 10,000 dollars to 35,000 dollars annually. However, the cost of the program cannot be considered as a benchmark for the quality of education. The following table can give you a brief idea about the tuition fees:

University Type

Average Tuition Fees
(annual in U.S. Dollars)

Private Institutions (High Cost)

$ 35,000

Private Institutions (Low Cost)

$ 18,000

State Institutions (High Cost)

$ 25,000

State Institutions (Low Cost)

$ 12,000


4. On Campus Jobs

If you are still converting the above figures into rupees equivalent and finding it a bit intimidating, the education system in USA allows you earn while you learn. Most of the international students find these jobs very supporting and it generally helps them cover their expenses other than the tuition fees. As the name suggests, in these jobs, you work part time inside the university campus. Full time international students are allowed to work for maximum 20 hours per week during the term. However, you are allowed to work full time for 40 hours per week in summers. On campus jobs generally cover works like library duty, cafeteria work, lab assistance, etc. and can pay anywhere between 7 to 12 dollars per hour.


5. Accommodation

Finding the most fitting shelter is one of the biggest hassles faced by international students in USA. Generally, the universities helps the students by sending a detailed dossier regarding available accommodation options for students. To give you a brief idea, following are the accommodation options for students:

  • On Campus Dormitories: Most colleges have dormitory facility inside the campus which can be availed by applying with the administration. These are generally in close proximity to the classrooms, libraries and the cafeterias. The cost may and may not be included in the course fees.
  • Off Campus Apartments: If the University you selected doesn’t have a dorm or it is already occupied, you can look for off campus accommodation. The colleges assist the student in finding these apartments and also roommates to share the rent. This is generally costlier than on campus dorms.

American Universities are very focused towards the students’ convenience and go extra mile to ensure a productive atmosphere. There are special offices created for international students and the counselors help you with your academic as well as Personal problems. American education system is the perfect launch pad to propel you towards your ambitions. Now that you know the 5 important things, strengthen your seat belts and stride towards the American dream of success and prosperity.


iDC is focused on helping students choose a career in which their potential is maximized. In case you are confused about U.S.A as a study destination, please post your queries here: SUBMIT          


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