Education in the United States
The US education system is rightfully regarded as one of the best in the world, particularly at the university and postgraduate levels. From small rural public schools to the top-ranked Ivy League universities, the number of choices in schools, locations and programs is immense.
Numerous language centers and schools, particularly in large cities, provide the opportunity to improve English with native teachers in a resource-rich environment that provides extra support as needed. Students in these programs generally advance much faster in their language skills due to the immersive nature of the courses. University prep is also offered alongside these language courses in some locations, helping students prepare for study at US universities.
High school graduates who would like to study in the US have multiple options, and all of them provide an education superior to what might be found in many other countries. Though public and private four-year universities are the most well known, other options include community colleges and technical schools that offer associate’s degrees, diplomas and certificates.
Postgraduate studies also include a wide variety of pathways, including postgraduate diplomas, master’s degrees and doctorates. In all cases, applicants must have completed a four-year undergraduate degree in order to be accepted into a postgraduate program. Most postgraduate diplomas and master’s degrees can be completed in one and a half to two years, while doctorate programs can take significantly longer.
Cost of Studying
Over 4,500 accredited institutions offer undergraduate options in the US, providing a huge number of choices to fit every pathway and every budget. Additionally, there are thousands of other language schools and prep schools that allow international students to study in an immersive English-language environment at a reasonable cost.
A wide range of scholarships are available to students applying to US universities, and many of them are targeted toward international students. These scholarships vary in amount, but can offset some of the costs of studying abroad.
Part-time employment opportunities
Students who enter the US on a F-1 visa have a number of options in working part-time. The easiest of these is to seek employment at the school that you are attending. However, other options include specific positions related to the type of study or program in which you are enrolled, positions that are a part of the curriculum, or working with international organizations such as the United Nations or Asian Development Bank. In all cases the number of work hours is limited during study periods.
Access to discounts
International students studying in the US are eligible to receive their own international student identity cards (ISIC). These cards provide discounts to select cultural sites, hotels, airlines, buses, restaurants and more. A full list is available on the ISIC website. Additionally, most US universities issue their own ID cards that provide discounts and other benefits at their local businesses.
Employment Prospects in the US
Qualifications from US institutions are among the most sought after in the world. Studying in the US will provide you with opportunities not only in Thailand, but also abroad, and immersion in American culture helps develop new skills and frame new ways of thinking.
These skills are highly desired by employers around the world, and you can increase your chances of future employment not only by studying in the US, but also building a network of friends and professional connections. Combined with the By studying and living in the UK, the home of English, you will be immersed in the language and have the opportunity to improve your communication skills. Many professional bodies and employers may require evidence of your English language skills.
During your studies
Though employment options as an international student are limited, you still have the opportunity to work at your school or acquire a position directly related to your degree. In each case you will be limited to 20 hours per week. However, there are no limitations on unpaid volunteer or internship positions, both of which can add valuable experience to your résumé.
As in the UK, most universities and educational institutions in the US have a dedicated careers center that can advise students on all aspects of gaining employment during and after their studies.
For information on employment prospects, career tips and advice, visit the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
Health and Safety in the US
Unlike most other Western countries, the US does not have a national health care system that provides insurance for international students. However, at least in the case of universities, many institutions will require international students to enroll in their own health plans. This will provide basic coverage, but it can vary from school to school.
Several private companies cater specifically to international students in the US and can provide a range of affordable plans.
Almost every US institution has a student support services department, and most four-year universities also maintain an international students office that can provide support through counseling, employment or internship advising, and tutoring. Many of these offices also help international students network with one another through social activities.
Health and wellbeing on campus
The rigorous legal requirements for educational institutions in the US ensures that students are learning in safe environments. Facilities are excellent, and employment policies ensure that all staff are professionals. University campuses in particular are extremely well-resourced compared to many of their international counterparts. Even universities that are located in city centers have large campuses, green areas and sports facilities that rival professional facilities in other countries.
Student safety is considered a highly important element of study in the US, and all universities provide private security in addition to support from local law enforcement.