There are many benefits to studying in the US, but don’t just take our word for it! Each summer we survey UK students before they go over. Here are the top reasons they tell us they’ve chosen to study in the US.
1. Choose from the wide range of universities on offer: There are over 1,700 US universities offering postgraduate degrees. With each offering its own areas of specialisation, reputation and faculty expertise, there is bound to be one that is a great fit for you!
2. Take advantage of funding opportunities, such as the Fulbright Awards and university assistantships: Many students are able to fund their studies through university assistantships, by which students complete 15-20 hours per week of teaching or research in exchange for generous funding packages. Thousands of external funding bodies, such as the Fulbright Awards, also offer competitive funding for postgraduate study and research.
3. Gain teaching and research experience alongside your studies: With roughly $45 billion spent annually on research at US universities, many students have the opportunity to complete research projects with professors. Additionally, many university assistantships schemes include teaching undergraduates even from the first year of study. Both opportunities can help you gain the experience you need to begin a career in academia or industry after your studies.
4. Internationalise and strengthen your CV: When the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) surveyed 230 major UK recruiters in July 2007, one in three employers valued job applicants with international study experience, while 65% of employers favoured applicants with overseas work experience. International students in the US have the opportunity to gain work experience during their studies and to work in the US for up to one year after graduation on the Optional Practical Training scheme. Students in the sciences and engineering can work for up to two years.
5. Have the flexibility to explore your academic interests: US degree programmes, even at the postgraduate level, are often quite flexible, allowing you to create an academic experience that meets your interests by selecting a concentration within your field, choosing electives in or outside of your department, attending or presenting at professional conferences, co-authoring papers with faculty, etc. Teaching and collaboration between classmates and professors are also priorities.
6. Travel in the US, learn about another culture and experience American college life: The US spans six time zones and has a great diversity in geography and culture. Long university summer holidays and programmes organised by the international student’s office, such as holiday trips and host family schemes, offer students a great opportunity to see the US. Additionally, international students are often interested in getting involved in the literally hundreds of campus sports, clubs and organisations on offer at a US university.