In order to have a
profitable time during your time in the U.S. you need to be in the right place.
Just because you get into a U.S. college/university does not mean you'll be
happy there. Explore your options before you enroll in any specific program.
Consider the following things when trying to find a program of study.
Just because a school has a tuition cost that is higher than the
average home mortgage does not mean its the best school out there. Nor does the
school's name mean anything, a highly reputed school may not have as much
quality in its programs as a less reputed school Quality is determined by more
than just cost and reputation.
To determine the quality of an institution take a look at its:
Class size: smaller classes
mean you'll receive more individualized attention.
Class format: are all
classes taught in a lecture setting, or are smaller seminars and discussion
Opportunities: are there
service learning opportunities, undergraduate research programs, and an honors
Selectivity in enrollment:
is the institution nonselective ("open enrollment"), selective,
competitive, or highly competitive?
Department size: how large
is the department you are interested in studying in? Sure you may be going to a
fantastic school, but if your a computer science major what good does it do you
if the arts program is big?
The quality of an institution will help you determine if its
programs are worth the price they're charging. With tuition costs ranging from
$2,000 to over $25,000 per year you need to make sure that you're willing to pay
the price they're asking.
While there is an enormous availability of scholarships and
other forms of financial aid, these programs aren't always open to international
students and you may have trouble paying a $25,000 tuition bill every
Another consideration is that in addition to tuition you will
also have living expenses. These will significantly vary from one place to next.
Check into the cost of living in a school's surrounding area.
If your English is less than proficient you may want to select a
school that offers an English as a second language (ESL) program before the main
school year begins.
Where the school is located may be very important to you when
you consider the vast difference in climate from state-to-state. You may have
two equally good schools to choose from but if one is in Northern California and
the other is in Southern California you may want to pick the one with the
climate you'd be more comfortable with.