STUDIED IN THE UNITED STATES
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FROM APPLICATION TO CAMPUS
It is not for nothing that the USA is called the "land of unlimited opportunities" - many immigrants have realized their "American Dream" and created something new in the past few centuries. So America became the unique, multicultural country that it is today. Take your chance and live your dream!
We have summarized some useful information for you so that your semester abroad or studies in the USA and all necessary preparations run smoothly.
The basis of an application for a degree in the USA is the completion of a secondary school education with a corresponding certificate of completion. Your exact grades and scores play an important role in admission and often the university checks individually whether you meet their requirements. In the United States, every university has its own admission standards, but there is a versatile approach in international comparison - the following criteria play a role:
- grade point average
- Score in the admission test (SAT, ACT)
- Essays and questionnaires as part of the application process
- List your courses from school
- volunteer work and engagement in associations during school time
- Letters of recommendation from teachers
- any language tests to be taken
The choice of university has an impact on the weighting of the individual admission criteria and the extent to which they have to be met. For example, if you apply at Harvard or at MIT, several criteria play an important role and of course your grade point average should be very high in these cases. American universities usually also check whether you are able to finance your studies. You will only receive a study permit if you can prove your solvency.
STUDENT VISA FOR THE USA
You need a visa to study in the United States. Students have three different student visas to choose from: the J visa for exchange students, the F-1 visa for academic studies, and the M-1 visa for non-academic and job-related studies. After you have applied to a university and received a confirmation, you can apply for a suitable visa using "Form I-20A-B". It is important that your university in the United States is state-accredited - this is a minimum requirement to issue a student visa. In addition, you must have taken out (foreign) health insurance. Please also note that your visa application must be paid before you are invited to the interview and your application is approved.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR THE UNITED STATES
In order to be able to pay for your studies in the USA, there are various (partly state) grants, the so-called grants. There are a large number of scholarships, but most of the scholarships are only valid for a certain period, for example for a semester abroad or for your bachelor's thesis. In any case, it is worth taking a look at the Austrian database for grants and research funding, which lists all available grants.
Another option lies directly with the American universities. Foreign students can also receive funding there. You can contact either the "Admission Officer" or the "Foreign Student Advisor" of your respective university.
Finally, you have the opportunity to get a scholarship from the "Fullbright Commission". This is basically a "carefree package" in which, for example, travel expenses, tuition fees and health insurance are paid in full. However, only a few participants are funded each year and the competition is correspondingly high.
LANGUAGE COURSE FOR STUDYING IN THE USA
The "TOEFL" (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is an internationally recognized language test for English-language university entrance and one of the entry requirements for studying in the USA. It is a unique internet-based test with four different examination disciplines (writing, speaking, reading and listening). The cost of the TOEFL is around $ 250.
FUNDING AND COSTS OF STUDYING IN THE UNITED STATES
As already explained, there is the possibility to acquire a scholarship and thus finance the study or at least cover part of the costs. In addition, while studying in the USA, it is possible to apply for the Austrian "Aid for Study Abroad" (BAS). The amount of this contribution depends on the cost of living and studying in the host country and is a maximum of 487 euros per month for the USA. In addition, a travel allowance of over 460 euros is possible. In addition to the allowance for studying abroad and reimbursement of travel expenses, the "normal" study allowance is usually paid. For more information and how to apply, you should contact the relevant student grants authority.
If everything goes smoothly with your application and enrollment in the United States, you can expect living expenses of around $ 1,000 per month during your stay in the United States (excluding tuition fees). The tuition costs are therefore between 16,000 and 46,000 US dollars per year (depending on the tuition fees). But be careful here, this calculation assumes that you live on the university campus. If you live outside the university campus ("off campus"), the costs can be much higher and vary greatly depending on the city and region.
Since you have to pay for your health costs in America and these are much higher than in Austria, it is worth taking out insurance. In addition to the financial benefits, it is imperative to take out a foreign insurance for the visa. You can find a comparison of different, inexpensive insurance policies for students here.
CAMPUS LIFE AT US UNIVERSITIES
Student life in the United States is primarily about student unions. Regardless of whether you like to play football, take part in the theater or are looking to interact with like-minded students. You can do all of this in one of the many associations. In addition to the abundance of student associations, there are "open" events such as film screenings, game evenings or competitions on the campuses. Most of these events can be found in the calendar of the relevant university and are accessible to every student!