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Study Abroad in the United States: A Guide for International Students

University of California Berkeley, Extension - Berkeley Global

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UC Berkeley is a top research university known for its excellent academic quality. Berkeley Global provides short term non-degree study abroad experiences for international students and professionals looking to advance their academic and professional goals. 

The United States is huge. Its size, its culture and its influence in the world are all gigantic. The state of Alaska alone is about the size of Western Europe. It’s also by far the largest Anglophone country in the world. This makes the United States the ideal place to study abroad.

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Summarizing the United States can be tricky. From the beating urban hubs of New York, Miami, Boston and Los Angeles, to the vast, wide open plains and peaks of Montana, to the volcanoes and hidden valleys of Hawaii, there’s just so much to see, do and experience. It’s this versatility that makes it the perfect place to study, regardless of what your major is, or your interests are. The diversity of the United States also adds to it. The country has a long history of immigration – and this makes its more than 330 million inhabitants one of the most diverse populations in the world.

The United States is made up of fifty states, plus the District of Columbia. Each state has its own unique character, traits and sights and sounds to explore. As well as influences from all over the world, the States stretch from the Atlantic, to the Pacific, to the Gulf of Mexico – an entire continent of adventure in just one country. 

United States - Quick facts & figures


Washington, D.C.




331 million

Area Size


International Students

1.1 million

Academic Year

September - June


US Dollar ($)

Calling Code


Time Zones

GMT-5 - GMT-10

washington dc

The United States consistently ranks high in the top 10 places to study abroad, especially when it comes to access to higher quality teaching. The American higher education system also allows you to explore your interests as it lets you earn qualifications through amassing credits from standalone courses, as well as by following set programs. You can do this at some of the best schools in the world, including; MIT, Harvard, Yale, UCLA and Columbia. These are but a handful of the world-leading schools in the United States.

The United States is also home to highly-specialized technical schools. For example, you can study arctic science in Alaska, seed agriculture (plant production) in Wyoming or astronautical engineering in Florida. 

Whatever you’re hoping to get out of your time spent studying abroad, the US is sure to have something to meet your needs and whet your appetite.

Why study abroad in the US? Check out this interview with Swedish student, Sofia, who studied abroad in the U.S.


Student Ambassador in the United States

Delia is an Student Ambassador from Kazakhstan. Follow her on Instagram to find out what it's like to study in the United States! 

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Education System

Want to learn about how the higher education system works in the United States? The USA is a popular destination for students around the world given its diverse range of programs, friendly citizens and its culture and history. Find out more about the structure of the education system in the United States!

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Student Visas

Do you need a visa to enter the United States to study? Learn more about the student visa process, and what you need to enter the country, depending on your citizen status. You will also be required to bring certain documents with you to passport control at the airport in order to gain entry into the country.

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Housing & Living Costs

Depending on where you study, the United States can be a very affordable country compared to other popular study abroad destinations. We’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you will be paying as a student in the United States.

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Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for American programs vary greatly based on the school and degree program. International students usually pay a different fee than U.S. citizens. However, there are also plenty of scholarships available specifically for international students.

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Language & Culture

American culture has been popularized around the world! From famous movies and TV shows to internationally successful companies and brands, the United States has a lot to offer. Find out more about what the country offers in terms of language, culture, cuisine, and more!

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Meet the English Requirements

Make sure you're ready to start studying abroad in the United States. American schools will normally want to see evidence of your English-language abilities. The TOEFL iBT® test is accepted by all American schools and is even the preferred test by 9 out of 10 American universities. Find out more about the TOEFL iBT test and how it can help you.

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Application Process

All countries have specific admissions requirements for students to enter their universities. Learn more about the ins and outs of admission to programs in the United States, and what you need to apply.

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Ready to look at education in the United States? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in the United States today!

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Last update: 30 Mar 2022

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Study a Bachelor’s in the USA Scholarship

We’re offering one undergraduate scholarship of up to $5,000 to help cover your tuition fees and get you one step closer to your next great adventure. The scholarship will be awarded for the Fall 2022 semester onwards. Applications are now open!

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