Study in USA

The United States of America has always been the first choice for international students who come to the United States to study. The top universities in the world are a part of the Ivy League, and investing on research is a large part of the American economy.

The US provides a wide range of educational institutions for international students, and due to that, it is an extremely popular place for students from Nepal and other countries. With more than 6000 educational institutions to choose from, the US has something to offer for everyone and as such, we believe it is a great place to study.

When we plan to continue our education in another country, it’s essential to understand the education system there. The top three countries that invest in their education system are the United States, Canada and Japan. Therefore, we can assume that the United States is a quality destination for studying. The University and College system in the United States is unique with their own rules and regulations. After high school, students have the opportunity to choose from various options of study. The progression of the US education system is as follows:

Associate Degree:

Although it varies from school to school, associate degrees in the US usually take two years and offer a comprehensive education. The first two years of higher education, also known as the freshman and sophomore years can be completed either in a community college or a university. If you complete your first two years at a community college, you can then go on to your third year of your bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor’s degree:

A Bachelor’s degree is a four-year degree which is offered at both state and private universities in the United States. Private universities tend to be more expensive, as only around 20% of U.S. students attend them. Within a university, undergraduate degrees are usually either Liberal Arts or Specialized. Liberal Arts courses tend to be more generalized, whereas a Specialized degree will focus on a particular area of study. In recent years, Liberal Arts courses are becoming increasingly popular with students. You need to take either the SAT or ACT exam as a basic requirement to get into either of these undergraduate degrees.

Master’s Degree:

In the US, a graduate degree is called a postgraduate degree. A bachelor’s degree can be followed by a master’s degree, which includes either an academic or professional track. Most students who seek out a master’s degree will have to take standardized tests like the GRE or GMAT in order to get funding and scholarships. A master’s degree is usually a two-year program.

Doctoral degree:

The final degree in the US education system is the PhD. It is a postgraduate degree, and it is the highest academic degree available. Students who go on to get this degree focus more on their particular area of research than on general education. When they get their PhD, they have to produce an original piece of research, which proves their understanding in the field. Most PhD courses are funded by the state or government, but some students may have to sit for a written examination when pursuing their degree. The average course length for a PhD program is four to seven years.


There are two intakes in the US: the fall session and the spring session. The fall session is the main intake and provides students with a variety of funding options. The spring intake is focused on international students and doesn’t provide as much scholarship money.

Tuition Cost and Funding

Tuition costs can vary widely at universities and community colleges, ranging from less than $3,000 to more than $6,000 per year. Community colleges are the least expensive with an average price of around $3,000 to $5,000 per year. In comparison, undergraduate and graduate programs at universities often cost much more. Fees for private institutions are typically higher than those at state schools. While international students may face steeper tuition rates than domestic students, many universities charge the same rates for both groups. Students pursuing a PhD will be funded by the state, but there will be upfront costs and installment payments. Tuition is only paid when the university processes the visa.


Most Universities offer scholarships and fellowships which can cover either partial or full tuition. To get a scholarship, undergraduate students need to have a high SAT or ACT score in addition to a high academic score. Graduate students should have a good GRE or GMAT score.

But the funding for international students in American universities is quite liberal, as students can apply for teaching assistantship, research assistantships, or graduate assistantships. As an assistant to a professor or researcher, students are sometimes paid a salary, and some of the money can be used to pay living costs and tuition. Additionally, there may be government scholarships available.

Attending an American college is an awesome opportunity for international students. A student who wishes to study in the USA should familiarize themselves with the required documents and the visa types. With a better understanding of the visa overview, one can plan when they should start the application process. Who is the target segment: International students who want to study in the USA

The student visa in USA are of three different types:

• F1 Visa: required to study at any accredited college or university in USA
• J1 Visa: required for transfer students of any level
• M1 Visa: required for students who go for a non-academic or vocational training.

Prospective international students can apply to US universities on the F1 student visa – they are issued an I-20, and then must apply for a visa.

Documents Required for Visa

• A valid passport
• A valid I-20
• Payment of Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
• Non – immigration visa application and Form DS-160
• Photographs as requested

Addition Documents that might be asked for:

• Academic Documents
• Evidence of Funds
• Papers related to fund or grants

As you move into the interview process, be prepared for short interviews at the Embassy.

F1 Student Visa

Most international students are going to need an F-1 student visa. The process is below:

• Apply to the university of your choice through online or paper application
• Pay an application fee between $25 to $100.
• Receive an I-20
• Pay for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
• Pay for the Visa application
• Schedule a date for visa interview
• Give a visa interview at the US embassy.

The visa process can take time, so make sure you qualify before applying.

On Campus Jobs

You might be able to work as a teaching assistant, library assistant, academic department assistant, research assistant, or in other related jobs on campus. The best place to find out about openings is at your university’s career services office.

Off Campus Jobs

Giving off-campus jobs is always a good thing to do in the summer. You get to work at a lot of different places, such as retail, cafes, and hotels. Plus, international students with specialized skills are often employed by companies to do their job because they’re specialized.

Post Study Stay

In US, the option to stay behind after the completion of your course is quite limited. The most common options are as below:

Practical Training F-1 Visa:
Such visa can be granted for a period of up to one year. It provides students to get a practical training after the completion of their main course.

H-1B Visa
Such visa can be granted when the student is offered a job by a US employer, in his relevant field of studies after the completion of his course.

For an International student, the cost factor is always an essential aspect of studying abroad. Accordingly, it is important to be well aware of the cost of studying in the USA. In comparison to Australia, UK, Canada and New Zealand, USA provides generous scholarship and funding options that makes the cost of studying much more affordable. The students should consider expenses like accommodation, food, health coverage and travelling along with the tuition fees while calculating the estimated cost of studying in USA. The expenses that one needs to arrange and the overall cost of studying in the USA from Nepal will be as follows:

Tuition Fee

Though most of the universities in US will provide some sort of funding still the students need to be prepared for the cost that they might have to incur while their stay as an international student. Prominent being the tuition fee. Tuition fee will vary as per the type of institution you opt for. A community college will be much more affordable compared to State Universities. The Private universities will be the most expensive ones.

Apart from that, fee structures also vary depending of the subjects. Medicine and Engineering will be much more expensive rather than humanities or Social science. The MBA programs are perhaps the most expensive ones as there will be very limited scholarships in this area.

The fee value ranges from $3000 to $60000 per year.

Living Cost and Accommodation

The living costs of a single student in the US can be anywhere between $7000 to $ 25,000 per year depending on the city they choose to live in. Generally, the coastal areas are more expensive compared to the land locked states.

Most universities in the US offer on-campus residence to international students. In US, the on-campus housing options are much more affordable compared to living in flats and apartments.

In a rented flat, you will have to pay extra for utility bills. House rent can range between US$600 and US$ 3000 per month in average, depending on the area you choose to stay.

Student Visa Costs

For the student Visa Application, the charge is $160 which needs to be paid at a designated bank.

Health Insurance

Getting a health insurance is mandatory for all students and can cover your expense until the completion of your course. Most Universities will have their own insurance plans. This will cost anywhere in between $700 to $1000 annually.

Transportation Cost

The cost of travel can range in between $45 to $100 per month. This also depends on the city of your residence. The most common forms of transportation are trains, buses and subways.

The cost of studying in the USA can vary according to the place you choose to live in.

There are various scholarship options in the USA for international students. USA has always prioritized education and has been granting funds and scholarships quite liberally to the deserving students. Funding can be either in the form of Working Assistants, Stipends or Fellowships. Few scholarships are also provided by individuals. These scholarships are mainly provided to the students from the science faculty. Apart from the scholarships and funding that is granted by the universities, the US government, and the individuals, Nepal Government also provides different scholarships to the deserving students.

The most popular Government scholarships options in the USA that you can apply to include:

Fulbright Scholarship

This is for international students who want to apply for master’s or PhD programs. The scholarship covers tuition fee, health insurance, textbooks, airfare, and living costs. This is one of the most prestigious awards.

Humphrey Fellowship Program

This fellowship is granted to experienced professionals and is granted for a year; this program covers all expenses. You don’t get to choose a university for yourself; instead, you are assigned the most appropriate host institution as per your skills and interests.