The international student life in USA

The student life in the USA is an incredibly unique experience, especially when compared to the experience you might have in a country like the UK or Canada.

Learn about the student life in Canada here.

Student Culture in the United States

American culture is vast and diverse. Moreover, it is influenced by all parts of the world through the large immigrant population. Many universities in the USA have their own sports teams, concert venues, and activities that help the student to be integrated into his/her new life better than following any guidebook.

Support for graduate students

American universities are very aware of the struggle new students face in adapting to their new surroundings. Being that, there are many ways through which they seek to provide help. You can expect a wide range of services and events to enhance your life as a graduate student in a new city.

From student guidebook to free transportation services and group sports. Indeed, there are always ways you can integrate into campus lifestyle and reduce any stress you may have. On the other hand, if you have a problem more relevant to your academic work, professors are usually present and available to talk to students after the courses.

You will often be asked toengage in a conversation, which is a great opportunity to resolve any concernsyou have about your performance in the course. Furthermore, you will always receivesome advice from experts.

Differences inside classrooms

At the post-graduate level,studying in the United States is likely to be more practical than internationalstudents may have in their home countries. As an illustration, some graduatesare surprised that they must conduct a significant amount of independent studyto reach the level of knowledge expected at the beginning of the post-graduatecourse.

In the class, graduatestudents are encouraged to participate in discussions at every opportunity. Likewise,lectures tend more to take the form of conversation, rather than monologue. Thisaims to build a competitive advantage, as well as train students to formulatearguments and defend their opinions.

Norms and behavior

Because there are multiple states in USA, norms, customs and values may differ from state to state. For this reason, some areas may be liberal and creative, while others are more conservative and pragmatic. Generally, Americans respect different cultures. They often use slang or comic words to express their feelings.

Food in the United States

American cuisine is as diverse as its inhabitants, and it differs from one state to another. However, it’s a mixture of European and Native American cuisine. Nevertheless, you can still find any type of cuisine in any state in America. 

International students can usually find products in a wide range of states in most big cities and towns. In most states, there are plenty of restaurants serving their special dishes, whether it’s a Chicago-style pizza or a Texas taco grill. 

On-campus restaurants feature dishes to suit a variety of tastes. For example, restaurant menus in John’s Hopkins University feature Canadian barbecues, Indian style breakfasts, and Turkish style. Among the most famous foods in America are hamburgers, hot dogs and apple pies.

When it comes to the costs, crispy chicken meals are normally priced at $7 or $8. On the other hand, the price of inexpensive restaurant meals range from $12 to $13. The price of drinking and sparkling water ranges from $1 to $3.

Learn more in our overview of the living and study cost in the US.

Student accommodation in the United States

There are three options for student accommodation in the USA:

On-Campus Accommodation

This type of accommodation includes a shared room or apartment as part of student housing. Admittedly, this option may be slightly more expensive. However, it gives you the opportunity to interact with other students. Also included as part of On-Campus accommodation are University restaurant meals.

Off-Campus Accommodation

This option is usually the least expensive. You would need to rent an off-campus apartment or room that is either private or shared. Newcomer centers will usually give you all the information you need for off-campus student life in USA.

Homestay Accommodation

Only a limited number of universities offer this type of accommodation. Living with an American family is more expensive in comparison to Off-Campus accommodation. However, it gives you a sense of family life. As a result, you’ll feel less alienated and more at home. In other words, it’ll make it easier for you to immerse yourself in American society and culture.

For more information also read Student accommodation in the USA

The majority of first-year students at American universities live on campus. These rooms are often basic and may have shared kitchens or bathrooms. They may also be mixed.

Besides, the cost of student accommodation in the United States varies greatly from state to state. There may be cheaper alternatives available in the private rental market.

Most campuses in the US universities are located in the city’s separate areas. Basically, they have dormitories where university students (and sometimes graduates) can live. These dormitories are small communities where you can meet other people attending the university, as well as enjoy special activities with people in your residence hall.

Cost of studying in USA

The average cost of living in the United States is ranging between $1,000 and $1,500 per month, depending on the state where you’re studying. On the other hand, grocery cost ranges from $20 to $40 per week. As for utility bills, they are ranging between $50 and $100 per month. Basically, a meal at an average restaurant would cost $12, and a movie ticket would cost $11.

You can learn about the best affordable cities for international students in USA

Working Part-Time as an International Student

  • As mentioned before as one of the reasons why you should study in America, international students have the right to work in the U.S. While studying, you can work up to 20 hours per week. During the holidays, the number increases to 40 per week. You can make approximately $9 to $15 an hour depending on the nature of your job.
  • During your first academic year, you will be limited to On-Campus jobs. For example, you can work at labs, libraries, gyms and university restaurants.
  • If you can commit to working 10-15 hours a week, that will be enough to cover personal costs.
  • After your first year, you can work as a newcomer’s housing assistant. In other words, you’ll be helping newcomers from all around the world with housing and any student life queries in the US.
  • Being a housing assistant will grant you free accommodation and a humble salary.

Health and Government Support in America

  • The World Health Organization reports that the American government spends more on healthcare than any other.
  • By U.S. laws, international students have the right to benefit from health insurance while studying.
  • Spending the night at the hospital could cost $1000+. You can cut costs by joining the university health insurance program.
  • In some cases, universities may not offer a health insurance program. In that case, you can visit an international insurance agency. You should note that registering will vary depending on your personal capabilities.

You can find some examples of health insurance programs at the American University in Washington. 

See also:

How to prepare for student life in USA,

Advantages of studying in the United States.

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