More than seven hundred twenty-three thousand international students from more than two hundred countries around the world come to the United States to pursue a higher education each year. Approximately half enter undergraduate programs, with the rest seeking a graduate or professional education. 5% come from Africa, 58% from Asia, 14% from Europe, 10% from Latin America, 7% from the Middle East, and 5% from Canada. The countries with the greatest number of international students studying in the US are: India (14%), China (11%), South Korea (9%), Japan (7%), Canada (5%), Taiwan (5%), Mexico (2%), Turkey (2%), Germany (2%), Thailand (2%), Britain (1%), Indonesia (1%), Brazil (1%), Colombia (1%), Hong Kong (1%), Kenya (1%), France (1%), Nigeria (1%), Pakistan (1%), Malaysia (1%), Russia (1%).
The US educational experience is among the best in the world. Many US colleges and universities are known throughout the world for the quality of their academic programs. Private institutions such as Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Cornell, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and public institutions such as Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Univ. of California at Berkeley, Univ. of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Univ. of Wisconsin at Madison, and Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are familiar to students, educators, and business leaders everywhere. In addition to the more well-known institutions, the US has hundreds of other high quality public and private colleges and universities. The depth and breadth of your options will amaze you.
You will find that a US higher education adds considerable value to your professional development. A US education can enhance your career and prepare you for leadership in your country. It can broaden your horizons and expose you to a variety of perspectives, the latest technology, and state-of-the-art research and training. A degree from a US college or university is a stamp of excellence that marks you for life.
If you are a graduate student, a US education can help you make contacts with colleagues in the US. This may lead to collaborations with leading international researchers after you return to your home country. Even undergraduate students will find a solid network of support because the US is a “melting pot” of many cultures and there are more international students in the US than in any other country. So you will get help not just from the foreign student advisor, but also from people in the local community.
With the large number and variety of colleges and universities in the US, you are certain to find one that matches your needs and interests, no matter what your criteria.
On the other hand, a US education is extremely expensive. Financial aid is very limited. You may be able to obtain similar training in your own country at a much lower cost. The US visa application process is complicated and cumbersome, with numerous delays. You will have to balance the costs against the prestige and quality of a US education.