One of the main attractions of living in the U.S. is its diversity - from the people and cultures, to the climates and landscapes between different states.
It's so big and varied that you're bound to find a place where you fit in. And it's also home to some of the best educational institutions in the world, so it's a great place to study.
But before you start packing your bags, find out how to prepare and what to expect from studying in the U.S..
Jump straight to:
You might have already settled on what you want to study.
But if not, here's a quick list of some of your options in the U.S.:
Whether you choose to study at a community college, a university, or elsewhere, deciding on the state you'll study in is a key step.
Because of the size of the U.S., there's a lot of variation, both geographically and culturally, between different states.
For example, you'll find some of the best colleges in New York along with the attraction of busy city life, but a much cooler climate compared to the West coast or the southern states - and probably a lot less space.
While it's important to choose an institution that meets your educational needs, don't forget to consider the lifestyle in that area.
Remember - to get your visa, your institution will need to be Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified. You can search for qualifying schools on the Homeland Security website.
The application process will vary depending on the program you're applying for. But it's always good to plan as far in advance as possible.
Most undergraduate degree applications, for example, are due between November and January for courses starting in September - at least 9 months in advance.
Depending on your course, you might need to provide the following for your application:
If you're attending a college, you can usually choose between on-campus accommodation (dorms) or private accommodation (private homes and homestays).
Student housing can be a great way to meet people. But towards the later years of your studies, you might choose to find private accommodation with a few close friends.
Check passport requirements before you leave to ensure your passport remains valid.
To get your visa, you'll need to prove that you can afford to live in the U.S. while you study.
Here's a list of things you may need to include in your budget:
The more you can save before you go, the better.
Try to build up an emergency fund in case of any unexpected costs, such as having to make an emergency trip home.
You'll likely use a checking account for your daily banking, such as paying for things and receiving and sending money.
But it can be difficult to open a U.S. bank account as a non-resident - you'll probably be asked for proof of ID, proof of income, your address, and your Social Security Number (SSN), which you might not have yet.
At HSBC, we can set up your banking services before you arrive in the U.S.[@internationalaccountseligibility], making it easier to pay for your tuition fees, housing and other expenses as soon as you get there.
Explore: Our financial products and resources for students
Depending on where you live, you might notice a lot of cultural differences between your home country and the U.S..
The good thing is that American culture is everywhere - from movies to music, and global American brands you'll recognise from back home.
Here are a couple of essential snippets of U.S. culture to get you going:
Explore: Our guide to moving to the U.S.