The USA has the world’s largest international student population, with more than 1,000,000 students choosing to broaden their education and life experience in the United States. Nearly 5% of all students enrolled in higher-level education in the USA are international students, and the numbers are growing. From the mid-1950’s, when international student enrollment was only just reaching 35,000, international education in the USA has come a long way.

The USA is one of the most coveted study destinations of the world with the plethora of universities that offer globally reputed degrees in all fields of study. The nation offers favourable living conditions, an excellent education system, advanced research programs, a lively living environment and exceptional career options to international students.

The USA has an established, high-quality tertiary education system. The USA boasts an impressive seven out of the world’s top 10 universities according to the 2013/2014 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In fact, 76 of the top 200 universities are based in the USA.

A degree obtained from a university of USA is recognized worldwide. Graduates from the USA are highly sought after owing to the exemplary global reputation of the American education system.

While the United States remains the most sought-after destination for education for international students, the cost of education in the USA varies from one state to another, the type of university chosen and the course of study.

Universities in the USA are majorly divided into two categories – Public/State institutions and Private institutions. The education cost at a Public/State institution is comparatively lower than that of a Private institution. There are a number of scholarships offered by the USA government, states as well as the Private universities to international students that helps them save a great amount on their study expense at US universities. Tuition will be the most expensive component of your educational costs. The price of tuition can range from $10,000 to $55,000 (USD) per year.

Most campuses offer a meal plan for students to allow dining in the on-campus facilities. These plans are offered at many different levels to accommodate individual budgets. Most campuses also require students to pay for medical insurance to allow them to utilize on-campus medical facilities for check-ups, basic testing and prescriptions for common illnesses (for example, head cold, fever, etc). This insurance typically runs under $1,000 per year.

Accommodation costs will depend on personal preferences and the city you reside in. For example, staying on campus will usually cost you more than staying off campus. Undergraduate (bachelor degree) students in some universities may be required to stay on campus for the first year which may considerably increase the cost of living. Whether you decide to stay alone or live with friends will also affect your costs.

Accommodation will typically range from $3,000 to $8,000 per year. If you decide to rent an apartment, remember that extra costs such as electricity, phone line, furniture, and travel costs to and from the university are your responsibility.

Other costs to budget for are fees for student activities, which amount to a few hundred dollars per year and reference books, which can cost between $500 and $1,500 per year.