Requirements for Studying in the USA
According to mcat-test-centers, the U.S. universities decide autonomously on the admission requirements for studies. As a rule, they require international applicants to provide references, a résumé, and letters of recommendation and motivation.
In principle, the universities attach great importance to the formal and stylistic correctness of the documents. If you decide to study abroad in the USA, you should therefore plan enough time for your application.
Study achievements and language skills
Depending on the type of study, students must expect different admission requirements:
- Bachelor: Abitur, sometimes also technical college entrance qualification
- Associate: High school diploma plus professional training or work experience at some community colleges
- Master: Bachelor’s degree, usually also diploma and master’s degree
- Doctorate: Master’s degree, possibly also a diploma or master’s degree
Since the three-year German Bachelor’s degree is on average one year shorter than the American one, many universities require proof of the achievements made in the course. On the basis of these, they assess whether the financial statements are to be regarded as equivalent. In the case of graduate programs, too, the university decides on a case-by-case basis whether the applicant’s respective qualifications are sufficient.
To study in the USA, applicants must provide proof of sufficient English language skills in addition to their certificates. Usually this takes the form of a standardized language test such as the IELTS or TOEFL.
Additional tests can be added to some programs. The applicant’s specialist knowledge as well as the linguistic and mathematical skills are tested. These academic study aptitude tests include the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
It is easier to start the semester abroad
Compared to a full course, the application process for a semester abroad in the USA is uncomplicated. In particular, the flexible Open Semester or Study Abroad programs are characterized by simplified admission procedures. Applicants have access to almost all courses offered by the university for one to two semesters. As a rule, a university entrance qualification and sufficient knowledge of English are sufficient to be admitted to the course.
Costs and financing options USA
Studies in the USA are generally subject to a fee. Since the universities and colleges decide autonomously on the amount of the tuition fees, these vary depending on the university, place of study and course of study. The average annual tuition fee for international students is US $ 12,000 to 16,000.
The cost of living is added to the tuition fees. These also vary depending on where you live. On campus accommodation in a dormitory costs an average of US $ 1,000 per month.
How to finance a degree in the USA?
When deciding for or against studying in the USA, the cost factor plays a significant role. Fortunately, there are a number of financing options that can at least partially cover the relatively high costs:
Foreign BAföG for studying in the USA
International BAföG for a semester abroad in the USA is an attractive option for all students who do not want to complete a full degree in the United States. The international funding includes a grant of up to EUR 4,600 towards the tuition fees for a maximum of one year. In addition, grants can be added to the cost of flights and living expenses. The BAföG office of the Hamburg Student Union is responsible for all BAföG applications for the USA.
Scholarships for studying USA
Depending on the type of study, section and duration, students are entitled to various scholarships and funding programs:
- Fulbright Commission Scholarships
- Scholarships from private, church and party-affiliated foundations
- Scholarships: Scholarships from US universities for particularly good master’s and doctoral students
- Fellowships: financial support for outstanding performance at a US university
- Paid assistantships: comparable to a position as a research assistant
- Sports scholarships
- special scholarships (only) for international students
In addition, it is never wrong to research the DAAD, various foundations or American universities for further funding opportunities.
USA visa and entry requirements
For some years now, stricter security measures have been in place for entering the USA as part of a study program. German citizens can enter the country for a maximum of 90 days without a visa. However, they must have a valid, machine-readable passport, a return or onward flight ticket and an electronic entry permit (ESTA).
J visa or F visa to study in the United States
A student visa is required to study in the United States. Participants in university exchange programs and interns require the so-called J visa. However, an F-Visa is required to study at a college or university or to take a language course.
The visas do not include a work permit. Employment of up to 20 hours per week on campus is permitted. You may be able to apply for a limited work permit.
International health insurance USA and vaccination protection
Special vaccinations are not required when going to the USA. Nevertheless, it makes sense to have the standard vaccination protection refreshed and, if necessary, to be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B. It is also advisable to take out comprehensive international health insurance for the United States.