usa states

5 Things to Consider When Selecting Your USA Study Destination 


Shriya Gupta, an Indian student currently studying abroad in the USA lists 5 things that she considers really important when selecting your study destination in the USA:

Shriya Gupta Indian studentDeciding where in America to study is probably one of the most significant decisions you’ll ever make. It’ll determine your new home for the next four years. I remember chalking up a mental list of my reasons for picking a university. At that time I was pretty certain that my list was comprehensive. However, in retrospect, there are definite changes I would like to go back and make. One key one being that despite popular belief, a college’s ranking can’t be the sole factor to base your decision on. So let’s get to it!

One of the most important factors is the SIZE of the university. Colleges in the United States vary greatly on how large or small their student body is. Even though this may seem arbitrary before arriving, the size of the student body ties into how well you’ll fit in. It’s directly related to your student-teacher ratio, how many people you might get to know around campus and how comfortable you’ll feel based on how big or small the high school/town you’re coming from is!

Another factor to consider is the WEATHER! Looking back, I remember how inconsequential I thought the weather was. However ultimately coming from India to Philadelphia shocked me as I had gone from ‘never seen snow’ to  ‘living in snow for more than half a year’! It was a very new and hard adjustment and will be for most students planning to study on the East Coast. Therefore weather should be more than just an after thought!

The next most important thing is the SETTING of the college. You want to think about how ‘urban’ or ‘rural’ it is. Do you like being cut off from the city in a hidden scenic spot or are you all about the hustle-bustle? The setting of the college should overlap with your personality and wants! This factor usually correlates with the size of the university as well. So take a minute and think about where you see yourself being most comfortable and flourishing.

Your decision to go study in America as an international student is going to take you away from home to a new place. Even though this is your chance to explore a different part of the world and meet varied people, you should keep in mind that having a piece of home with you is always comforting. Thus my fourth factor is, DIVERSITY. You should pick a school, which will value and respect your different background and culture. It should be a place where you’re proud to be international. Relying on this will ensure that you always have people to celebrate your culture with so that you feel like you belong.

The last factor I have picked is PASSION. This ties into what you want out of your college experience. Are you looking for a school that excels at research? Or do you want to play varsity football? Each college in America offers a great variety to their student body. Where does your interest lie on this spectrum? Pick a college where you can see yourself joining extra-curricular and excelling at the specific courses they offer.

Know that the opportunities are endless! Be true to yourself and don’t limit your choice based on a list of ratings. The place you pick will be your home for the next 4 years so do your best and choose your new home wisely!

For more information on studying in the USA, see our United States study destination page.