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International Students How to Choose a U.S. College or University

How To Choose a U.S. College For International Students

International Student with student loan cosigner

Choosing a college or university is not an easy choice for anyone, let alone an international student looking for one in the United States.

  • Your choice of university will determine the education you get, the degree you receive, and where you will be spending most of your time for the next few years learning, working, and living.
  • This is not an easy decision to make and it should not be made impulsively.

What Factors Should I Consider?

One factor you should consider first is your ability to read, speak, and understand English. In the United States, English is predominant language and almost everyone and everything you will encounter will be in English. You will need these skills for every aspect of life in the United States, not only school. If you come from an English speaking country, then this will not be much of an adjustment for you. If you just started learning English recently, this may be difficult at first but after some time, you will start to get the hang of it. One suggestion to help with the language barrier is to find a university that has a strong community of people who speak your native language. Not only can they offer a connection to home if you get homesick, but they can also help progress your understanding of the English language.

Another aspect to look at when choosing a university is its rankings. There are a wide variety of rankings out there. A good place to start looking at rankings is US News. They have rankings for almost every major United States University and their different programs and majors. Rankings offer a way to help narrow down your list of perspective universities, but be aware that they do not offer the whole picture. We suggest doing your own research to go along with whatever rankings you may find.

Something else to consider when choosing a university is what the campus life will be like. This goes beyond academics. While it may seem odd to an international student, a big part of campus life in the United States is sports. Basketball and football are the most popular college sports, but there is a team for everything, from swimming to soccer (known as football in most other countries). Other things to consider are restaurants, nightlife, outdoor activities, and different clubs and organizations you can join to help promote a cause you are interested in or something that is just a hobby to you.

You also will want to consider the future that the university you choose can set you up for. This is especially important for international students. For example, on most university websites and their respective program homepages, you can find information on what kind of jobs and in what fields their graduates typically go to and their average starting salaries. Another thing to consider are the job, internship, and research opportunities available to international students both on campus and in the surrounding towns and cities to that university.

It is also important to note where the university is geographically and the size of the student population. For example, if you cannot stand the cold or snow, then you should avoid universities in colder areas, like the northeast. If you would rather go to a university where the campus is in a city rather than where the campus is the entire town, that is something else to consider. It all depends on your comfort level and where you can see yourself succeeding the most.

Finally, arguably one of the most important factors to consider for an international student choosing a United States university is the cost. This includes not only tuition, but also living expenses. This is by no means cheap, so it is important to assess your financial situation and find a place where you can study and live that fits your personal financial situation. Nomad Credit can help you find international student loan options.

At Nomad Credit, we know that studying abroad in the United States can be expensive. If you have any questions about questions or concerns about expenses and/or funding your study in the U.S. please visit us at We’d be happy to help you search and compare options for education loans or study loans, too. Please send us an email at if you have any questions! We are happy to help.




John Romanucci

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