If you intend to study in the United States, you must first enroll in an American university or higher education institution. There are basic requirements to register in an American school or university: a good level in your field of study is mandatory.
- the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT) to assess students level in English and mathematics
- the Graduate Record Examination for students enrolling in master's or PhD
- the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) for students enrolling in MBA
- the TOEFL to assess your level in English, unless you register in an English course
Evidence of sufficient funds to pay for tuition fees and to maintain yourself in the country during your study stay is compulsory.
Selection is tough among applicants and a cover letter is required in order to consolidate one’s application. The university or host institution must issue a document certifying both one’s eligibility for training and the conformity of the application so that the applicant can proceed with the student visa application at the embassy or consulate of the United States in his/her country of residence.
Visa F-1: designed for students wishing to study full time in an American university or higher education institution.
Note: you cannot work with an F-1 visa in your first year of study. However, you may file an employment authorization application the following year (Form I-765 - Application for Employment Authorization);
Visa J-1: designed for both students wishing to enroll in artistic or cultural studies and students undertaking internships in the United States;
Visa M-1: designed for students wishing to enroll in technical or specialized studies. Visa extensions are granted at a rate of one additional month for each period of 4 months of studies.
Applying to an American university is competitive and institutions usually receive application from more prospecting students than they can accept.
Find out what's required
Universities and college in the USA each set their own admissions requirement. Contact the register or administrations office at each institution to find out exactly what's required in their application package. Most American university or college offer this informations online and usually have a special website section for international student admissions requirements.
Know when to apply
It's good to prepare your application early. Generally, international students should apply to a US Institution up to eight month in advance of the expected date. However, many universities and colleges have "rollling-admissions" which means that they consider international students' applications as they come in throughout the year.