Student life in USA: Life of Indian Students in the USA

Updated on

07-02-2024

Student life in USA: Life of Indian Students in the USA

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The United States is packed with adventure and opportunities as the students have access to a diverse range of academic programs, state-of-the-art facilities, and a vibrant campus culture. Student life in USA can be challenging at the initial stages as they are bound to get affected by cultural shifts and language barriers. But, it will be a cross-cultural experience where Indian students can be benefited.

The United States is renowned for its exceptional academic standards, making it a preferred destination for students seeking top-notch education. But, apart from academics’ student Life in USA is bound by different factors. Let us explore what the US offers to international students and what students’ life in the US is likely to be.


Table of Contents

1. Academic Environment

The U.S. is home to many renowned universities and it attracts students from all around the world. The academic environment is typically diverse and offers a wide range of courses and majors. Students are allowed to customize their courses and choose subjects based on their interests.

Universities in America follow the grading system and students are advised to maintain the required GPA to keep up a strong academic status. The academic workload can be demanding, requiring strong time management and self-discipline. Faculties train students by giving assignments making sure that they gain practical knowledge in the subject.

2. Accommodation in the US

  • On-campus housing: Most universities offer on-campus housing to students where they can share a room or live in private. U.S. campuses are known for their vibrant and active social scenes. You can join clubs, student organizations, or sports teams that align with your interests. These activities provide opportunities to meet both American and international students, make friends, and engage in extracurricular pursuits. The average accommodation fee for on-campus housing is $9,800 per year at public colleges and $11,000 per year at private colleges.
     
  • Off-campus housing: Students can also opt to live off-campus. When it comes to off-campus, students opt to live in apartments or private spaces near the campus. But it is always advisable to live in shared rooms since living in a private house can be a bit expensive. The average accommodation fee for off-campus housing is $3,500 per month.

3. Social Life

Social life plays a crucial part in students’ life to have connections and to avoid feeling homesick. Living on- campus can be a great way for students to socialize and build networks. There are various events organized by colleges like orientations, sports, campus organizations, and clubs where students can be a part of and find like-minded people and make friends.

The USA also conducts various music festivals. The popular music festival happening every year based on different seasons is

Seasons Popular Music Festivals
Spring SXSW (Austin): South by Southwest is a ten days festival of films, music, and comedy held in Austin.
Coachella (Indio, CA): Famous artists like Billie Eilish perform, more than 1,00,00 people attend this festival in California every year.
Summer Lollapalooza (Chicago, IL):
Featuring some of the world’s biggest artists, more than 4,00,000 people attend this in Grand Park, Chicago.
Summerfest (Milwaukee, WI)
The Summerfest occurs often in the month of June and July, featuring more than 800+ artists.
Fall/Autumn Electric Zoo (New York, NY):
A long weekend dance festival occurring in New York that has a new dress scheme every year.
Austin City Limits (Austin, TX):
A festival that happens for two weekends featuring some of America’s biggest names in music.

Socializing can also be a great way to know about different sets of individuals and cultures. Since the US is highly famous for its sports games, participating in football and basket matches can be a great way to play as a team and strengthen relationships. In Addition, there are various sporting events conducted in the US in the following months.

  • American Football- September to February
  • NBA Basketball- October to June
  • Major League Baseball- April to October
  • US Open- August to September
  • NASCAR- February to November

4. Cultural Adjustment

Adjusting to a new country and culture can be challenging for any international student. Students may experience homesickness, cultural differences, or even a degree of reverse culture shock upon returning home.

Navigating to a new environment and seeking assistance from friends, campus resources, or family can be crucial for students who may initially struggle with adapting. It is important to cultivate patience, and open-mindedness, and actively reach out for support when needed.

5. Cost of living

The cost of living in the USA is expensive when compared to other countries and it varies depending on the locality and university. It is said that private universities charge higher tuition fees when compared to public universities.

Hence, it is essential to plan the costs and expenses before traveling to the US. Students should learn to manage household work like cooking, and cleaning and try to earn part-time to save money and sustain while studying.  Students can also research and try availing of scholarships offered by various universities to reduce the cost.

The average expenses for studying in the USA are listed below

Student Expenses Average cost in $
Accommodation $200-$350
Food $75-$125
Electricity bill $20
Internet bill $100-$300
Mobile accessories $50-$75
Stationery and textbooks $150-$200
Movie ticket $205
Clothing $100
Dining out $75
Transport $50-$100

6. Food

When it comes to food in the US, there are several restaurants and café with various options to try out. From restaurants that celebrate Indian food to vegetarian restaurants, there is literally every cuisine available for Indian Students to have a bite.

The USA is one of the cities where you can find a variety of foods for vegans and vegetarians. The city is also famous for its food trucks. Students should try having food off campus by exploring more. Some of the famous food in the USA that everyone should give a try are,

  • Thanksgiving dinner
  • The Philly cheesesteak
  • American Barbeque

7. Finances and Scholarships

Studying in the U.S. can be costly, and international students are often required to demonstrate financial stability. Scholarships and financial aid opportunities exist for international students, but competition can be intense. It's crucial to research them and explore funding options early on.

8. Work Opportunities

Students prefer to work part-time or take up internships while they are studying abroad to manage expenses and gain experience in the field. But they should be aware of the regulations followed in the US regarding students working while studying.

International students in the U.S. are typically allowed to work on campus for 20 hours per week. Some students may also be eligible for off-campus job employment through Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT) programs. These opportunities can provide valuable work experience and help with finances.  International students in the USA typically earn an hourly part-time wage ranging from $7.25 to $10 on average.

9. Language and Communication

English is the primary language used in America and many Indian Students find it difficult to follow up their accent at their initial stages. Language barriers can be a major problem for communication.

According to the study, it is said that international students isolate themselves during group activities due to the language barrier and fear of communicating with others. To deal with these students can take help from their peers and friends, and enroll in classes. Universities also help students to improve their language by conducting various language exchange programs.

Conclusion

Overall, student life in the USA offers a dynamic and enriching experience. It provides a platform for personal and intellectual growth, the opportunity to form lifelong friendships, and the chance to develop skills that will be valuable in future careers.

FAQ

1. Is the US a good place for Indian students?

The United States can be a great option for Indian students, offering a diverse range of high-quality educational institutions, extensive research opportunities, and vibrant campus life. 

2. Is the US expensive for students?

The US is considered an expensive country and the expenses are determined by the city and college you choose to study. On average the student is bound to spend around $10,000 to $18,000 per year which is $1000 to $1500 per month.

3. Is studying in the USA better than in India?

The US contains the top universities in the world and its education system is highly regarded as the best. Indian Students can definitely prefer studying in the US as it is considered the best place to study abroad.

4. What are the best universities which have the most international students?

The top 10 universities which have the most international students are:

  1. California Institute of Technology
  2. Columbia University
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  4. The New School
  5. Northeastern University
  6. Illinois Institute of Technology
  7. Carnegie Mellon University
  8. Stevens Institute of Technology
  9. Rice University
  10. Georgia Institute of Technology

5. Can I live in the USA after my studies?

Yes. International students can stay in the US after their studies if they opt for STEM OPT or OPT (Optional practical training). This program allows students to stay in the US for 3 years if it's STEM OPT or for a year if it's regular OPT.

6. Is studying in the USA difficult?

The academic workload can be demanding by colleges requiring strong time management and self-discipline. Students are advised to submit assignments within the stipulated time. Meanwhile, many students work part-time to manage their expenses.

7. What are the travel expenses in the USA?

Travel in the USA costs an average of $75-$300 per person for a day. This amount may vary depending upon the distance and mode of transport of the individual person.

About Author Sruthi Krishnan

Sruthi Krishnan, an accomplished MBA graduate with an unwavering passion for writing is a recognized expert in Study Abroad Services. With years of experience in the overseas education industry, she specializes in preparing test materials for a wide range of exams, including IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, SAT, PTE, and more. Her expertise extends to providing comprehensive guidance on crafting Statements of Purpose (SOPs), Letters of Recommendation (LORs), and various aspects of study abroad, from exam preparation to admissions procedures. She's an expert in helping study-abroad aspirants through informative articles for study destinations like Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, and more. Her passion for writing has led to the creation of numerous articles that serve as valuable resources for students making critical decisions about their international education journeys. 

Kanan International is a study abroad consultancy that offers reliable services, products, and solutions for students and education institutions. We support students throughout their study abroad journey, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Our expertise and commitment to excellence make us the go-to partner for expanding global horizons. The company provides coaching for IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, and SAT exams and services like visa consultation, accommodation, scholarship assistance, and education loans.

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