The United States is a country that prides itself in its diversity and liberalism. Made up of 50 different states across the Americas, the US itself as it is today cannot be defined by a sole cultural identity and is instead united by the common ambition of its people–to achieve the American dream: true equality and freedom.
A place where different backgrounds, nationalities, and languages intertwine, this star spangled country has proven itself as one of the greatest driving forces of modern society. From Silicon Valley and Hollywood to Las Vegas and New York, the US has a range you can’t just find anywhere else on Earth.
One may even argue that the US is the most influential country on earth given its numerous major financial centers and success in all kinds of industries. In fact, a lot of the current world trends come from here because of the tendency of many companies to gear their products towards the US as the world’s most palpable and progressive market.
Fondly nicknamed “the Land of Opportunity” for the endless possibilities it puts forward, it is no wonder that the United States has some of the best academic and work opportunities one can imagine. In this article, we will be going over the best scholarships and grants in the United States you can avail to help make full use of the opportunities.
Living Costs in the United States for International students
The US has the largest economy and the highest GDP per capita across all territories. This economic stability draws all sorts of people worldwide into the United States. Likewise, this drives up the price of land and makes the US one of the most expensive countries to live in.
Generally, accommodation can cost $600 to $3,000+, $195 – $375 for utilities, $400 – $600 for groceries, $45 – $100 for transportation passes, and $700 to $1,100 for health insurance.
International students can expect to shell out $10,000 to $18,000 annually; although, living costs also heavily vary across different states. For example, a university student studying in Boston is expected to spend $1,500 to $3,000 per month while another would spend $800 to $1,300 on average in Philadelphia.
Can international students work in the United States?
International students are allowed to work while studying in the United States after their first year under the condition their jobs are on-campus or part of specified training programs. However, Students can also apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) if they wish to work off-campus. These jobs are capped at 20 hours per week during the school term and 40 hours per week during breaks.
Top Universities in the United States:
The US flag isn’t the only thing littered with stars. Considered the holy grail of education by many, the US is filled with nothing but the best of the best universities in the world. It is also arguably one of the best places to be an academic, what with the multiple internationally acclaimed academic institutions found here.
Amongst these include familiar names such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard, the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), Stanford, and Yale; all of which consistently in the top 1% of world university rankings and receive tens of thousands of applications every year.
Best Scholarships in the United States
1. Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program
The Fulbright Program is a series of scholarships set by the US government to help bridge the gap between US and foreign countries through enabling academic mobility. The Fulbright scholarship is widely recognized as one of the best scholarships in the United States, supporting thousands of students at a time.
Among the scholarships Fulbright offers is the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program, which accepts around 850 students from all over the globe each year. Through this program, these lucky scholars will be allowed to conduct post-doctoral research at select US universities from a semester to a year. Benefits may vary by country but this scholarship generally includes a round trip ticket to and from the US, a monthly stipend, a professional/settling-in allowance, and lab fee subsidies.
2. Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program
The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program is another government-sponsored scholarship aimed at international graduate students deemed promising enough to continue creating positive impacts and changes in their respective disciplines and local communities. This program is enacted as part of the Fulbright series of scholarships and is awarded after a rigorous five-stage selection/review process.
This scholarship in USA covers full-tuition fees from incumbent universities, accident/sickness insurance, roundtrip airfare, and books. Other special benefits of this scholarship include professional development and living allowances, as well as a one-time computer subsidy.
English language training may also be given to scholars as part of the fellowship, if necessary.
3. SMART Scholarship
Perhaps the most generous US government-sponsored scholarship yet, the SMART program is open to prospective outstanding STEM students from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US willing to accept post-graduation employment with the US Department of Defense (DoD).
This United States scholarship includes a full-tuition bursary, a stipend amounting around $25,000 to $38,000 per year, as well as health insurance and miscellaneous allowances worth $1,000 – $1,200 dispensed every academic term. SMART scholars are also given exclusive opportunities through this program which consist of summer research internships, mentorships, and immediate employment placements with the DoD upon graduation. Both graduates and undergraduates may participate in this program.
4. Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP)
The JJ/WBGSP is a scholarship offered by the World Bank to enable promising students from developing countries, such as Cambodia or Venezuela, to study in the US. Scholars may choose one of 48 programs in select U.S. universities and have their studies fully-paid for 2 years (or until the end of their courses).
Recipients of this scholarship in the United States will also be entitled to a paid round-trip airfare (with an additional $1000 travel allowance given in halves for each trip) and a monthly allowance to help with living expenses. This program will also pay for basic insurance fee costs of its scholars.
5. Knight-Hennessy Scholarship
The Knight-Hennessy Program awards scholarships to around 80 – 100 students per year, aiming to create a diverse network of international and domestic scholars and as a means of helping build and/or support a vibrant academic community within Stanford.
This program was established to promote an intercultural exchange of ideas with its top students, hoping to foster the generation of even better ideas through their exposure to foreign perspectives. Upon selection, scholars will enjoy 3 years of tuition coverage.
Scholars will also receive a living stipend intended to help them offset costs such as accommodation or academic supplies as well as a roundtrip travel grant given to scholars yearly. This scholarship in the US also includes a supplemental fund that scholars may apply for special situations.
6. AAUW International Fellowship
The AAUW is an organization created by women, for women. True to its vision of empowering women all over the globe, the AAUW offers multiple funding opportunities aimed to help realize this mission every year; one of these opportunities is the AAUW International Fellowship.
Under the condition that recipients of this United States scholarship return to and become leaders in their home countries, chosen students will be given awards amounting from $18,000 to $30,000 to help offset educational, living, travel, and/or childcare expenses as they pursue their degrees.
Recipients of this scholarship are typically businesswomen, government officials, academics, activists, artists, or scientists.
At its core, #YouAreWelcomeHere is a campaign that seeks to reassure international students that US higher institutions are safe spaces. To help spread the message, interested students are asked to write essays or create videos based on the prompt assigned for that year, as part of their applications to this United States scholarship.
The #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarships are one the most flexible programs that offer international scholarships to the US with two students being chosen in each participating partner university of that cycle. There are over 60 different universities and colleges to choose from as of now. These scholarships cover 50% of official tuition fees at incumbent universities and are renewable.