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As an international student looking for a university in the United States, you might be wondering how to choose where to apply. There are many universities to choose from, and you want to pick the one that is right for you. Asking the right questions can help you find your dream university. Before you apply, visit the school’s website or talk to an education counselor to get the answers to these six important questions.

Does the school have the major I want?

This is one of the most important questions to ask. You might be interested in a school because the name is familiar or because someone you know went there. However, to be a good choice, the university must offer the program of study you want. Review the school’s website and talk to an education counselor to understand what programs are available at the university you’re considering.

What kind of support is offered to international students?

You want to attend a university that understands the needs of international students like you. Find out what support services are offered for international students. Are there career services, special clubs, organizations, and counselors who can help guide you when you’re not sure what to do? Attending a school that has a good support system for international students will make your time at college more pleasant.

Where is the school?

The United States is a large country and different areas of the country offer different environments. A university in Florida might be close to beaches while one in Vermont might be close to ski slopes. Some universities in California have both nearby. Is the school in the middle of a big city, out in the country, or in a small town? Where would you be most comfortable living? If you can’t visit the school in person, go to the school’s website to understand where it is located.

How big is the school?

A big college means you’ll have more majors to choose from, more activities to get involved with, and more people to make friends with. It also means you’ll be surrounded by more people, classes might be larger, and it may take you longer to walk across campus. Find out how many students attend the school and how many students you can expect to see in each class. Decide whether you would be more comfortable at a big school or a small school.

How much does it cost?

The price of earning a degree in the United States depends on what school you choose. Private schools tend to be more expensive, while public schools are usually less expensive. Within each category the cost of tuition, books, lodging, food, and other essentials is different from school to school. Make sure you know how much your education will cost and whether you can afford to attend.

Where will I live, eat, and study?

Talk to current students and review the school’s website to understand what your daily life will be like. Do you have to live on campus or can you choose to live off campus? What types of meal plans are offered? Is there a place near campus where you can get your favorite foods? Finally, where will you study? What kind of libraries, study rooms, and social spaces does the school have? If you can imagine yourself studying and socializing at the university, you know you’ve found a good fit.

Choosing your best fit

Every school has qualities that make it unique. With the answers to these questions, you can compare different universities to find your dream school. Start your search by connecting with an education counselor who can help you answer these questions and more. Find a counselor.