Studying in the USA: Expectation Vs Reality

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Allaa Ashraf

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28 December, 2021

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3 mins read

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University Life

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Thanks to Hollywood movies, most people think they know what to expect from student life in the USA; however, is that true? Life is not a movie, so what you expect might not be the reality you will face. Read on to find out more about the most famous misconceptions international students have when it comes to studying in the USA.

1. Blending in is Easy-Peasy

Here is a heads up, it’s going to be a bit overwhelming at first. You won’t adjust fast to a new culture, still, don’t worry, it’ll get a lot easier when you start making friends. Your Friends will introduce you to the main holidays and cultural events that will help you blend in. Furthermore, the USA is full of immigrants with diverse cultural backgrounds, so you can find people with similar backgrounds. Therefore, make the most out of the experience and explore the culture as much as possible. It’s so much fun!

Studying in USA

2. You will Party All Day, Everyday.

We hate to break it to you, but again this is a sad myth that Hollywood movies created. You will party, yes; however, you’ll be busy with your studiesThe American lifestyle can be chill, but take it from us; grading is certainly not!

You need to work hard if you wish to get good grades. Also, some students will have to work part-time jobstoo cover their tuition fees if they’re not on a scholarship or getting financial help from their families. 

3. You’ll Determine Your Major Straight Away.

Many students believe they got it all figured out when it comes to what they are going to study. Well, let us tell you it’s going to be a bit confusing. In the first two years of college, you’ll be studying general subjects before choosing your major, and there will be plenty of choices that’ll leave you puzzled. So it’s okay if you’re clueless at first. Don’t rush; explore your options, and then make a choice!

4. Textbooks Are Easy to Get

Unfortunately, that’s not true! Textbooks are a bit expensive in the USA, but don’t worry; we’ll tell you what to do. Instead of buying expensive textbooks, there are other options, such as getting secondhand textbooks from senior students and getting them from online resources. This way, you can buy them or rent them for a lower price.

5. Switching Majors is a Difficult Task

In fact, switching majors within higher education institutions in the USA is easy. If you find yourself uncomfortable where you are, it’s easy to change it. The American education system is very flexible, and it allows students to swap majors and colleges if they change their minds, as many times as they want to. 

Speaking of flexibility, the education system in the US also allows you to take longer in graduating. You do not have to graduate in four years. You can finish college at your own pace. 

Studying in the USA Universities

6. You Need a Fortune to Get Into University in The USA

The USA has an infamous reputation for having the most expensive colleges in the world. This is partially true, but there are plenty of other colleges that are affordable in the country, like Monroe College in New York, Minnesota State University, and Western Michigan University.  The cost of studying in the USA varies greatly from one state to another and from one college to another. You just have to look well for the college that suits your budget.You’re welcome!

7. The Paperwork Process Takes Ages

Applying for a university in the USA indeed demands many papers, but the process is quite easy and fast. All you need to do is prepare the required documents such as your visa, academic transcripts, your resume, English language proficiency test, letters of recommendation, etc. 

After getting all your papers, email them to the university of your choice and follow up with them. 

We know we caught you off-guard here, deconstructing all of your myths about studying in the USA and all. Still, even without those myths, we promise you it’ll be worth your while, and you’ll have one of a kind learning experience. 


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