The United States of America—commonly referred to as the United States, the U.S., the USA, or America—is a constitutional federal republic comprising fifty states and a federal district. The country is situated mostly in central North America, where its forty-eight contiguous states and Washington, D.C., the capital district, lie between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south.
Land and water: 9,629,091 Km2
The United States does not have an official language; however, the majority of the population speaks English as a native language (about 82%.) The Spanish language is the second-most common language in the country, spoken by almost 30 million people. Both Spanish and English have the status of official language.
The United States dollar (sign: $; code: USD) is the unit of currency of the United States. The U.S. dollar is normally abbreviated as the dollar sign, $, or as USD or US$.
Most people are Christian (71%), although all other religions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism are freely practiced.
The Canadian dollar, denoted by CAD or C¢, is the official currency of Canada. One hundred cents (¢) add up to one Canadian dollar.
For any international student, the U.S.A. has a lot to offer: the most prestigious, top ranked education anywhere in the world, eclectic cities and beautiful natural parks, artistic, cultural, political and athletic events, and a very multicultural population.
Diversity : The land and people of the U.S.A. are incredibly varied. Wherever you choose to study, you will encounter a regional culture rich in history, local traditions and customs. The U.S.A. is a multi-racial society that is still absorbing new immigrants, which makes it a very dynamic and exciting place to experience. While students must exercise caution in a few locations, in much of the U.S.A., streets and university campuses are clean and safe.
Differences: You may be surprised at your professors’ willingness to challenge authority. Academic freedom is one of the hallmarks of a U.S. university. You will notice different perspectives on instruction. In the U.S.A., students are trained to observe and analyze a problem, then solve it. You will be expected to listen to your classmates and challenge their points of view. The goal is pragmatic, so that you will gain confidence and the ability to organize and present an argument.
Most U.S. university students live on or near the school campus. When you are studying in the U.S.A., you will have many opportunities to join planned and informal activities with other students, such as hiking, skiing, museum visits, excursions to new cities, and U.S.A. tourist attractions. Imagine visiting New York and taking a ferry to the Statue of Liberty!
U.S. higher education starts with undergraduate courses. You can earn either a two-year associate’s degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree. Students often earn an associate’s degree first, and then study two more years to gain a bachelor’s (or baccalaureate) degree. Usually, a bachelor’s degree will be awarded by a university, whereas an associate’s degree may be earned either at a community college or university.
Undergraduate degrees (and some master’s degrees) are awarded after a student completes a pre-determined number of courses. A student is awarded credits for the courses he or she takes, and the degree is complete when the student completes the required number of credits. This means that although most students complete bachelor’s degrees in four years, some spend longer if they take part-time classes or take time off from school.
Graduate degrees, often known as master’s degrees, require at least two years at a university. These are often termed “advanced professional degrees,” as they tend to be aimed at specific professions. Graduate degrees are career-advancing degrees in subjects such as medicine, law, and management. For example, a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) is the standard business graduate degree. Doctorates (PhDs) usually take four years to complete, and are research-based.
Quality: U.S. colleges are known worldwide for the quality of their facilities, resources, and faculty. Accreditation systems ensure that institutions continue to maintain these standards.
Choice: The U.S. education system is unrivaled worldwide in its variety institutions, academic and social environments, entry requirements, degree programs, and subjects.
Flexibility: One of the most distinctive features of U.S. universities and colleges is the choice of courses within a single institution. More importantly, students can move between one institution and another with relative ease. It is common to complete the first two years of a degree at one institution, usually a community college and then transfer to another.