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Country Guides
Study in the US

As the home of over 150 universities in the QS World University Rankings®, the US remains the world’s leading destination for international students. In 2013/14, the number of international students choosing to study in the US rose to a record high of 886,052 students, according to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors report. The most popular states for international study in the US were California, New York and Texas, and the most popular subjects were business and management, engineering, mathematics and computer science.

Of course, it’s not just the high standard of US universities that draws students in. Whether you’re attracted to the bright lights and fast pace of the big city or to miles and miles of unspoiled wilderness; sun-kissed beaches or lush forests; the rustic and traditional or the sleek and modern, this huge and incredibly diverse country has something for everyone.

Fast Facts

  • Federal presidential republic with bicameral legislature
  • President (currently Barack Obama) is both head of state and head of government
  • Capital city: Washington DC
  • Biggest city by population (according to 2010 census): New York, followed by Los Angeles and Chicago
  • The are 50 states, plus the federal District of Columbia (the DC in Washington DC)
  • Five inhabited overseas territories (people who live there are US citizens but cannot vote in US elections)
  • World’s biggest economy, with a GDP of over US$15 trillion
  • The US dollar is the world’s primary reserve currency
  • World’s number one destination for international students
  • Biggest spender on defence in the world, spending more than six times more than China (next biggest), in 2012
  • Either the third or the fourth biggest country in the world, depending on how you measure
  • National sports include: American football, basketball and baseball, with ice hockey popular in northern states
  • Formerly part of the British empire, until gaining independence in the late 18th century
  • Currency: United States dollar ($)
  • Time zones: from UTC-5 (-4 in summer) to UTC -10
  • International dialling code: +1
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