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Country Guides
Study in the US

The world’s leading study destination for international students, the US boasts over 150 leading universities in the QS World University Rankings®. In 2014/15, the number of international students choosing to study in the US rose by 10% from the previous year to a record high of 974,926 students, according to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors report, and seems likely to exceed one million in the near future. The most popular states for international students were CaliforniaNew York and Texas, while 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 attracts students from far and wide. Whether you’re attracted to the bright lights and fast pace of the big city or to miles of unspoiled wilderness; sun-kissed beaches or vast mountain ranges; the rustic and traditional or the sleek and modern, this huge and incredibly varied country has something for everyone.

Ready to immerse yourself in American college life? Read on for more information on top universities in the US, popular student cities, applications, visas and more.

Fast Facts

  • Federal presidential republic with bicameral legislature
  • The president is both head of state and head of government
  • Capital city: Washington DC
  • Largest cities by population (according to 2010 census): New York, Los Angeles and Chicago
  • 50 states, plus the federal District of Columbia (the DC in Washington DC)
  • Five inhabited overseas territories (residents are US citizens but cannot vote in US elections)
  • World’s largest economy, with a GDP of over US$18 trillion
  • The US dollar is the world’s primary reserve currency
  • World’s number one destination for international students
  • Biggest spender on defense in the world, at around US$569bn a year
  • Either the third or the fourth biggest country in the world, depending on how you measure
  • National sports include: American football, basketball and baseball, with ice hockey popular in northern states
  • Formerly part of the British empire, until gaining independence in the late 18th century
  • Currency: United States dollar ($)
  • Time zones: from UTC-5 (-4 in summer) to UTC -10
  • International dialing code: +1