Ultimate guide to study in the USA: University application, scholarships, student visa & more!

Time to study in the USA to accomplish your goals. But starting is hard, right? Yes, but the steps are simplified in this article! 

Don’t get overwhelmed with all the information you’re reading; you only need to follow these 6 steps to study there. 👇  

6 Steps to study in the USA: 

#1 Research & Plan

This is the very first step. Researching is an essential part as you will be able to figure out what exactly you want to do.

Typically, it is best to start planning your study abroad journey early, a year before, especially when it comes to the US. 

Start by looking at different universities in the US to find the ones that suit you best. You must consider your budget, preferred location, program availability, etc. 

You can even attend fairs, like The Student World Virtual Fair, to speak to the universities abroad directly and get answers. 

After researching or speaking to institutions abroad, you can begin preparing by taking the proper steps to move forward. 

For instance, taking admission and an English language proficiency test, volunteering, doing extracurricular activities, finding the right people to write your letter of recommendation and more.

#2 Start Taking Tests

Now that you’ve figured out which universities best match your needs, you can look at each to determine the admission test requirements and take the exams. 

Here are some of the most common college entrance exams in the US:

  • PTE Academic 
  • C1 Advanced
  • SAT 
  • ACT

Double-check the program requirements for each university to know the scores needed to be accepted! 

If possible, take the test early so you can retake it if your score is not high enough.


A paper with a graduation hat logo and someone typing on the laptop.

#3 Get Your Documents Ready

Keep in mind that different universities will require different documents. However, these are the common ones that are most likely to need to apply to a university in the US:

  • Transcripts (high school and/or university)
  • Resume/CV
  • Test scores (SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT)
  • Proof of English-language proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS…)
  • Motivation letter or statement of purpose
  • Application fee
  • Valid passport and a passport photo

#4 Apply Early

As mentioned above, start this process early to avoid missing any deadline. Here are the usual deadlines for US colleges


There are two application deadlines, early admission, and regular admission. 

The early deadlines will be between October and November, and the regular admission deadlines will be between February and March.

Post-graduate (Master’s or PhD): 

Regarding postgraduate admission, the deadlines will depend on the semester in which you are enrolling (spring or fall intake).

If you are applying for fall admission, the deadline will be between January and March, and for spring admission, your deadline is between July and September.

However, these deadlines can vary depending on your program and university. Contact the university or check their website for the exact dates!

#5 Apply for the US Student Visa

When you officially get accepted into your university, you must apply for a student visa.

The F-1 student visa is the most popular type; it is a non-immigrant visa that allows international students to enter the US and study at institutions.

A visa application with a small US flag and eyeglasses on the table.

For the F-1 Visa Requirements, you must:

  • Be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution.
  • Meet the English language proficiency test requirements.
  • Prove you have sufficient funds available to finance your studies and living expenses.
  • Have a valid passport for at least six months after finishing your program.
  • Have a residence in your home country to return to after graduation.

Check the US government website to learn how to apply!

#6 Arrange accommodation & Fly Away!

All you need to do after you get your acceptance letter from a university and your student visa is to book your flights and accommodation!

Figure out whether you would like to stay on-campus or rent off-campus. 

Usually, if the university residence is expensive, students rent a room in a shared apartment with other students to split the costs.

Remember not to leave this to the last minute, as it will require some time!

A restaurant server is taking an order from two customers.

How to find scholarships in the US for international students?

You can always search online by using sites such as Scholarships.com or Fastweb

But, the most efficient way to find scholarships is by contacting the university’s financial aid office you want to attend. 

Doing so will give you accurate information about eligibility and how to apply!

Start your American journey now! Share this content with your friends who also want to study in the USA, so they know the exact steps. 😉


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