Celebrating International Education & Exchange Opportunities:
The U.S. higher education sector offers world class faculty and research facilities, flexible degrees across all fields of study, and a broad array of institutional types—ranging from community colleges, to liberal arts institutions, to research/doctoral universities, to minority serving institutions—in a variety of geographic settings to meet the needs and interests of all students. With nearly 4,000 accredited institutions of higher education and more than 10,000 degree programs in the United States, there’s a good fit for every student. Learn more about higher education opportunities with EducationUSA, and education advising in New Zealand.
For those seeking short-term exchanges, BridgeUSA provides countless opportunities for international candidates looking to travel and gain experience in the United States. The multifaceted programs enable people around the world to come to the U.S. to teach, study, conduct research, demonstrate special skills or receive on the job training for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years. BridgeUSA includes these popular exchange programs: Professor, Research Scholar, Short-Term Scholar, Trainee, Intern, College and University Student, Camp Counselor, Au Pair, and Summer Work Travel.
Playing Sports on Campus
Many U.S. colleges and universities offer opportunities for talented students to play for the tertiary team as a means of paying for their education. The key to being successful in your search for sports scholarships is to meticulously research your options and look for the right opportunities.
Athletic associations govern university sports and set rules regarding scholarships and athletic recruitment. There are a number of associations, most notably:
- National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA);
- National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA);
- National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
In addition to being certified by the athletic association’s eligibility center for academics and amateurism, students hoping to be considered for a sports scholarship must meet normal university/college entrance requirements.
Prospective student-athletes are encouraged to start early and stay organized by drafting a sports CV and bio that includes athletic and academic achievements, as well as videos of practice and competition. In many cases, students can register to be considered for recruitment directly on sports pages of the institutional website. Students are also encouraged to email coaches directly to express their interest, share relevant sport and academic history, and clearly state their year of schooling and when they are scheduled to finish school in New Zealand.
There are often sporting opportunities on campus for those students who wish to play recreationally, including club sports and intramural sports.
Studying Law in the USA
Studying and practicing law in the United States is very different from studying law in many other countries. The practice of law in the United States has a proud history, integral to the founding of the nation and maintaining the rule of law. The legal profession is largely self-regulated, as each state has a “Bar” that sets the rules for the practice of law in that state. In the U.S., law is a professional academic field, the equivalent of a graduate degree in other parts of the world. Students wishing to attend law school in the U.S. will need to have completed a bachelor’s degree in any subject of their choice, which provides students with the opportunity to study any subject before deciding that a career in law is right for them. Because there is no defined path to study law, it is important for students to concentrate on building their oratory, written, analytical, and critical thinking skills.
Law schools vary in curriculum, and there are over 200 public and private institutions in the U.S. that grant Juris Doctor (J.D.) degrees. After completion of the three-year J.D., students can sit the state bar examination in order to receive a license to practice law. Another popular option is to study and obtain a Master of Law through an LL.M. program. The LL.M. is typically one year of study.
Studying Health & Medicine in the USA
Similar to law in the U.S., medicine is a professional academic field in the United States. This means that students will first need to complete a bachelor’s degree, typically four years of study, and then apply to medical school, typically another four years of study. While there is no prescribed undergraduate pathway to medical school, and students from a wide range of academic majors may go on to medical school, prospective medical students are strongly advised to undertake a pre-medical or pre-healthcare course of study alongside their major field of study. Pre-med tracks will generally include biology, chemistry, maths and physics as well as some social sciences and English composition. These courses are usually completed in the first 2-3 years of the bachelor’s degree.
It is also important to be aware that many U.S. medical schools do not admit international students at all. Of the handful of schools that do accept international students, each will have their own requirements that may include completing at least one, two, three, or even all four years of a bachelor’s degree in the United States. Many of these medical schools also do not offer any financial aid to international students.
Only about one percent of international students are admitted to U.S. medical schools each year. With this in mind, prospective medical students should seriously consider pursuing undergraduate study in the United States as well. Completing a pre-med program as part of your bachelor’s degree may lead to many other exciting and rewarding professions in healthcare and related fields such as neuroscience, public health, medical technology or healthcare administration and leadership.
Sustainability & Climate Change in Higher Education
Colleges and universities across the United States are forging new paths to sustainability. From private liberal arts colleges to major research institutions to community colleges, sustainability concerns are being integrated into curricula, policies, and programs.
Many U.S. institutions are implementing innovative ways to introduce the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), like the University of Tennessee, which maps their courses to the SDGs. Others are taking bold steps beyond their grounds, like the Arizona State University, which launched ‘Phoenix Global Rising’, an initiative to make the city more inclusive, sustainable, smart, and global.
For students hoping to channel their passion for sustainability into a career, there are numerous ways to do so. Experts note that the issue of climate change is expansive, spanning many professional fields and touching wide-ranging industries. Degree pathways that can make a difference for climate change include environmental engineering, climate change science, politics, sustainability, agriculture, and energy.
Study STEM in the USA
Higher education institutions in the United States house many of the world’s leading research facilities across Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Each STEM component brings a valuable contribution to a well-rounded education. Science gives learners an in-depth understanding of the world around us. It helps them to become better at research and critical thinking. Technology prepares young people to work in an environment full of high-tech innovations. Engineering allows students to enhance problem-solving skills and apply knowledge in new projects. Mathematics enables people to analyze information, eliminate errors, and make conscious decisions when designing solutions. STEM education links these disciplines into a cohesive system and prepares professionals who can transform society with innovation and sustainable solutions.
At many universities in the U.S., it is possible to study across disciplines to incorporate learnings in different aspects of STEM, but also outside of the STEM subject areas, as well. For example, an intercollege degree in Computer Science and Arts provides a technical, critical and conceptual foundation for students interested in pursuing fields that comprehensively meld technology and the arts — such as game design, computer animation, computer music, recording technologies, robotic art and other emerging media.
Students who complete a degree from a U.S. institution are typically eligible for a 12-month post-study work experience within their field, and additionally, students who hold degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) may be eligible to apply for an additional 24 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT), for a total of 36 months of post-completion OPT.
For more information on STEM study opportunities in the USA, watch this video from EducationUSA.