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Posted by Sergio on September 7, 2015
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Every year the number of international students in the US rises as they make the life-changing decision of submerging themselves in the American Dream. Along with obtaining a degree with academic pedigree, the benefits of growing intellectually, socially and emotionally by embracing new cultures is becoming more important in today’s competitive job market. When choosing a university to fulfil these needs, you’ll see that no other state offers the amount of opportunity as the beautiful and vibrant state of California. Before you pack your bags, find out what has brought waves upon waves of international students to the Golden State.

Variety of Education Opportunities

Holding a central position in contemporary pop culture, California is also a significant contributor in the agricultural, aerospace, biotechnology and manufacturing sectors, and is famously home to ‘Silicon Valley’ – the world’s leading center of high-tech innovation.

California is home to more than 1,300 higher-education institutions that offer all types of degrees, boasting at least 10 times as many campuses than in any other country. The size of the state and population means that there is a huge variety in specialist degrees and extra-curricular activities – you’ll find something for everyone.

At the undergraduate level, excellent programs exist in conventional disciplines, as well as in professional fields. At the graduate level, students have the opportunity to work alongside some of the finest minds in their field of study, with the chance to become involved with exclusive research and educational opportunities. U.S. degrees are recognized throughout the world for their excellence.

Academic Excellence

Universities in California include many of the most prestigious institutions in the US. Top private research universities includes Stanford University (ranked 7th in the world, 3rd in the US), and California Institute of Technology (also known as Caltech). The public University of California system has 10 campuses throughout – but the two main universities: University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) rank at 25th and 40th in the world respectively.

With the vast amount of academic institutes, you will be able to find a course to fit your exact needs. For example, if you are pursuing a graduate degree, you will be able to tailor your coursework to fit your specific academic goals, needs and interests. When you choose topics for independent study for a graduate thesis or dissertation, you can emphasize ideas that are important to you, your field and your country.

Californian Student Life

California offers the ideal opportunity to experience the uniquely diverse cultural identities that epitomizes the American experience. With its wide ethnic diversity – including Spanish, Mexican, Asian and Eastern United States – this is the ultimate nucleus of cuisines, languages and traditions from every corner of the globe. Because of this, living in California means experiencing and embracing new and novel languages, foods, cultures, peoples, ideas, celebrations, and activities on a daily basis. The liberal nature of California means the people express themselves and flourish with a freedom that’s hard to find elsewhere. Legally and socially, California possesses a very tolerant attitude towards LGBT policies, and was one of the first states to legalize same-sex marriage. The liberal and culturally diverse nature of this state and its people ensure you will receive much more than academic education.

Support Services for International Students

With many students coming from countries like India, Japan, Korea, China, and Canada year after year and choosing to study in California, the Golden State remains one of the most inviting American states in alluring international students. The University of Southern California has the highest international student enrollment rate in the whole of the United States.

With this high influx, measures have been put in place to ensure that international students are helped every step of the way. Every Californian school has an international student office that offer a wide range of services. You can expect a top quality orientation program upon your arrival; a 24 hour hotline to answer questions you may have regarding visa status, financial advisors, housing, employment possibilities, healthcare concerns and more. Many Californian universities even offer a free airport pick-up service. Some run a counselor program where they pair you up with a senior student for personal guidance as you make the transition into academic and culture life in a new country.

Living Cost & Health Insurance

While the living cost may be higher in California, there are various ways to acquire a financial aid package. The costs of living in California can be considerably minimized with proper planning. You can also expect to find a wide range of health insurance coverage options – whether it’s on your parent’s plan, joining a school-sponsored plan or the California state student plan. This is to ensure you have access to the finest healthcare facilities in the US.

Do not assume living in California requires living an expensive lifestyle beyond your financial means. There are many resources available to international students to be discovered if you are willing to do your homework and plan ahead. Living and studying in the most vibrant state in the US is completely within reach.