Best Universities in the USA for International Students

Are you contemplating studying in the US but are unsure of which university to go for since there are so many options?

We know you might want to know some of the top universities in the US based on the highly respected metrics.

Without any doubt,California is one of the most represented states among the best US tertiary institutions, with 14 universities, closely followed by 13 universities in New York, 12 universities in Texas and about 10 universities in Massachusetts. 

The institutions that sit at the very top of the ranking are based in these popular destinations that are renowned for their tertiary and employment opportunities; the top five universities are based in California, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

1. California Institute of Technology

Despite the tiny size of its student body, CalTech has churned out a good number of successful graduates and affiliates, plus 39 Nobel laureates, six Turing Award winners and four Fields Medallists to mention but a few.

Presently,there are about 2,000 students at CalTech, and the main campus in Pasadena, near Los Angeles, sits on 124 acres of land. Almost all undergraduate students live on campus.

There is a primary focus on science and engineering across the six faculties.

In addition to producing highly rated Nobel laureates and top researchers, the CalTech alumni community includes renowned politicians and public advisers, especially in the areas of science, technology and energy.

All first-year students are part of one of four houses as part of the university’s alternative approach to fraternities and sororities. You’ll find a number of house traditions and events that are associated with each house.

2. Stanford University

This university is based in Palo Alto, and sits right beside Silicon Valley.Stanford continues to play an important role in fostering tech development in the region. A good number of faculty members, students and alumni have gone on to found successful technology companies and start-ups, such as Google, Snapchat and Hewlett-Packard.

In summing it up, companies founded by Stanford alumni generate $2.7 trillion (£2.2 trillion) each year.

The institution is often called “the Farm” because the main campus was erected on the site of the Stanford family’s Palo Alto Stock Farm. Presently,the beautiful campus sits on 8,180 acres of land, but more than half of the land is undeveloped.

This university has distinctive sand-coloured, red-roofed buildings,and Stanford is thought to be one of the most beautiful and iconic academic institutions in the world. You’ll find a number of sculpture gardens and art museums, and a public meditation space for religious people.

As you might expect, Stanford is super competitive. The admission rate stands at just over 5 per cent.

Out of the 15,000 students – most of whom live on campus – about 22 per cent are international students.

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3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT equally has s a strong entrepreneurial culture, which has seen many of its graduates go on to establish popular companies such as Intel and Dropbox.

Surprisingly,both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at MIT are not completely separate; many programs can be taken at either level.

If you didn’t know, the undergraduate programme at the university is one of the country’s most selective, admitting only 8 per cent of the total number of applicants. Engineering and computer science courses on the other hand are the most popular among undergraduates.

Did you know that thirty-three per cent of the 11,000 students are international students who come from 154 countries? 

Popular graduates are astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the late UN secretary general Kofi Annan and physicist Richard Feynman to mention but a few. 

4. Princeton University

Just like Harvard, Princeton is a coveted Ivy League university with a history that goes back more than 200 years.

Princeton has an interesting environment that includes private “eating clubs”, which serve as social houses and dining venues. A number of these clubs are selective and super competitive, but others simply ask undergraduate students to sign up.

Less than 8,000 students are enrolled at Princeton, and about a quarter are international students.

Princeton’s main campuses, in New Jersey, are about an hour’s drive away from both New York City and Philadelphia.

Their degree programs carry strict requirements. All students are expected to do independent research as part of their degree courses, and some choose to take on a foreign language program.

Note that the application process is quite selective. Unlike a number of US universities, Princeton does not do early decision admission.

Popular Princeton graduates include US presidents, astronauts, investors and Olympians. This includes former first lady Michelle Obama, author F. Scott Fitzgerald and mathematician Alan Turing and others.

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5. Harvard University

Undoubtedly, Harvard is probably the best-known university in the world, ranking first on reputable global rankings over the years.

Founded sometime in 1636, Harvard is the oldest higher institution in the US.

About 20,000 students are enrolled, a quarter of whom are international. Although the cost of tuition is quite high, Harvard’s impressive financial endowment creates sufficient financial aid for students.

The Harvard Library system is made up of well over 79 libraries and is the the largest network of academic library in the world.

Among many famous alumni, Harvard can count eight US presidents, 158 Nobel laureates, 14 Turing Award winners and 62  billionaires who are currently alive.

Compared to other elite universities, Harvard is great for both for arts and humanities as it is for science and technology courses. 

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