United States

The United States offers lots of opportunities for a student. Approximately 3,500 colleges and universities offer numerous educational programs to choose from. Major subjects and program types are plentiful. One can even use climate as a selection criteria!

Information in English

Information on Study and Research in the United States can be found on the EducationUSA website.

Another great online source of information is the Fulbright Commission in the UK.



How to get into an American university
Times Online -- June 5, 2008

American universities: expert advice
Times Online -- June 17, 2008


Study abroad requires making several important decisions. Among them are where to study, how to apply to an institution of higher education, the major field of study, and how to finance the study.

Here are some general instructions on how to proceed with finding a place of study and apply to a university in the United States.

Study in the United States

Collecting information

  • Read one of the If you Want to Study in the United States guides (below) available in English. It is also a good idea to participate in one of the Fulbright Center's information sessions. This is how you get the basics done easily.
  • Read the EducationUSA website.
  • Book a time to visit the Fulbright Center Information Service. We have a comprehensive collection of materials on higher education in the United States and Canada. The Fulbright Center staff helps with questions about study and research, funding, and standardized testing.
  • The first decision is to determine the scope, level and major field of study. Do you want to complete a degree or do short term study abraod? What do you want to study and at what level?
  • The next step is to choose where you want to study. Guides and search programs will guide you in the selection process. Identifying your personal prefences and having clear goals help in choosing the right college for you.
  • Start planning about 1-1,5 -years prior to the beginning of study. It takes sometime to figure out what kind of an institution is right for you.

Undergraduate Study (pdf)

Graduate and Professional Study and Research (pdf) Short-Term Study, English Language Programs, Distance Education and Accreditation (pdf) Getting Ready to Go: Practical Information for Living and Studying in the United States (pdf)

The Application Process

  • The application deadlines in American universities vary considerably.
  • The applications and instructions are always available directly from the institutions. Additional information concerning the application process and student selection can be found on university websites.
  • One of the basic criteria for selecting students in the United States is the use of standardized tests such as TOEFL, SAT, GMAT and GRE.
  • It is important to fill out university application forms very carefully. Incomplete applications may not get processed at all. All test results and supporting documents must also reach the institution by the stated deadline.
  • Begin the application process about 1 - 1,5 years prior to the begining of study, so you have time to prepare for the tests and allow time for the score reports to arrive. You also need to give your recommendation writers time to prepare their letters.

Funding Sources

  • The KELA center for student financial aid awards government financial aid for study in the United States if the study leads to a degree in an accredited institution or is part of a degree to be pursued in Finland.
  • Fulbright Center awards grants for study in the United States. There are grants available for undergraduate and graduate study as well as research scholarships and mid-career professional development grants. In addition to the sizable stipend, all scholarship programs come with individual advising and orientation.
  • Many universities in the United States offer financial aid for their international degree students.
  • Other possible funding sources are Finnish and international scholarships and grants.
  • In addition to scholarships and government financial aid, personal funding is often needed.
  • Begin searching for funding the same time you begin your university search.


  • You can prepare for your study experience by reading guidebooks that help students prepare for university life in North America. Additionally, the Fulbright Center organizes a predeparture information session each Spring.
  • Information about visas may be obtained from The American Embassy website.
  • The American Resource Center is a good sources of country specific information on culture and society.
  • Most American universities organize an orientation for international students before the semester begins. During this orientation students get acquainted with the university, the local community, and

Good Luck!