12 - 18 months prior to U.S.study:

Have you thought about what is most important to you?

To help you decide, ask yourself the questions listed within Define Your Priorities>>

"E-mail students from your home country and find out about their experiences at a particular school."


- Computer Science Student from Russia

Start your research earlymany of these educational fairs take place in the spring or fall of the year before you intend to begin your studies.


"It is difficult to overestimate the help and support I got from the EducationUSA Advising Center. The center was my first and primary source of information about the American educational system. The books, magazines, and internet access at the center proved extremely useful, and the staff assisted me very much in achieving my goals."


- Business Student from Ghana

Visit your nearest EducationUSA Advising Center. EducationUSA Advisers work in more than 400 advising centers in 170 countries. Contact an adviser today to learn more about how to access educational opportunities in the United States.   

Refer to college and university websites. Almost every college and university in the United States has a website with detailed information about degree programs, application procedures, academic departments, on-campus facilities, and other topics. Often, you can also find a copy of the course catalog to read online or download to read later.

Attend educational fairs. If you cannot visit the United States, colleges and universities may come to visit you. Talk to an EducationUSA Adviser to learn about upcoming higher education fairs or other opportunities for you to meet with admissions officers face-to-face.

Use search engines. Independent websites allow you to search for institutions by the subject you are interested in studying, by geographic preference, or by a range of other criteria that you specify.

        National Center for Education StatisticsCollege Navigator

        College BoardCollege Search

        CollegeNETCollege Search

        CollegeSource® Online

        National Association for College Admission CounselingInternational Student Resources

        Peterson's College Search

        The Princeton Review


        Hot Courses Abroad      


        American Association of Community CollegesCommunity College Finder

        Center for Global Advancement of Community Colleges

After you define your priorities and identify the factors most important to you, use other resources to narrow down your choices.

"Students from any kind of background will be happy with the variety of colleges and universities in the United States."


- Student from Egypt

Research and Narrow Your Choices

How are U.S. degrees recognized in my country?

A U.S. degree is highly valued in many countries. However, in some countries, particularly those with educational systems that are very different from the United States, U.S. undergraduate degrees may not be officially recognized or they may be recognized at a different level. Seek guidance from your nearest EducationUSA Advising Center or with the ministry of education or other appropriate authority before you begin your applications.

U.S. higher education is different from many other systems around the world as it is not subject to a central government authority and institutions are free to design curriculum. Regional and national accreditation is given to U.S. colleges and universities to ensure institutional standards. If the school you attend is not properly accredited, you may find that your degree is not recognized in the United States or other countries, or by other universities, professional associations, employ and government ministries and departments. To verify that an institution is properly accredited, visit the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (www.chea.org/).

EdUSA Connects Session - The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) Watch Now >>

EdUSA Connects Session - Types of Accreditation: What's the DIfference? Watch Now >>

EdUSA Connects Session - Degree Mills and Accreditation Mills Watch Now >>