There are numerous misconceptions by foreigners about the USA and Americans themselves. Sadly, much of this misinformation is initiated by people who have not visited or studied in the USA. It is important that these misnomers are fully understood and not prevent a potential international student from obtaining a quality American education.
America is full of crime and is a dangerous place
Television, Hollywood and sensationalized news reporting have done a disservice to the USA, as far as painting a picture of a crime-ridden country is concerned. While it certainly is true that there are areas in America with crime problems and high crime rates, that is not the norm. One of the founders of this website, a former international student himself, has lived and worked in the USA for 13 years and has never encountered any serious crime whatsoever. In any country, there are areas that one would be more likely to be victimized by crime, and efforts should be made to avoid these areas. The USA is no different. Good judgment is always the best defense. Television and sensational news reporting gain viewers and sell newspapers. But they do not always reflect the norm.
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It is too expensive
One thing that cannot be denied is that, if an international student is using foreign funds to pay for his education costs in the USA, he or she is affected by fluctuations in currency exchange rates. However, it is a misnomer that attending college or university in the USA is extremely expensive. Given the quality of the education, the potential earning power of working in the USA, as well as the various forms of aid available to students, an American education is still affordable. While there are some schools that are notorious for charging high fees, there are many schools offering great programs for much less. The key is to know how to pick the school that is right for you.
I may not be accepted or well received by the locals
Americans are some of the friendliest and most hospitable people on this earth. The USA is made up of immigrants from all over the world, and most Americans understand that their history, too, descends from another land. In fact, most Americans are eager to learn about new cultures and they welcome the chance to meet foreigners. Of course, international students should reciprocate by learning and respecting the local laws and cultures. Always ask for help. You will be surprised at how much will be forthcoming.
The USA is not known for certain academic disciplines
When one thinks of innovation, one thinks of the USA. It is no exaggeration that America is a world leader and innovator in thousands of industries. One of the main reasons is because the USA is a rich country and it possesses the infrastructure and the opportunities to train and innovate. Whether it is in molecular biology and DNA or acting and drama, the USA offers some of the best training and employment opportunities of any country in the world. It is this very culture that attracts students from all over the world.
Recent international developments have made the USA dangerous
Daily life in the USA has long returned to normal after the events of September 11. While the government and its people do take more precautions in general, there simply is no cause for alarm or for an alteration to one's academic plans to study in the USA. In fact, applications to colleges in the USA has not decreased and continues to increase constantly. Life in America has never been better!