At American universities, students are courted like in no other country. The universities and colleges see themselves as service providers and students as their customers. Student satisfaction is a top priority and is a quality mark of universities in the United States. Learn more about USA and North America on extrareference.
Anyone studying at an American university should be able to feel comfortable on campus right from the start and quickly connect to the community. The comprehensive advisory and service offerings from universities in the USA make a significant contribution to this.
The pronounced service concept and the special flair at US universities are what make studying in the USA so attractive for many international students. You are impressed by the intensive support, the first-class equipped campus facilities and, last but not least, by the incomparable campus life in the USA. They are prepared to pay higher tuition fees for this comprehensive service.
International students are expressly welcome at universities in the USA. American universities and colleges generally value the fact that their students come from many different countries and advertise a multicultural study atmosphere.
Almost every American university has special facilities and services for international students. The International Office, also known as the International (Student) Center or Center for International Affairs, is the most important point of contact for students from other countries.
The International Student Advisers are the point of contact for all matters relating to international students. They advise on the following topics:
- Study options at the university
- Course choice
- Creation of the timetable
- Application requirements
- Financing your studies in the USA
- Health insurance
- Visa and entry requirements
- Working on campus / Optional Practical Training (OPT)
- Apartment Search
In addition, the International Student Advisers ensure that international students quickly connect to the academic, cultural and social life of the university. They host the Welcome Week and often organize events on campus as well as excursions and leisure activities during the semester.
Sometimes so-called mentorship / mentoring programs or buddy programs are also part of the service offered by the International Office. As a rule, both local and international students can apply as mentors. They support newcomers from abroad in their everyday studies. They often take on the pick-up service from the airport, show students around the campus, help with finding accommodation or organize film and game nights.
Student Union / Students’ Association
One of the most popular meeting places for students on campus is the Student Union. The term is commonly used in the United States to refer to the building that serves as the student center. At some universities there is also talk of Student Commons or Student Center.
The Student Union is structured differently depending on the university. Cafés, lounges and meeting rooms are typical. At many universities, however, the equipment is much more extensive. There are various shops, food courts, sports facilities and game rooms. In the game rooms, students can expect numerous entertainment options such as game consoles, billiards and table tennis, and sometimes even bowling alleys and cinemas.
The university’s own bookstore is often located in the Student Union. However, this cannot be compared with an ordinary bookstore. Students can buy lecture notes and specialist literature, buy, borrow and sell, but there is much more than just books. The offer includes merchandising items from the university, occasionally also PC accessories and furnishings for the room in the dormitory.
The term Student Union is less often used in the USA for a student-run non-profit organization on campus. This advocates the interests of all students and represents the political interests of the student body. The chosen student council, also known as the Student (Government) Association, often has offices in the building of the same name. At some universities, the Student Union is also responsible for organizing student activities and establishing and managing student clubs.
At large universities in particular, there is a separate student body for undergraduate and graduate students. This also applies to individual subject areas such as medicine or law, which are traditionally strong at some universities.
Counseling services for students in the United States
Thanks to the comprehensive range of services at universities in the USA, students are not left to their own devices with their questions and problems. Whether it is about academic matters or personal problems – there is a contact person for everything, if not a separate institution.