Studying abroad in the US is a popular choice and is chosen by many students around the world to pursue their studies and develop their careers. The US has more than 4,000 universities and colleges, offering students a wide range of academic programs from economics, science to society.

Studying abroad in the US brings many benefits, including:

  • Education quality: Universities in the US are ranked high in world rankings thanks to their excellent quality of education. Students will learn from experts at leading universities and be supported to develop their personal and professional skills.
  • Diversity: America is a  country with cultural diversity, which is reflected in the diversity of its university students. Students will have the opportunity to experience new cultures and gain knowledge from this diversity and expand their horizons.
  • Experience of studying and living abroad: Studying abroad in the US also gives students an experience of studying and living in a new country, helping students develop time management skills, an independent spirit and problem-solving ability. Students will also have the opportunity to experience extracurricular activities and diverse American life.
  • Create an international network: Studying in the US provides students with the opportunity to interact and work with people from other countries, creating a network of important and beneficial international relationships in the future.

However, this also comes with a number of challenges and difficulties, including high costs of studying abroad, unevenness between states and schools, and high entry requirements, so students need to be well-prepared and have a solid plan before deciding to study in the US.


The United States is one of the countries with a highly rated education system in the world, divided into levels from preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school and university.

Pre-kindergarten: for children from 3 to 5 years old. 

In the US, preschool programs are not required, but are encouraged by educators. Only 69% of 4-year-old American children attend preschool. Kindergarten age ranges from 3 to 5 years old. The curriculum will include music, art, drama, science, reading, math and other social activities.

Primary and secondary school (Grades 1 – 12): 

Education is compulsory for all children, but the age at which schooling can stop varies from state to state and ranges from 14 to 18 years old.

Normally, international and Vietnamese parents often send their children to the US to study in grade 11 and 12 to prepare for going to college or university in the US. However, for some parents who intend to send their children to study abroad from the beginning, they can send their children to the US to study in grade 6, 7 or lower.

College – University

  • Community college: the program usually lasts 2 years and is vocational in nature. After graduation, students can continue to apply to study for the remaining 2 years at universities with 4-year undergraduate training programs to receive a bachelor’s degree (commonly known as the program 2+2)
  • Liberal Arts Colleges: a unique American education model built on the philosophy of comprehensive human development. The program focuses on developing skills that can be applied in a variety of jobs and contexts.
  • State Universities: public schools with tuition fees and entry requirements for international students often higher than for domestic students.
  • Private Universities: higher tuition fees but do not have policies to differentiate students like public universities.
  • Technical Colleges: technical and vocational colleges with application-oriented and practice-oriented learning programs focusing on training students for practical occupations.


Master/PhD programs are often taught at universities or research institutes. Students can pursue graduate studies in the form of credit or research or a combination of both. A PhD program can take 3 to 6 years to complete depending on the field of study, individual abilities and the thesis topic the student has chosen. In addition, there are a number of other professional doctoral degrees such as Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), and Doctor of Medicine (MD).


The cost of studying in the US can be very high and varies depending on the school, region, and program of study. Below are some basic expenses when studying abroad in the US:

  • Tuition: 
    • High school level: 
      • 18,000 – 35,000 USD/year (public); 
      • 40,000 – 60,000 USD/year (private); 
      • 45,000 – 70,000 USD/year (boarding school).
    • College: 
      • 12,000 – 20,000 USD/year (2-year program); 
      • 25,000 – 35,000/year (4-year system
    • University: 30,000 – 60,000 USD/year
    • Postgraduate: 15,000 – 40,000 USD/year
  • Cost of living: The cost of living in the US is also very high, including food, rent, cell phone, internet service, and other expenses. This cost can range from 10,000 to 20,000 USD/year, depending on living area and expense level.
  • Health insurance: Purchasing health insurance is very important when studying in the US to protect you from expensive medical costs. Health insurance costs depend on the region, but typically range from 500 to 1,500 USD per year.
  • Visa application fee: US visa application fee is about 185 USD (applied from May 30, 2023).
  • Airfare: Airfare costs depend on departure point and destination, but usually range from 1,000 to 2,000 USD.

In addition, other costs including textbooks, school supplies, and entertainment costs will also affect the overall cost of studying abroad in the US.

However, financial support by universities or scholarship organizations may be available to minimize costs for international students.


What do I need to prepare before studying abroad in the US?

Before studying abroad in the US, you need to prepare necessary documents such as visa, school admission application, medical records, etc. In addition, you should also prepare finances, learn about the culture and location where you want to study and live.

How to find a suitable university?

To find the right university in the US, you can take the following steps:

  • Search for information about universities in the US on the internet or through study abroad consultants.
  • Consider the school’s reputation by researching the training program, teaching quality, faculty and student support facilities.
  • Research tuition costs, living expenses and financial aid.
  • Learn about each university’s admission requirements to ensure that your child is qualified to enter and study at that school.
  • Consult with people who have studied abroad or study abroad consultants to get useful advice.
  • Evaluate university amenities and services, such as student clubs, facilities, student support services, and library materials.
  • Learn about the university’s location and surroundings, as well as recreational and cultural activities in the area.
  • You should carefully research information to be able to choose the right university and create opportunities for success
Can students work while studying in the US?

International students in the US may be allowed to work if they meet US government and school requirements. Normally, students are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours/week during their studies and full-time during summer vacations or final semesters. To work, students need to have a card confirming their educational status (Form I-20) and must have approval from the school. In addition, international students also need to meet visa requirements and complete the necessary procedures to be able to work legally in the US.

How to help your child find friends and create relationships when studying abroad in the US?

There are many ways to help your child find friends in the US, including joining school clubs or conferences, participating in social activities, volunteering, or working part-time. You can also introduce your child to other international students or seek help from the school.

How much money do you need to study in the US?

The cost of studying in the US depends on many factors, including university, living area, study program and study time. The total cost for a year of study in the US can range from 25,000-70,000 USD or more. Besides, you need to consider other expenses such as food, rent, books, travel, health insurance and visa fees.