Studying in the U.S.: A Guide for International Students

February 27, 2024

Approximately 5.6% of the nearly 19 million college students in the U.S. during the 2022-2023 academic year were international students. These students contribute to the rich diversity of educational experiences and perspectives on U.S. campuses, while also building their own global competencies as they advance toward their degree. But in studying in a new country, they also face academic, financial, and social challenges. 

Here's a look at what to expect as an international student in the United States, practical resources, and how Capitol Technology University is providing flexible options for international learners. 


Opportunities for International Students

U.S. universities are renowned for their academic excellence and cutting-edge research. More than one-third of the Times Higher Education’s Top 100 World Universities are located in the U.S., giving international students access to top-notch faculty, libraries, and laboratories. International students studying in the United States gain exposure to diverse cultures, ideas, and perspectives, which can enrich understanding and critical thinking. Through interactions with diverse classmates, they can develop a global mindset and build more far-reaching personal and professional networks. 

Living abroad encourages independence, resilience, and adaptability. It enhances communication and empathy. Students learn to navigate challenges, manage time effectively, and make informed decisions. Given the more interconnected global economy, many companies value the skills and perspectives gained by international students, better positioning them for employment and enhancing their long-term career prospects.  


Challenges for International Students

International students often face a significant hurdle before even setting foot in the classroom: gaining a foundational comprehension of the English language and understanding its nuance in an academic setting. This language barrier can have a profound effect on learning comprehension, participation, and writing, especially if it’s compounded by fast-paced speaking or accents. International students likely must adjust to new customs, norms, and social cues – all of which can be overwhelming for different learning styles. 

International students face strict visa regulations, which can create pressure for students to graduate within a certain time frame while also limiting time for exploration and co-curricular experiences. International students also tend to incur higher tuition and living expenses, and Visa limitations on work hours and types of jobs can hinder financial independence. 

Socially, being away from family and friends can lead to homesickness and emotional strain. Building a social network in a foreign country takes time, and it can be harder if students face bias or microaggressions based on their nationality. Coping with this compounding stress, homesickness, and academic pressure can impact a student’s mental well-being and academic success. 


Resources for International Students

There are abundant resources for international students looking to attend college in the United States. Here are a few: 

  • The International Student website serves as a comprehensive guide that allows students to search for schools, explore resources, and research U.S. college culture. 

  • The Institute of International Education promotes international exchange and provides resources on scholarships, fellowships, and study abroad programs. 

  • The Center for Global Education offers information on cultural immersion, language learning, and intercultural competence.  

  • EducationUSA, which is supported by the U.S. Department of State, assists international students in finding suitable universities, preparing for standardized tests, and navigating the application process. 


Capitol Technology University: Degrees for International Students

At Capitol Technology University, we are focused on equipping international students with the technical and interpersonal skills required to lead in the evolving global community. We offer small class sizes, specialized degree programs, and global outreach initiatives – all of which can support international students during their transition to and time on campus. And our location near Washington, D.C. – a multi-cultural technology hub for leading industries worldwide – means international students have incredible opportunities to broaden their perspectives while navigating a tailored curriculum designed to help them thrive in the global economy.  

Currently, Capitol Tech is approved to admit international students for all on-campus undergraduate programs and our master’s degree in Computer Science. International freshmen and transfer applicants are eligible for up to $8,000 in merit scholarships, and there are additional institutional scholarships available to prospective students who meet certain criteria. 

For more information, contact our Admissions team at