How to live your North American dream

American culture is so widespread that in the past few decades, it’s even managed to reach those based thousands of miles away from the ‘land of the free’.

Kids from countries in Asia like Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Australia have grown up watching American television, eating American snacks, and sporting clothes from American brands. International students who intend to study in America choose the country for its academic excellence and international recognition from its highly-ranked universities.

Many graduates of American universities who decide to return home find that they’ve gained an international perspective, confidence and skills for success. There are plenty of choices for all kinds of students and their budgets – from Ivy League to private universities to smaller colleges and state universities.

Many offer intensive English programmes for international students to improve their skills before they start their undergraduate or graduate careers at an American university. Whatever their choice, these students are one step closer to achieving their North American dream, all while gaining a quality education and unforgettable international student experience.

Here are some stellar universities in the US that offer plenty of support and a welcoming environment for international students.


Source: Syracuse University

At this university in upstate New York, international students benefit from a supportive community and the chance to improve their English language skills.

There are a number of English programmes offered through the English Language Institute (ELI) at Syracuse, helping students improve their English levels and adjust to American life.

For example, the core programme, Academic English, is designed for students who have been conditionally admitted to Syracuse University, as well as students who wish to study at another university in the United States, and individuals who would like to learn English intensively.

There are also targeted professional English programmes for those who want to accelerate their career growth, such as English for Lawyers, English for Architecture and Executive English.

Besides these intensive English courses, the ELI is much more than just a language institute, also offering a high level of student support, helping students integrate into American life and gain a cultural understanding.

Students at the ELI get to improve on their English with peer mentors, conversation groups, conversation partners and holiday events, making their language learning more meaningful.


At this university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, international students build expertise in an academic environment that celebrates differences and provides a wealth of opportunities.

Temple’s welcoming approach to diversity has attracted international students from nearly 130 countries and all parts of the US. Students here can seek assistance for everything, from academic advising to focused career counseling and job search services, also gaining access to internships in their field of study – for which international students are also eligible.

Source: Temple University

Those who need to sharpen their English can choose from a wide range of short- and long-term programmes for non-native speakers through the Intensive English Language Program (IELP).

These programs help students increase their English proficiency and prepare them for undergraduate or graduate coursework, all while immersing them in a quintessentially American culture.

Also, the ISA (International Student Affairs) is a supportive avenue that offers resources such as counselling, cultural activities, leadership development, off-campus housing assistance and more, tailored specifically for international students.


Marshall University, located in in Huntington, West Virginia, gives international students the chance to join a nurturing, supportive community.

INTO Marshall, dubbed a ‘one-stop-shop’ during the English or Pathway programme, helps students integrate into American university life, providing assistance with tutoring, housing issues, trip planning, activities and more. English courses that take place at the INTO Marshall center are taught by highly-qualified instructors in small class sizes, so students receive individualized attention.

Professors here develop a close relationship with students, knowing their names, remaining available for assistance outside the classroom and helping them improve their English in a more engaging manner. There are multiple resources available for students at INTO Marshall, such as the INTO Center Café, where they can hold social gatherings, and the Learning Resource Center that offers plenty of materials for students to improve their English skills.


At Siena Heights University in Michigan, international students also thrive in a supportive and welcoming environment.

Here, you will receive support from Student Support Services, a comprehensive programme that helps students achieve their personal, professional and academic goals.

They offer a number of services, including one-on-one academic advising on course selection, tutoring, supplemental instruction, academic coaching, exclusive workshops, mentoring/community networking, and a summer bridge program for incoming freshmen.

Source: Siena Heights University

Students here can also lean on the Office of International Studies for multidimensional support, resources and guidance specifically for international students.

There’s also the First Year Experience programme, designed to help new students adjust to their new life, as first year can often be challenging for international students.

This programme is committed to supporting students in their academic and social journey, helping them transition to the Siena Heights University community.


International students here join a rich and diverse community of over 2,800 international students and scholars from 80 countries.

Located in Detroit, this is the only university in the area to teach an intensive English language programme, offered at the English Language Institute (ELI).

With a rich history that spans 40 years, here, there’s specialised focus on academic preparation skills, English communication, and cultural orientation for non-native English speakers.

Using the latest technology for teaching language, including a remote-access language lab, students can improve their English quickly and effectively. They also benefit from small class sizes and highly-trained instructors.

Source: Wayne State University

Helping students adjust to American life and launch into their academic journey, ELI graduates can be directly admitted to Wayne State University without taking standardized tests.

These universities provide a supportive, safe, and welcoming community to international students, easing them into American life so they can live out their dreams of studying at a North American university.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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