Studying in the US as an International Student

This article is meant for students living outside the US, aged 10-15, who want to move to the US to study at any of their incredible Universities.


Currently, you might be thinking of taking your GCSEs, doing your A-levels, and then after the age of 17 applying to the US. However, this is a flawed approach.

Do Not Do A-Levels Before Moving to the US

The US has a credit-based system.

It is very confusing for anyone who does not have a credit-based system at their schools. If you would like an in-depth look at this system then have a look at our article explaining everything about the US schooling system.

If you do A-levels and then move to the US, you will most likely have to start all over from the bottom.

This is because when you move to the U.S, your A-Levels will not transfer (unless you make an A or A*, however, even this is not guaranteed and depends on the college); you will have to retake the course.

For example, if you take biology and chemistry in A-Levels and score a B on both exams, then when transferring to the U.S, some colleges won’t accept these courses and will ask for you to take these courses again.

Not only will they ask you to take these courses again but they may ask you to take the pre-requisite courses for this class.

This is a course that is needed to get into the chemistry class (like an introduction to chemistry), which is why it is known as a prerequisite course.

This would be incredibly annoying for you and a complete waste of time.

Therefore, make sure you move before doing A-levels.

When Should You Move to the US?

Well, this entirely depends on your situation.

Generally speaking the earlier the better. I would prefer to move right after your GCSEs or when your around 16-17.

It might seem young but there are many advantages to it.

One is that you could graduate early.

Since getting a bachelors degree typically takes 4-5 years you could have a bachelors degree by 20-22 or even masters by 22-24 depending on you.

But if you’d like to take A-levels and move the US then go ahead. Just be aware that you will need to score well on A-levels for those classes to count.

However, if you don’t mind retaking the courses then move whenever you can!

When Coming Straight After GCSE

if you decide to come after GCSE you will most likely have to come to a community college. This is honestly the best decision. Classes are small which will help you get accustomed to the US and the curriculum here.

Also, you can make lots of friends tuition is much cheaper than a university and you will save a lot.

The downside is that there are no dorms which means you will have to stay at relatives/friends or an apartment close by.

But it also depends on which community college you attend.

Take Home Message

Do your homework before moving and contact any university that you want to apply to before making any major decisions.

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