Fast Facts USA
Nearly 600,000 students from all over the world studied in the United States last year for both undergraduate and graduate levels. It goes without saying that, America offers very high quality post-secondary education. There are more than 4,000 public and private colleges, universities, and community colleges in the United States, including over 600 public four-year colleges and universities and over 1,650 private four-year colleges and universities. These traditional institutions enroll nearly 15 million students. 6,250+ non-collegiate post secondary institutions offer specialized vocational and technical training.
The United States is the longest-surviving constitutional republic with the oldest written constitution in the world. Its government operates as a representative democracy through a congressional system under a set of powers specified by its Constitution. There are three levels of government: federal, state, and local. Officials at all three levels are either elected by voters in a secret ballot or appointed by other elected officials.
The United States is an influential country in scientific and technological research and the production of innovative technological products. During World War II, the U.S. was the first to develop the atomic bomb, ushering in the atomic age. During the beginning of the Cold War, the U.S. began successes in space science and technology, leading to a space race, which led to rapid advances in rocketry, weaponry, material science, computers, and many other areas, culminating the visit of a man to the moon, when Neil Armstrong stepped off Apollo 11 in July 1969.
In the sciences, the United States has a large share of Nobel Prizes, especially in the fields of physiology and medicine. The National Institutes of Health, a focal point for biomedical research in the United States, has contributed to the completion of the Human Genome Project. The main government organization for aviation and space research is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Major corporations, such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, also play an important role.
World’s most affluent economy, the USA’s economic history has its roots in the marginally successful colonial economies that progressed to largest industrial nation in the world by the turn of the 20th Century. In a way, it is not an exaggeration to say that the US economy decides entire economy of the globe.
Compared to other developed countries, the health level in the United States is ranked low (72nd) by WHO and infant mortality rate is high (5 per 1,000); only Latvia’s is higher at 6 per 1,000. Obesity is also a public health problem, which is estimated to cost tens of billions of dollars every year.
Society and Culture
Known for its welcoming and embracing culture, the US is home to many immigrants. From youngsters who step into the US to professionals who leave behind their homes to fulfill their realistic or unrealistic dreams, the US is the desired destination of a huge world populace. Now that you plan to go to the US, with studying, you must try to become a working member of the community and the culture. Rich and varied in its many colors and flavors, the US hasn’t lost its own unique culture and lifestyle. It rather welcomes students from across the world to become a part of its plethora of activities and new opportunities. Now that you plan to go to the US for studying, you must try to become a working member of the community and the culture.
Known for its welcoming and embracing culture, the US is home to many immigrants. From youngsters who step into the US to professionals who leave behind their homes to fulfill their realistic or unrealistic dreams, the US is the desired destination of a huge world populace.
The road network in the US is well developed and well maintained. For those who of you who drive, the roads will be a smooth ride and those that don’t want to drive or simply can’t, you can easily avail of the bus service, which may facilitate you with a students’ discount. The available options for moving around are:
Bicycles : Since campuses of universities cover very large areas, students find a bicycle an easy way to commute.
Buses : Bus services all over the US are affordable and accessible.
Trains and Subways : These are the most frequently used modes of transportation.
Taxis : Easily accessible Taxis run all over U.S.A and can be found especially at bus terminals and airports
Plane : US is provider with accessible and affordable domestic flights.
Money and Banks
The basic unit of exchange in the United States is the dollar ($), which is divided into 100 cents .There are four denominations of commonly used coins: 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, and 25 cents. A one-cent coin is a penny, a five-cent coin is a nickel, a ten-cent coin is a dime, and a 25-cent coin is a quarter. U.S. paper money (often called bills: for example, a “one-dollar bill”) comes in single-bill denominations of one dollar ($1.00), two dollars ($2.00, but these are rare), five dollars ($5.00), ten dollars ($10.00), twenty dollars ($20.00), fifty dollars ($50.00), and one hundred dollars ($100.00). You will immediately notice that, unlike in most other countries, U.S. bills of are all the same size and all the same color. They are differentiated from each other by the number value and with the portrait of a different U.S. historical figure on each denomination. Almost all American banks now offer banking privileges 24 hours a day through “Automatic Teller Machines” or ATMs. When you open an account at a bank, you will be issued a bankcard and a personal identification number (PIN). You will be able to use this card in your bank’s ATM to access your account and make transactions henceforth.
In regard to the multinational culture in America, the cuisine is also as varied and as multicultural. You will find anything you want to eat in the big cities of America. But for those of you who love experimenting with their food, America is the place to be in. Being the huge place that it is, each region of America will have its own distinct taste to whet your appetite. From relaxing at their regular fast food outlets and coffee shops to a formal five course meal at plush restaurants, Americans are very fond of eating out.
If you have a valid Driver’s License from your own country you can drive with that in the US but it would be very helpful to get an International Driving Permit from the authorities in your country as it stands as a kind of your verification card. If you want to drive or learn to drive in the US you would be required to apply for a Learner’s Permit.
Cellular phones are widely available in the United States, and most mobile phones purchased in other countries will not work in the United States. If you wish to have a cellular phone, it is best to get one after you arrive. At most U.S. colleges and universities, you will be assigned, upon request, a free e-mail address. In some cases, Internet services are also free. Generally, U.S. colleges and universities have several computer rooms where you can check your e-mail,
Use the Internet or various software programs.
Unlike other places where people shop daily, people in the US generally shop over weekends and that too from supermarkets. You will find that a distinct difference from India will be that the prices at shops will be fixed, no bargaining here!
Before you understand and adopt the lifestyle of US, it is important to know the various parts that make up the United States. The United States is the world’s third largest country by land area, after Russia and Canada. It is bounded by the North Atlantic Ocean in the east, the North Pacific Ocean in the west, Mexico in the south, and Canada in the north. The US is huge and divided into fifty states; for easier study it is split into six regions:
- The Northeast A region comprising Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, the Northeast is a pot house of diverse cultures and renowned for its prestigious universities.
- The Mid Atlantic comprising New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, DC and Maryland, the Middle Atlantic, is the most illustrated region of the US, as it boasts of being home to the biggest city of the world, New York and also the capital city Washington, DC. Once known for shipping companies, now the Middle Atlantic is famous for being the corporate center of the finance, communications, and pharmaceuticals industries.
- The South A delight for tourists and people who want to take life easy, that is, just relax, the South is home to the very hospitable Southerner, who will welcome you in his midst in a temperate climate. The regions that comprise South are Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida,
- The Midwest Ohio comprise, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, parts of Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, and eastern Colorado build up the Midwest. The most fertile land, the Midwest covers the largest area of the US. It is well known for being the center of old traditions, values, and customs.
- The Southwest The Southwest is an area most untouched by immigrants and outsiders. Well known for its Grand Canyon and the casino city of Las Vegas, it comprises of western Texas, parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada.
- The West Contrary to the people of the Midwest, Westerners are more open and less traditional. This region is the centre of the most diverse and multi-colored cultures. It is made up of western Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, California, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii.
The Indian population in the US has recorded a phenomenal growth of 105.87 per cent in the past decade, the highest among all Asian origin groups, according to the US Census Bureau. The Association of Indians in America (AIA) is the oldest national association of Asian Indians in America, founded August 20, 1967. Cultural events of all kinds are very common. You can catch up with the Indian film industry live shows, or musical shows. All festivals are celebrated in the Indian communities. One can also catch up with Indian television channels. You could check out varied Indian communities on internet, as well. You’ll be amazed to see that a little India exists even in the midst of USA.