Thanks to having one of the best university systems in the world, America is established as the world’s most popular destination for overseas study. The American education system is progressive and offers the best resources including libraries and highly trained staff; cutting edge education combines with culturally diverse learning environments, making it a perfect place to fulfill your potential and build a successful career. On top of this, campuses compete to make international students feel at home, as developing a globally diverse student body ensures the likelihood of attracting the world’s best students.

This list features universities in the United State that have the highest rankings, the best lecturers and tutors and a commitment to generating groundbreaking research.

Princeton University

This establishment is beautiful, with it’s traditional Gothic architecture and ancient trees. It also consistently tops polls thanks to its status as a major research university with a commitment to looking after its students. This is evidenced by a pioneering financial aid program, which guarantees that accepted students can afford to study in comfort. 98% of students live on campus, hence it offers a vibrant social life and many cultural events, thanks to the university’s commitment to promoting the arts. Princeton is at the forefront of the American education system, with programs based on emerging fields such as neuroscience and environmental humanities.

Harvard University

Being the oldest institution of higher learning in the US, Harvard is one of the best known universities in the world and its students feel proud to attend an establishment that has contributed so much to American history. Harvard is also home to a vast private library with some of the oldest and most valuable books in the country. The University has the biggest financial endowment in the world, which is well invested in the best equipment and living quarters. It’s location in Boston is quite geographically compressed meaning that the university offers excellent opportunities to walk, cycle and keep fit; perhaps this is why it is such a great place for sports. Joining a team is a great way to socialise at Harvard.

Yale University

The main characteristic of this university is its division into 12 residential colleges. Yale is seen as a forerunner in student support, as class sizes are smaller (75% of its courses enroll fewer than 20 students) meaning on average you’ll be given more individual focus. Yale is a major research institution with an impeccable reputation for politics and social sciences, and the popularity of it’s bulldog mascot demonstrates students’ pride in this institution. Yale University combines the resources of a major research institution with the personality of a small college. It is very welcoming of international students, with students from 118 countries currently in attendance.

Columbia University

Columbia University has a rich literary tradition, which has spawned many writers, and which contributes to it reputation for being a hotbed of enthusiastic discussion. Students here are renowned for being politically active; Barack Obama studied here as well as many other intellectual political thinkers and activists of our time. Because students are guaranteed housing on campus in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood throughout their studies at Columbia University, the typical worries about accommodation in a big city are not a problem.  Columbia is a great place to develop a varied social life and learn about one of the world’s most exciting cities first hand.

Stanford University 

Stanford University’s  giant campus lined with palm trees, exists in a hot desert environment. Its graduates have played a major role in the development of the Silicon Valley. Resultant to this Silicon Valley companies invite students to ‘idea jams’ focused on solving real business challenges. These ‘jams’ create and open lines for positive communication and can lead to internships and jobs. The presence of influential companies like Tesla reflects the forward thinking atmosphere that inspires everything from finance to fine art in new and inspiring ways.

University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is a unique place, bursting with positivity, enthusiasm and great minds. The University has a good mix of seriousness and fun; its quirkiness is reflected in events like the annual scavenger hunt, which offers students opportunities to express themselves in a playfully intelligent way. Chicago University’s big city setting offers a lot of variety. Additionally many students are comfortable spending most of their time around the campus at Hyde Park, which is renowned for being a diverse and inclusive neighborhood. From the fall of 2016 there will be free buses to the Chicago town centre from this student hub, which will further increase opportunities to engage with the main city, which is famous for its many great art museums.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT is considered to be a prime target for students aiming to turn their technology ideas into successful businesses. This technology transfer program is born from what thousands of companies refer to as a ‘living lab’. It’s incredible architecture is a good hint that despite being best known for math, science and engineering, the arts are also well valued. MIT’s Architecture, Humanities and Social Science programs are highly acclaimed. Boston is very close, and it’s influence is felt in MIT’s vibrant and diverse music scene.

Duke University

Known by many as ‘Harvard of the south’, Duke is proud of its many academic achievements, especially in Science. These include a Biochemistry department that’s home to two recent Nobel Laureates. Thanks to Durham being a small town, Duke makes an effort to keep its students entertained, so joining an organisation is a good idea if you want to avoid the party scene. At Duke, ‘Greek life’ is still a big part of university life, so aim for something sober and positive like the student government, basketball (which this university is famous world over for) or one of the many academic groups.

University of Pennsylvania

Home to America’s oldest business school (Wharton) and a highly acclaimed nursing institution, Penn is known for balancing academia with an engaging social life in a historic campus. Similarly, its stern Gothic buildings are offset with well looked after gardens, giving students a space to relax. Seeing as there is so much variety in subjects, there is an underlying sense of being immersed in a diverse and friendly student community. Owing it’s high ranking this institute is a favorite for recruiters in many industries as they consider Penn graduates to be more personable yet still incredibly professional.

California Institute of Technology

Seeing as Caltech focuses on science and engineering, running vital research projects with grants from NASA, the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Health, this institution has a large investment in making our world a better place using research and top notch education. Caltech boasts a student to faculty ratio of 3:1 and this is not exaggerated, making its student support unbeatable. The cornerstone of this research institute is analysis and exploration of data.

Find out more about these universities by visiting their school profiles; and if you feel you have what it takes to study at one of them, submit an application