Submitted by Hanaaaah t3_yiul8a in Pennsylvania

as you read it, I would like to move to the United States for my studies and i have applied to Pennstate and other universities and I hope I will be accepted but I have so many questions. ( my dm are open )

  • universities are too expensive, are there any scholarships available ?
  • how do students work to pay for food and apartments?
  • Which visa do I need to come?
  • How safe is Pennsylvania? it's a bit stereotypical and stupid but I'm afraid to be killed
  • is life expensive?
  • and if you could advise me another state other than Pennsylvania which one it would be ?


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spicynuggies t1_iukrjp2 wrote

State College, where Penn State is, is a very safe city.

Philly, Pittsburgh, and other cities have more dangerous parts but if you use common sense and dont wander too far off it shouldnt be an issue.

International students dont get the same benefits that native students get like financial aid, even out of state students recieve less aid in most cases.

However third party scholarships are not uncommon, I would do some research and find some for French students studying abroad.


Ham_Ahoy t1_iulze47 wrote

Pittsburgh is MUCH safer than Philadelphia. Of course, like any city, it has bad parts, but overall it is FAR safer. Considering philly is a major city in the USA and Pittsburgh is not, this should make sense. Pittsburgh is considered a "third class" city based on population. Philly is a "first class" city, but don't expect to find them to be classy :)


jetsetninjacat t1_ium9s9d wrote

Pittsburgh is 2nd class...

And it's the only 2nd class city in the state.


mountainman77777 t1_iumnx9j wrote

Anywhere east of the Appalachian mountains is New Jersey as far as I’m concerned.


Relative_Roof2356 t1_iumqpqn wrote

What about reading?


jetsetninjacat t1_iun55xe wrote

Could be second A. If not it is third class city. I'm not sure what PA cities are second A or how that's chosen specifically.


Aes_Should_Die t1_iund0ip wrote

It’s metro is top 30, even if the city itself is relatively small


Ham_Ahoy t1_iuma8hg wrote

Ah jeez. I'm sorry. I didn't Google it first and had it in my head that the Paris of Appalachia and one of the best cities to live in the USA was a 3rd class city. I was way off on what the population numbers were to classify those cities.


antechrist23 t1_iumcmwq wrote

If something has to be called the X of Y then it means it's shit.


delusions- t1_iun8yrb wrote

Ah yes, the battle of hastings, The United States Of America, The Statue Of Liberty...


Varolyn t1_iun5omp wrote

Actually, the crime rates of both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are fairly similar. Yearly crime rate per 100k people in Philadelphia is at 4037, while Pittsburgh is at 3185.


save_us_catman t1_iulxven wrote

Honestly penn state Harrisburg campus is incredibly safe and as far as I know is cheaper than main


EmpiricalAnarchism t1_iumclpi wrote

You have to live in Middletown though, which is a huge tradeoff.


drumberg t1_iupxz7x wrote

As someone who lives in the greater Harrisburg area this is a serious negative for the Harrisburg campus. Can confirm.

Edit: No offense Middletown people. It's just that when I was college-aged I'd take a hard pass on your town. Now that I'm old I have no problems with you. I like Tattered Flag. We're cool.


EmpiricalAnarchism t1_iur9uor wrote

Middletown is a cesspit. It’s not even nice enough to reach cesspool levels. I heard a few years ago they tried to make the town dry because of the campus. Imagine how much that would suck.


GoodAcanthocephala95 t1_iuoit8k wrote

I live near penn state Abington. Low crime lovely area close to Philadelphia for fun and partying


OIK2 t1_iuop2yy wrote

I went to Penn State New Kensington, outside of Pittsburgh. They had a small college experience with a big university budget. I knew all of the professors in my major by my 2nd year, but also presented at a national conference my 4th year.

When it came to paying for it, I always advised that is you get good at homework, they will pay you to do your in scholarships and paid research work.


axeville t1_ium86wv wrote

Don't leave your free healthcare enormous tuition subsidies topless beaches and 6 weeks of leave a year minimum. The food is shitty here unless you're rich and the weather is highly unpredictable. Most people here are barely surviving. If you want to be a billionaire move to Silicon Valley all our billionaires are coal miners and oil tycoons or the children of them.


BasileusLeoIII t1_iumb3ox wrote

The median household income in PA is $63,627. In France, it's $40,094.

There are less safety nets for the bottom portion of society in the US, but your average American is significantly wealthier and better off than your average Frenchman or European.


postsgiven t1_iumcgvo wrote

And all french people get free healthcare + other free things so it's not even the same thing. That extra $20k goes away the second you have to do an x-ray in the hospital...


BasileusLeoIII t1_iumekqe wrote

The overwhelming majority of middle and upper class Americans receive healthcare through their employer. Such people are not spending $20,000 a year every year on medical expenses; that assertation is absurd.

I get that america = bad on reddit, but we're talking numbers here. The millions of people per year who uproot their lives to start fresh in America aren't doing so out of ignorance.


audreypea t1_iumgyyy wrote

Most people are still paying for healthcare through their employer. I pay $130 per paycheck, which is $3,380 a year just to be insured. Then my out of pocket max for the year is $7k. I meet it every year because I’m unlucky enough to be an American with medical conditions I didn’t ask for. So I’m paying over $10k a year, even with my fancy employer insurance.


BasileusLeoIII t1_iumhwoy wrote

Ok, so you're on average $13k ahead compared to a similarly situated Frenchman. I'd personally fight pretty hard for a $13k a year raise, especially if it came with vastly superior healthcare treatment outcomes and wait times


[deleted] t1_iumj9uw wrote



BasileusLeoIII t1_iumkq59 wrote

Yeah that's the point bozo, you can't.

The median person's wages in the US are $23k higher than the median Frenchman's. Subtracting a generous 10k for the healthcare estimates of the above user, the same worker earns $13k more in the US every year.

We don't have the ability to just ask for raises that high; this is why the US is the most popular immigration destination in the world. Because its people are quite significantly wealthier, due to their higher wages and lower cost of goods.

Naïve of you to not read or understand any of the above conversation, interject with an irrelevant point and personal insult, and think that you've made a compelling point.


sebko1 t1_iumyiee wrote

" free healthcare + other free things" that's a funny way of saying 'taxpayer funded'


postsgiven t1_iun30m0 wrote

We pay taxes also in the USA yet we don't get any of that. If my taxes increased a $1 a month and it saved lives i would do it and that's basically how much it increases for everyday people. Rich people it increases a lot more but they are rich they have money to live.


KFCConspiracy t1_iumcb58 wrote

I'm not sure that better off is correct. If you're making 60k, your average american's healthcare will be insufficient for major medical expenses. Also, your average American isn't saving enough for retirement. If you correct for the benefits gap there, the take-home looks pretty similar, with the American having a lower life expectancy and less paid time off.


Patari2600 t1_iumj7ui wrote

When looking at median Disposable income for US is about $43k, and for France it is $29k. Median Disposable income takes into account medical expenses and retirement savings, as well as rent costs, taxes, etc. basically its how much money is left over after all life expenses. So people still make more here than France. Though the French do get a lot more time out


KFCConspiracy t1_iumq0u6 wrote

OK, but you still don't end up bankrupt in France over something like getting cancer, so that disposable income doesn't really tell the whole story about benefits. And they have a 5 year longer life expectancy, their infant mortality rate is 50% of ours.

Although I was surprised to learn we have almost exactly the same rate of poverty among seniors with their stronger pension program.


PsyPharmSci t1_iun5n06 wrote

Do a full budget including rent, food, internet (you'll need it for school, it's not a luxury and it's not cheap), books and supplies, you'll need warm clothing, probably cold medicine at some point, toiletries and basic pots and pans, and transportation costs. Really flesh out the budget to meet your needs. Don't forget health insurance in whatever way you can get it. Part time employees do not get health insurance even offered. You'll likely get it through school.

Try to see what kind of job you'll be able to get and use THAT income figure. I lived in State College over a decade ago and the rent was insane then and only has gotten worse. Check availability and look up costs of utilities where they're not included.

Look at the rate of inflation over the last two years, project the same percentage increase (or up it a bit) and take your yearly income from that job you can get and apply it to your budget. You will NOT get a raise, so don't bother planning for it. Inflation up, wages stagnant.

The minimum wage in PA is $7.25 or $7.50 an hour. A gallon of milk and a loaf of fresh white bread in State College totals $5.57.

The safety nets are under attack. Don't count on them. Scholarships rarely cover all expenses. If I could go back and talk to 19 year old me, I'd say "not worth it, don't do it."

Really dig and do the research to see if you will actually be better off. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone from your country.


axeville t1_iuo6d0v wrote

If you end up w a disability in the us you're begging for help on the streets. If you can't work your own insurance will terminate you when the employer stops paying. If you have a jumbo claim the insurer will red line you even if you work and good luck.

This is the land of opportunity but so is Singapore and Dubai.


BasileusLeoIII t1_iuo8cl6 wrote

> This is the land of opportunity but so is Singapore and Dubai

You can see that OP's name is Hannah - but you're so eager to try to dunk on America that you'd suggest she move to Dubai, in a country where she literally needs a male guardian's permission to work?

cringiest reddit moment I've ever seen

sincerely, get a fucking clue


axeville t1_iuowg81 wrote

You may want to check with the google on that. Dubai is not Saudi Arabia. Expat women can work drive etc.

Also you're claiming op is a woman based on a Reddit Nick? Lolllll welcome to the internet


Aes_Should_Die t1_iunctns wrote

I lived in Pittsburgh for years. Including a year in the Hill District. It was not a very dangerous place. Especially if you stayed off certain streets


gvillepa t1_iukwzi9 wrote

You haven't been to Philly lately, have you?


spicynuggies t1_iukzrmm wrote

I know its been bad lol. The ATVs and all lol.

But generally speaking I wouldn't feel unsafe in Center City/University City/Northeast Philly/Fishtown


Hanpee221b t1_iul86b3 wrote

Yeah seriously, stick around Drexel and Penn and you’ll be fine, especially if you use the shuttle services and the public safety escorts.


gvillepa t1_iuloaz1 wrote

Haha. Philly is trash. Read your comment out loud. A place is not safe if it requires all these precautions in order to stay safe. People here are in denial. Philly is trash compared to what it was even 5 years ago compared to 15 years ago.

Philly is on pace to achieve last year's record of 562 homicides with over 430 so far in 2022.


actuallyaustin6 t1_iulzvac wrote

I feel safer in Philly than I do being followed by some creepy white guys in some attention-seeking pick-up truck out in the middle of nowhere PA, I’ll tell you that much.


the_hoagie t1_ium4fnt wrote

Damn dude. I guess nobody cares you're afraid of the city.


gvillepa t1_iun7pz4 wrote

You're right. I prefer law and order but typical Philly folks want to pretend it's a great place. So many other cities in the US are so much cleaner, safer, and better to live and visit. Simple fact.


Shawna_Love t1_iul2zbm wrote

Penn state literally facilitated a massive child rape program. Get the fuck out of here with your dogwhistle bullshit.


Hopeful_Scholar398 t1_iulwj59 wrote

Damn, guess people don't like remembering how Pennstate facilitated a child predator and refused to investigate him after multiple allegations.


dpawaters t1_iukusvn wrote

Go to university in Canada - specifically the province of Quebec. Their government has a special deal where you are able to pay Canadian tuition as French student:

If you would like to go to an English language university, McGill University or Concordia University are both in Montreal.


Hanaaaah OP t1_iulpcv5 wrote



stjblair t1_iulubse wrote

Just to add, this wouldn’t hurt you one bit when job hunting. You can always move to PA afterwards!


thebemusedmuse t1_iulqbic wrote

McGill is a really smart option plus the locals will dig your accent.


stjblair t1_iulue58 wrote

the locals will dig their accents wherever they go.


mcgillthrowaway22 t1_ium79xo wrote

If OP is European French, locals in Montreal will probably just assume they live on the Plateau Mont-Royal lol.


Tony_Ice t1_ium8rb3 wrote

This is the move. You will get a lot of the east coast North America experience in Montreal with a better standard of living.


BasileusLeoIII t1_iumb80k wrote

McGill is the Harvard of Canada, it isn't as simple as just telling OP to go there instead


rubey419 t1_iumojv7 wrote

Lmao yeah I was about to say.

OP just go to Harvard duh


Bird_Brain4101112 t1_iukn48d wrote

As an international student you will have to pay full tuition out of pocket so that’s your first step.


Hanaaaah OP t1_iuko3lm wrote

but where are you from ? because we have to apply for scholarships in our countries and I know that France provides many grants for the scholarship


Bird_Brain4101112 t1_iukpnj7 wrote

It’s pretty standard for US universities to require international students to pay full tuition. They also often have to provide proof of funds to cover their entire tuition before they are accepted.

You can literally Google school + international students and they will tell you all of what’s required. A quick google search confirms what I told you you at least for Penn State. International students are not offered any kind of financial aid. And you you to prove you have funds to pay tuition in full before attending.

On a student visa, you probably won’t be able to work. Except maybe at the school. MAYBE.

A student visa? Again. You can look this up yourself.

Pennsylvania is as safe or dangerous as any other place. Stay out of sketchy areas and dark alleys alone at night and you will likely be fine.

You’re going to have the exact same situation no matter what state/location as far as type of visa required and tuition payment requirements.


Hanaaaah OP t1_iukq2ok wrote

thank you so much


StonkBoy98 t1_iulhz8w wrote

Hey OP, I love right by State College and love Penn State, if you do come here and need help in any way making friends, going to (US) football games, etc. or just have questions about how US college works Lmk! I’d love to help out a person looking to enjoy our beautiful state


Patari2600 t1_iukqbfk wrote

Generally Universities in the US do not give many scholarships to international students. Most scholarships and financial assistance is reserved for people within the country. However, there may be some available, I would do some research online as well as in your country, I know a few have grants for students studying abroad.


Inert_Uncle_858 t1_iukr63p wrote

Why do you want to come to America for college? Don't get me wrong Penn State is a good school but there's probably a better one in Europe you can attend for free.

Compared to Europe Pennsylvania (which is the best state imo, I love my state) is stupid expensive. This is America, we have very few social programs and those that do kind of suck/only for the very poorest citizens.

Like literally we have people who starve because they make "too much" to qualify for aid. You won't be killed lol, unless you go looking for trouble, I'm sure it's the same in Europe. It's not a war zone... Yet lmao.

Do you have any marketable skills? (Trade experience, apprenticeships) because if not you will likely end up working in retail through college. It pays terribly. PA has one of the lowest minimum wages and is "at will" employment, so they'll fire you for like literally no reason. There's hardly any union power except in certain industries, and you'll be exploited as much as you are willing to take.

Lol don't get me wrong I love Pennsylvania, but if I was born and raised in Europe I would just stay there. Life would be exponentially easier.


ChrisTheHurricane t1_iulcq56 wrote

The university system in the US is the best in the world. There are some amazing universities in Europe, don't get me wrong, but the number of good schools here and the networks they have here in the good ol' US of A are second to none.

Plus studying while immersing yourself in a foreign culture is incredibly enriching.


TacoNomad t1_ium01he wrote

I'm not sure why you're being downvoted.

Getting a high quality education and living in foreign countries are two things that can bring a lot of perspective and benefit a person's future.


Excelius t1_iumdkv1 wrote

> Compared to Europe Pennsylvania is stupid expensive.

Sorta, not really.

Europeans are often shocked at how cheap things are in the US.

The VAT (sorta like a sales tax) in France is 20%, compared to 6-7% here. Gas is around $6 a gallon.

On the other hand for all of our cheap "stuff", the US tends to make up for it in high housing/healthcare/education costs.


Dayquil_unepic t1_iukt5yo wrote

We have plenty of social programs. We spend more money on welfare and health care than we do on the military. The issue is that the programs are very unorganized and inefficient.


BB8_My_Lunch t1_ium1sjj wrote

The real problem is Republicans declare a social program dead then defund it, neuter it, disparage its beneficiaries until it actually is broken and ineffective. Then, they say, "see, we told you."


Muscadine76 t1_ium45sx wrote

This is absolutely incorrect. The only way to support your claim is to include things like Medicare and Social Security, which are very efficient programs, and in the case of Medicare it would be even more efficient if it were universalized.


Dayquil_unepic t1_iung9ag wrote

No. We spend more money on social security than we do on the military or healthcare/welfare.


Wuz314159 t1_iuknh2h wrote

mon dieu. Don't do it. Everything is expensive. I don't know of any Erasmus style programmes here.

PA is as good as anywhere in the US. State College is safe, but it's in the middle of nowhere. Hours from any city. (and transit sucks)

I'm biased, but many Americans are heading to Europe for uni because things are too expensive here.


Patari2600 t1_iukq3rl wrote

The amount of Americans who are heading to Europe for college is miniscule. College in Europe is not free nor cheap if you are not from the country. It would be cheaper to go to Penn State than go to Europe for College.

Edit: I looked into this when I was applying to undergrad, I know things are different for masters degrees and it is actually cheaper for those. When I was in undergrad most European English Speaking Universities were charging between 10k-15k, For Penn State at the time it was about 16k, so when travel costs and COL was factored in, Europe was not cheaper than the US.


dean84921 t1_iulu713 wrote

I'm an American with two degrees from Europe, and what you say isnt true at all.

Germany provides tuition-free education for all students accepted to university regardless of citizenship. Many programs require German language proficiency, but mine didn't. I paid a grand total of about $700 per year in admin fees, and that came with free public transit across the entire state, high quality subsidized meals at the dining hall for $2.50 a piece, a subsidized student bar where beers were $1.90, and all textbooks and class materials provided free of charge.

College in Germany was basically free. And it's not even that hard to get accepted.

Ireland is "expensive" for Americans compared to EU/Irish citizens, but it was still only ~10,000 for a year-long masters degree. It's an expensive place to live, but even so it was far cheaper than anything equivalent I could have done in the US. Ireland also has a similar uni culture to America. Germany was more barebones thought.


nardlz t1_iul56ks wrote

Not entirely true I have several former students going to school in Europe. They all could have easily stayed local but are saving a ton of money even accounting for flying back and forth. Right that it's not necessarily free for them, but it's so much more affordable.


TrueLoveEditorial t1_iulbh2x wrote

A friend of mine attended college in Belgium. She paid about $1800/semester. Maybe per year. Absurdly low-cost compared to what she would have paid back here in PA.


queengingerr t1_iulb0ba wrote

Not exactly true. I studied in Ireland for my masters degree and it ending up being far cheaper than attending a university in the states.


Patari2600 t1_iumcllv wrote

I was referring to undergrade, masters degrees in the US are way more expensive and there are far fewer scholarship and financial aid options.


webauteur t1_iuktm1t wrote

State College is more representative of the United States than a big city, like New York City, in my opinion. It has your typical middle class suburbs. State College is very ordinary although the college dominates the town more than other college towns.

However, there is probably less support for moving there from abroad than in New York City which has a French expat community.


[deleted] t1_iukwaow wrote

The transit within state college is great. The CATA system will take you anywhere you need. It's the only thing I liked about that place. For leaving the town it really isn't that bad either. There's lots of buses like greyhounds etc. But yeah. It's not as efficient as high speed rail etc.


AlanTrebek t1_iuktjgn wrote

Why not go to school in France and then do a study abroad year in the states? Give yourself a taste of it before jumping in head first? Also, State College is in the middle of nowhere, I feel like you would easily feel stranded. Yes Philadelphia has crime but if you would be able to experience so much more in the city, and be able to travel much more easily to other destinations, the Jersey Shore, NYC, and DC etc. There are a ton of schools in the Philly region and most of them have study abroad programs.


minionoperation t1_iul6o7d wrote

Pennsylvania is the best state to experience living in America, in my opinion. The northeast is the best region in the USA, we have everything you could want within a few hours. Cities, mountains, beaches, recreation, really some of the most beautiful scenery. Best wishes in your search!


e9967780 t1_iulcsqv wrote

More foreign students come to the US as graduate students, as graduate students you will get scholarships or grants for most of the programs. You will get a F1 visa for that. After completing the degree you will get a two year work permit. So all in all, you can do a graduate degree and work experience in the US for free based on the program.

Most foreign students who come for undergraduate studies pay their way through it. They cannot work unless they have residentship such as a green card. You will also pay out of state fees which is high, but if you are an outstanding athlete you may get a scholarship. There may be scholarships such as transfer students between France and US, your best bet is to contact a US consulate in France to get some ideas.

Having studied in the US and now living in Pennsylvania, this is one of the safest states. My daughter goes to Penn state but a local campus in greater Pittsburgh area, not only is it cheaper than the main campus, she also gets personal attention from the professors who have helped her immensely to navigate through the four years and helped to land internships and jobs.

There are many other universities in Pennsylvania including the IVY league UPenn which is as good as Harvard and Stanford but as difficult to get in.

This is the list of universities in Pennsylvania.


chickey23 t1_iukv2wv wrote

You would almost need to have personal connections within the university. Without an existing relationship, this would likely be much more difficult

Programs may exist, but you will need to have a strong motivation to contact each university's foreign student programs. These programs will be different at each school, but they will have very specific information that is essential

Start as early as you can. Use your local schools to help find programs

A search suggests that France's Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs offers scholarships


1989throwa t1_iul1g6y wrote

As a resident of Centre County, it is really cool to hear you are thinking of moving here!

That being said: the whole US has an affordable housing crisis (I remember seeing a map that shows there is literally no county with housing that can reasonably be called "affordable") but State College is worse than its surrounding areas. (A ton of parents want to move into the State College School District because it is a quality district).

The mass transit in State College itself is pretty good. It isn't as good once you get outside of the main routes, but there is this new thing called CATA Go (CATA=Centre Area Transit Authority) that has a low cost ($2 USD per trip from what I remember) that is kind of like cheaper Uber.

Before coming over, I would recommend making sure you know what you want to study. Penn State is a world class research university. We have cutting edge research being studied on and near campus. So if you are looking for a STEM education, Penn State is a good choice.

But it is a huge university: you will know mostly people in your program and select extracurricular activities but not many outside of it. Also, it is competitive to get into the closer working relationship with professors, especially as an undergraduate student.

But Pennsylvania has so many universities and colleges. Even as a lifelong resident of PA, I am still learning of new universities and colleges in the Commonwealth. You might find a number of private universities that might offer more scholarships to international students. (I know of one, Susquehanna University, that requires all students to have a cross cultural experience [Not required of international students, obviously]. Because they want to promote global connections, they might have some financial aid options that could make them cheaper than Penn State. There are almost certainly other colleges and universities that have similar goals, but I haven't looked at many colleges at all since I was accepted to grad school over a decade ago.)

Philly is a tough city. Most folks are good people, but they don't put up with fools (or individuals who diss their sports teams). Politically it is solidly on the political Left. If you are smart, it is pretty safe.

Pittsburgh is a more sedate city (still tough, but not necessarily in your face). The city itself is politically Left, but the suburbs becoming more politically right the further you get from the city. A bit safer than Philly.

There are also the areas around Harrisburg, Lancaster, Williamsport, Bethlehem/Allentown, Scranton, and Erie in addition to State College, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia, so don't be afraid of looking beyond. All of these listed areas have a variety of colleges and universities. On the whole, PA is pretty safe for having over 12 million residents. (I saw one article claiming it is the 11th safest in the country.)

As for places to eat and sleep, the average Penn State student has roommates and try to cook inexpensively. There is a free food pantry for Penn State students and one for State College residents.

As for the expense of living: after food and shelter, it is as pricey as you make it. State College is great if you like the outdoors and want to see forests and ancient (short) mountains. Pennsylvania's state parks have no entrance fee and are free to enter and enjoy. Penn State also has free/low cost places for students to experience music, theater, and art.

Hopefully this provides some helpful information.


Hanaaaah OP t1_iulqe00 wrote

thank you very much it helps me a lot


300blakeout t1_iulrk18 wrote

Our “education” is overpriced and not very good. You are better off staying where you are at unless you want to hang an expensive piece of paper on your wall.


selimnairb t1_iulz1ov wrote

Don’t do it.


Uhhuhnext t1_iumva3y wrote

As a Pennsylvanian with a masters, I second this.


DerHoggenCatten t1_iukzbvn wrote

There may be scholarships available, but they would almost certainly be limited and for specific programs. Most international students are going to pay a lot to go to an American University. The costs of Penn State are here:

You pay the same for room and meals as any other student. The reason tuition is higher for international students is that funding for state colleges come from taxes and you're not getting the benefit of having your tuition subsidized as a non-citizen. This is the same reason that out-of-state students pay more than residents. If your family didn't pay into the system, you don't benefit from those systems.

Most students work to pay for school by working part-time or doing work study programs (which may not be available to you as a non-resident, but you'd have to check). Many can't work enough to pay 100% of the tuition and take out student loans or get help from their parents.

You need to contact Penn State and ask them about visa sponsorship. They almost certainly have a process for getting student visas together for international students (as most colleges and universities do). You can also ask them about special programs in regards to financing and education with them, but I wouldn't count on there being any.

The town of State College is probably more expensive than other parts of PA, but PA in general isn't as expensive as some other states (e.g., CA). College campuses tend to be pretty safe, and things aren't nearly as dangerous in the U.S. as people might think, but you do have to be careful not to be running around in dangerous areas or late at night in situations which are risky (e.g., don't get drunk and wander around parking lots at midnight).

In terms of other states, you can look at the list of universities which are in this article that are much more economical than Penn State (which costs $40,000 a year for international students as compared to Brigham Young University in Utah which is $14,000).

That being said, there are far cheaper state universities in PA which you can go to if you want to go to PA for certain. For example, Clarion University of PA is $16,000 a year for tuition for international students (, but it lacks the prestige of Penn State. Whether or not that matters depends on your reason for getting a degree and what major you're going to pursue.


originaljimeez t1_iumb613 wrote

Maybe wait until we see the results of next week’s election before you pull the trigger.


B-Eze t1_iukogrb wrote

There are scholarships available, (edit: Another comment said since your euro you pay fully out of pocket, they probably know better)

Students are usually baristas, shop workers, or part time workers around those lines.

I do not know which visa you would need, but I would guess a student visa.

Pennsylvania is pretty safe depending where you move. By Penn state you should be fine, Philadelphia however is a cesspool and not safe at all. However Philadelphia is the major metropolitan with city lights, shows, fine dinning and wine, etc.

Is life expensive, yes and no. Cheaper places to live but PA isn't California or New York. Quality of life and comfort levels are subjective so hard to say. The median income in PA is just under 73k/yr.

Another state as a suggestion, that is a very tough question. Pennstate is in the middle of PA so another state means another school. At that point I would say which prestigious university interests you.


Hanaaaah OP t1_iukp5iz wrote

I will say perhaps Ohayo university? it seems to me reasonable but i have a question the students who are in debt and don’t succeed in their studies, how do they do? I mean, some of them end up with 100k of debt


cool_cool_coool t1_iukqrwq wrote

Ohio is worse off than PA in too many ways to count. School will be expensive everywhere. Students live together and work minimum wage jobs to get by, sometimes 2 or 3 jobs, on top of loans and scholarships if they were lucky enough to get one.


B-Eze t1_iukpnx3 wrote

They pay for it for the rest of their lives. College can be a huge financial trap for the unwise. I would suggest you pick a good well paying career / course of study, and stick with it.


B-Eze t1_iukqibr wrote

Another option, which probably isn't appealing but is financially great, is to serve in the U.S. military. Nothing serious, if your smart go into the airforce. After 4 years of active service you will be given a U.S. citizenship and they will pay for your college education. They will pay for you to go to college while your in, then give you four years worth of college after you get out of the service.


codename_john t1_iul7ce4 wrote

got my masters degree, and a second associates degree for free this way.


kdani17 t1_iul16e9 wrote

You have to keep in mind, when considering room and board costs, that first year students are often REQUIRED to live on campus so your room and board will be extra on top of basic tuition. Plus fees and BOOKS. My first semester at a state university, books and supplies were about $1700 in 2005…


U-GO-GURL- t1_iulpqoc wrote

My life long friend was a french MBA at PSU.

You go to school at PSU and live in graduate dorms. No need to get an apartment

As a grad student, you can apply for an “assistantship”. If selected PSU will pay room and board and half your tuition. (Or just tuition). You provide academic support to the department (help prof with classes, grade papers). Reach out to the Department at PSU for more info.

Bigger schools have bigger scholarship opportunities. If you did well in French schools you can have more opportunities.

Typically minimal scholarship opportunities for foreign students (max tuition is how they make their $) but again reach out to your department.

PSU is very safe as is 99.9% of the US. Don’t believe the media. They only emphasize the bad stuff.


Hanaaaah OP t1_iulrxct wrote

thank you 😁


U-GO-GURL- t1_iunnyt5 wrote

I forgot to mention that I was an undergraduate at Penn State and graduated from there also. For some reason I got stuck on the graduate thing. For your information Penn State is the most expensive public school in the United States. For whatever reason. It’s well known but it is expensive.

When I went to Penn State I was a resident assistant which was the person in the dorm who watches over the other students. I was paying room and board to do that. So I only had to pay my tuition.


MrP3rs0n t1_ium6xkk wrote

Good luck working and expecting to earn enough to pay for food and rent you gon need a loan or rich parents like the rest of us


runway31 t1_ium7zsh wrote

  • there are lots of scholarships, google and apply as much as you can
  • im going to be honest, working to afford housing and food while taking classes is going to be extremely difficult. You can cut down housing costs by applying to be an RA (resident advisor) on campus
  • PA (Pennsylvania) is very safe in many places, state college is a college town and has good lighting, police support, and for the most part good community values. I dont want to victim blame, but if you are cognizant of risks they are easy to mitigate. Harrisburg campus is good too, but Main Campus is more fun and will probably enable to to have more connections in your career.
  • life is expensive, yes, but less so than other places. I can pm you a rough estimate of cost breakdown if you want.
  • if cost is no issue, University of Washington, University of Michigan, Virginia Tech are some other great options. Some of that depends what you want to study as well.

Odd_Description_2295 t1_iumrwvt wrote

PA is one of the safest states to live in

Living in america on a green card is hard.


MaximumDeathShock t1_iumsra5 wrote

If you’re interested in history there are so many cool monuments dedicated to the Marquis de Lafayette. Haven’t found one in French yet but I think there are some.


Liveie t1_iun6de3 wrote

It's fucking expensive :( everything is expensive If you don't have the money up front, you'll have to work through school at the same time


VampyrDarling t1_iunk2bb wrote

I'm a French speaking Canadian who immigrated here, for what it's worth.

I didn't come through the education track, but one thing I do know is that you have to prove to USCIS that you have sufficient financial resources to fund your education and live. Scholarships in the US are, generally speaking, limited to citizens and permanent residents.

People on F visas (education) can generally get employment authorization, but it's very limited in terms of where you can work, and how many hours. Once you finish, you can get OPT for one to two years. This can give you time to get another visa and potentially get on the path to a green card.

In terms of safety, I'm safer here than the reservations I used to live on and around. Don't come thinking you're going to be randomly shot or something, non American media really plays up that sort of thing.

America as a whole is less expensive than Europe.

If I could live in any other state, it would probably be Louisiana or Oklahoma.

One thing you should prepare for is the fact that literally no one here speaks French, and listening to locals butcher obviously French names (looking at you, Versailles) is going to have you cringing pretty much constantly.


dherrmann t1_iuozzq8 wrote

Have you considered Quebec City in Canada? My Parisian colleague spent a 2 week vacation there and loved it. Much nicer than Montreal


Patari2600 t1_iukrzrr wrote

Pennsylvania is generally very safe, though the country as a whole is having a significant crime wave right now. Regardless I would say the odds of you getting hurt or being a victim of a crime are pretty low outside of Philadelphia which has gotten really bad in the last few months.

The cost of living in Pennsylvania is pretty cheap so long as you are not in Philadelphia, and even then it is cheaper than other cities in the region. It has been a few years since I have been in France, but I would say that Pennsylvania can be considerably cheaper, based on how much I remember things like food and gas costing in France.

I left another comment on University cost, which will be high since you are an international student. I think you would need a student visa, which, if I understand the complaints of my international student friends correctly, would make you ineligible for work while pursuing an education outside of official internships.

As far as other states to look at it depends on what you are looking for, I am from Pennsylvania but have had the opportunity to live in many states in the country. If you can tell me what is drawing you to Pennsylvania I could maybe give recommendations of other states to look at too.

Also, if you are just interested in living in the US for a bit, it may be better finically to either go to college in France and look for an exchange program, or come the US for grad school or a starting job. I know a few people who did the second option, they say its a smart move because many jobs pay a bit more here, and the tax burden is a lot lower, but they still got to take advantage of the lower cost universities back home.


Yankiwi17273 t1_iukscxp wrote

I would suggest for each of the individual schools that you contact each of their international students departments, and I would probably broaden your search a little bit to maybe include a few states.

Scholarships are very dependent on which school you go to (again, consult each school regarding what they can offer)

As a French person, Pennsylvania is very safe outside of a few major cities (mainly Pittsburgh and Philadelphia), but crime does exist here just like it does everywhere else.

Visa questions would probably best be answered in a US International Students subreddit, though I suspect you would be looking for a student visa.

How do students pay? They usually pay with a mixture of their parents money, their own earned money from a job, and lots of student loans (and any scholarships/grants they may have access to).

Is life expensive? It depends on what you are planning to do. If you feel like you want to travel the country every weekend or party with the most expensive booze, it can be very expensive. But if you are okay with a more study-oriented program and maybe only do a few local things and spend responsibly, I would imagine things will be cheaper than western Europe on the most part (assuming you live like an American). Overall though, it costs more to live in the suburbs and urban areas than it does to live in the middle of nowhere, and it costs more to live in a good area than it does to live in a bad area.

Other states to consider (assuming that Pennsylvania is for some reason your ideal state):

West Virginia for the mountains and nature Maryland/DC Suburbs for more of the city feel New York: NYC and its metro area for the city, Upstate NY for its beautiful nature and the lakes

I have a question for you as well: As a foreigner, why do you feel that Pennsylvania is the state you want to come study in out of all other states? We usually aren’t seen as a bad state, but we also aren’t used to being seen as a good state either


Hanaaaah OP t1_iulp60l wrote

to be honest I chose Pennsylvania because of Pennstate but I still need to find out about Pennsylvania and other universities to be sure


bontakun82 t1_iukutbc wrote

Look man, the country is currently one step away from being a burning hellscape, but we're trying to make it better. There are great schools in Europe and you won't have to deal with "oh look another school got shot up, it must be Tuesday"


Hanaaaah OP t1_iulpm4x wrote

universities in France are a mess, electricity is expensive for universities so they close for several weeks and at the end of your studies it´s not even sure that you find a job, many are unemployed even though they have a diploma


artificialavocado t1_iul3nog wrote

I would check into Penn State. PA as a whole is very safe and the people are very friendly but like any country the bigger cities can be quite rough. Philly in particular is probably a lot worse than what you are used to in Europe especially with the scale of the poverty there. Penn State is in a small college town in the middle of the state and is wonderful, however I’m biased since I went there.

As far as the immigration stuff I’m really not sure if you can work on a student visa. I would suggest checking the department for international students at whatever university you are looking at.


conraderb t1_iul8lit wrote

Bonjour. Un question, s’il vous plaît - pourquoi Pennsylvania?

J’habite en Philadelphia (originalement de ontario) et je crois que une ville comme Montréal est magnifique, avec beaucoup de opportunités disponibles a McGill ou les autres universités. Il y a aussi, les anglophones et francophones, comme vous voulez. Il n’y a pas des risques de sécurité avec la violence de fusil, et aussi je crois que le climat politique n’est pas Assez corrosif.

Donc…pourquoi PA ou les etats unis?


Hanaaaah OP t1_iulr6m4 wrote

Bonjour , j’ai choisis PA principalement grâce à l’université de Pennstate , je recherchais une université prestigieuse où je peux étudier et je suis tombé sur Pennstate , je me suis renseigné sur les frais et l’état me parait assez « sécurisé » et pas trop cher comparés aux autres états du type NYC ou FL , et les États Unis parce que je n’ai pas l’intention de continuer mes études en France , les universités sont toujours fermés, il y’a des manifestations chaque mois , il y’a sûrement plus d’opportunités de travail aux USA qu’en France , beaucoup de piston , l’état n’aide pas trop les étudiants bien heureusement que le Crous existe.

Et c’est culotté sachant que je veux venir aux États Unis mais taux de criminalité augmente en France et c’est inquiétant. ( mais en fin de compte je crois que je vais rester en France je n’ai pas l’envie de me retrouver endetter de 100 000€ si je n’obtiens pas de diplôme 😅)


bk1285 t1_iul8vy5 wrote

For cheaper schools look into the state schools like Indiana university of Pa, Edinboro university of Pa, Clarion university of Pa and the other state system schools. Quality education, small college towns, loads of fun as a student


JAdoubleWHY t1_iulb251 wrote

Just curious, out of all the states, why Pennsylvania?


Hanaaaah OP t1_iulrf8k wrote

to be honest I chose Pennsylvania because of Pennstate, moreover the state of Pennsylvania seems quite safe to me , and the state seems nice , fun and not too expensive


reddit_4_info t1_iulj6r5 wrote

Vous et plus secure aux PSU en comparison avec PARIS, mais ils ont prendre les boisson beacoup.

Vous vien du PARIS? DM me, si vous voulez. I’m quite familiar avec votre pais et PSU, mais je cannot write in French very well.


Hanaaaah OP t1_iulrp8h wrote

that’s okay i understand you , and no problem


reddit_4_info t1_iuljk32 wrote

Have you considered Ireland? Cork?


reddit_4_info t1_iuljx58 wrote

You are going to absolutely hate the food here, that’s certain. Also, there used to be an expat publication that shared a lot of information. I don’t remember the name, but you may find something online. Have you chosen your major yet?


Hanaaaah OP t1_iulrt1y wrote

what do you mean by my major ?


reddit_4_info t1_iun71x1 wrote

u/Pontiac prime provided you with the correct answer. Basically, do you know your field of study? Accounting, architect, engineer, vet, medicine, computer science because if you have a direction then you may consider choosing a University that has a great reputation in that field of study. Often freshmen are still figuring out who they are and what direction they want to take so they choose liberal arts to get a rounded exposure to many fields. University is expensive so unless you are very affluent it may be a good idea to think this over in advance. I’m sure that you know that you have many great choices in France too. Pourquoi ici? Maybe PSU offers a summer exchange program or similar prior to making a commitment? I don’t know, but it’s something to research.


9070503010 t1_iulyql6 wrote

Been awhile since I lived there, but it’s generally safe. If you want an alternate, cost of living and cost of university is generally lower in North Carolina. Lots of folks moving south. Students here usually work service jobs like restaurants or retail shops. You can make good money as a restaurant server or great money as a bartender if you don’t mind the hours and know what you’re doing.


25Bam_vixx t1_ium59tv wrote

What kind of American college experience are you looking for? Philly school, more of big city life. State college is basically town and university built within , it college life most people see on movies I guess. I went to pen state and loved it so I am bias lol


alinerie t1_ium8swp wrote

State College, Philly, and Pittsburgh are all cool. Erie has a lot to offer, too. The largest of Penn States' satellite campuses, and Gannon and Mercyhurst Universities are here. It has lots of great outdoor opportunities close at hand. The population is just under 100k and it is a fairly diverse mix with lots of different ethnic festivals and a good variety of restaurants. Lots of people still don't lock their homes. It is almost the midwest but has a rail connection to New York and Chicago and an airport with connections to Charlotte, NC, and Chicago. I don't know if Gannon or Mercyhurst has aid available to foreign students but the overall cost of living is fairly low.


Gymfrog007 t1_ium8xgh wrote

What do you want to study? That would make a huge difference as well. If it is teaching, West Chester, or St Joe’s are great Universities, if you are pre med, Ursinus, Lehigh, Thomas Jefferson. I live in the suburbs, used to live closer (but still in suburbs) of Philly, if you plan to go to Temple or UPenn, you need to know where and where not to go. The campus is safe, don’t step off.

(BTW). I was an exchange student to Japan, and when to Tohoku Galkuin University, I found when I was an exchange student both in Hogh School and College to be some of the most rewarding times in school. Although you are studying, learning another culture/experience continues to open you mind to so many wonders.


HeyZuesHChrist t1_ium9htc wrote

I would not come to America if I were an international student. There are likely plenty of better options in another country if you’re looking to get out of France. I’m not sure Pennsylvania is for you.


StanTheShovelMan t1_iumakyt wrote

Harrisburg University has a good scholarship program for international students if you’re interested in the STEM field


postsgiven t1_iumc92j wrote

I haven't locked my door in 4 years and live in state college where main campus Penn state is. It's really really safe. Like really safe. Pennsylvania itself is probably not that safe but state college is.

You can work on campus to pay for food and living expenses but it's a minimum wage job usually so you're only gonna get close to $7.25 an hour... Life is cheaper here than cities for sure. But it would be best if you had money coming in.


Jiveturkwy158 t1_iumcqhf wrote

If your looking to come to pa but want a lower tuition bill I’d recommend shippensburg university. Good school if you want what they offer, one of the cheapest universities, classic college town vibes and very safe. Also close enough you can go to psu for a weekend.


Quiche_Breach t1_iumdhf7 wrote

Try not to be hurt if you go to DuBois and hear them pronounce it "do boys". U will be made fun of relentlessly for pronouncing it correctly lol


arnott t1_iumnwpd wrote

Student visa: F1

Are you applying for undergrad or grad school? It may be easier to get tuition waiver and monthly stipend for grad school. E-mail professors and ask them if they have funds available to take a student.

You can also work in the university, as students work in the university and international students should be able to do it too. You can also try to find international student groups in the universities and ask them for help.


theyeoftheiris t1_iumxxbv wrote

PA Is a pretty big state. What part are you thinking about?


Hanaaaah OP t1_iurzjrv wrote

I have no idea if Pennstate will accept me, if i’m accepted I'm looking in the area


theyeoftheiris t1_iurzs2m wrote

State College is interesting. It's a very pretty area of PA but Penn State main campus is known as a party school.


irondethimpreza t1_iunh36y wrote

Mon ami, whatever you want out of an education here, you can get in Europe for less. I can't understand why anybody from Europe in their right mind would want to move to America right now. You have (as per my understanding,) free postsecondary education, and a free healthcare system. Why give that up?


Hanaaaah OP t1_ius02qr wrote

because universities in France are a mess, they are always closed, and I'm not sure I'll find a job with a degree here


No-Setting9690 t1_iuo2s4j wrote

I can only speak to the safe part. PA is safe, the USA is safe. You hear about it in the news, but there are 330 million of us. Is there a chance, sure, but it's extremely rare. I would more say stay away from known bad areas and you'll be fine. Most of the shootings you read are either domestic between family or gang related. The rest is a rarity and not a norm.


AlCaponeIII t1_iuo2xoy wrote

Just like spicy nuggets said Pittsburgh pa is real safe just some part's but you will learn we to go and not go but Pittsburgh is a hugh sports town we love the Steelers Penguins and Pirates Pitt University is probably a little cheaper than penn state but you will be rather safe here nothing to be scared of Southside got like 100 bar's that is the hottest part of town point blank period.


GoodAcanthocephala95 t1_iuoinev wrote

Just make sure you mean penn state and not university of Pennsylvania many outsiders don’t understand the difference.


hvacthrowaway223 t1_iuox0mp wrote

Philly has a French quarter with lots of French expats, business, etc.


joefred111 t1_iuqpmhp wrote

If you're French and interested in French history, I'd check out the French Azilum in NEPA!

Not a bustling place to live but very scenic.


shizzy64 t1_iulq1op wrote

I’ll take the downvotes for this: Philadelphia is an awful place to live. There are plenty of people here who will tell you “it’s not so bad” but it really is one of the dirtiest, most crime-ridden cities in the US. It’s not like you’re 100% going to die if you go there, but you probably won’t ever feel safe. Anyone who tells you otherwise is full of shit (in my opinion). I’m from PA and I’ve lived all over the state and I’ve got plenty of friends who still live in Philly and most of them want to get out of there. Those who don’t want to leave are fully capable of admitting that Philly is an awful place to live, but they love it anyway. It’s like Stockholm syndrome.

Pittsburgh is much more tame (and affordable) overall and I lived there for 8 years. I enjoyed my time there and it’s a great city to be a student. I worked for my university and the local health network to support myself. That said, I got tired of living there and moved on.

The rest of PA is quite safe but can be boring at the same time. Penn state is in the middle of nowhere. If you really want to live in an awesome state, I’d advise Colorado. It’s the best - but it is more expensive than PA.


Chorazin t1_iunq9mt wrote

Imagine coming to the US for what European employers will see as a garbage education instead of getting a high quality one in Europe for a fraction of the cost if not free. Unless you're full on in love with America and plan to emmigrate?

Stay in Europe. Visit, but it's just not worth it to spend a fortune to go to college here.


adurepoh t1_iukz822 wrote

You’ll be safe in pa unless you go in the “hood” in the inner cities. It’s moderately expensive.


itsallfornaught2 t1_iul1zs9 wrote

About crime, just avoid Philadelphia unless you have a large group of friends and even then. The crime there is ridiculous.


sraust2 t1_iul3wag wrote

The food in Pennsylvania will come as a shock. It's not good. Very difficult to find good food almost anywhere here.

I came here from NY about 5 years ago, and it's been a real revelation just how good and accessible food is in NY compared to PA. Even the most mediocre food in NY blows the best foods in PA away.


Wide_Measurement_395 t1_iulhx63 wrote

just take out a shit ton of loans. biden will forgive them and make all the plumbers and construction workers who actually do hard work for a living pay off your debt.