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Study a graduate program in Florida

State overview

Florida is one of the most popular destinations for international students coming to study a postgraduate course in the US, and it’s easy to see why. Studying a graduate program in Florida means access to world-class beaches, tourist attractions like Disney World and more sunshine than you can stomach.

However, Florida is more than just picture perfect scenery – it has an edgy underbelly. From the swampy everglades full of alligators to the machismo of Miami, Florida has the sort of environment that can drive you crazy in the heat.

Education profile

Florida is a popular state to study in with both American and international students. Public universities in Florida work under the State University System of Florida, while several private universities also operate out of Florida.
You can study a graduate program in Florida at the following institutions:

Private universities in Florida group together the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida and currently number 28 institutions.
Professional, or ‘terminal’, masters are designed to lead to employment rather than further study. Popular courses include: Master of Business Administration (M.B.A) and Master of Library Science (M.L.S.).

Academic masters, however, are generally designed to lead the way into doctorate/PhD study. Popular courses include: Master of Education (M.Ed.), and Master of Engineering (M.Eng.).

Both last between one and three years, depending on the subject.

Doctoral degrees are the most advanced level of higher education, and usually take between four and eight years to complete, which includes the time it takes to write and present a dissertation. 

Immigration and visas

Before travelling to the USA to study in Florida, you will need to apply for a non-immigrant visa.

The most common kind of student visa is the F-1 visa, which entitles the holder to study at any US accredited college or university.
To apply for a student visa to study a postgraduate course in Florida, you will need to fill out an application form (found on the US Embassy website) and send appropriate documentation, such as evidence of financial standing and proof of university acceptance and academic qualifications, as well as possibly attending a visa interview at the US Embassy in your home country.

Life in Florida

Floridian culture reflects the many influences and cultures this state has absorbed. Miami has a distinctly Latino vibe, demonstrated in its cuisine and musical influences while Key West has a Caribbean feel.

Floridians love their nightlife, whether it’s the house music temples of Miami or the beach party infused feel of the South Beach, while Fort Lauderdale is home to some of the best restaurants in the state.

However, life in Florida has more to offer than just debauchery. There are plenty of adrenaline-fuelled activities to do here too, from kayaking through the 10,000 Islands to meeting alligators in the Everglades. Studying a graduate program in Florida will not leave you short on lifestyle.

Working in Florida

Tourism is the heartbeat of Florida, with warm weather and the beautiful coastline attracting more than 60 million visitors to the state each year – Florida was the most popular state in America for tourists in 2011. Florida is home to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, while Miami is one of the world’s premier beach destinations.

Apart from tourism, Florida has a sizeable aerospace industry and 24 US military bases in the state, contributing $52 billion to the state’s economy each year.

Accommodation

Most universities in Florida will provide housing to postgraduates, which is the easiest way to find somewhere to live, make friends and settle into university life in Florida. However, most graduate housing is allocated on a first come, first served basis and cannot be guaranteed, so it’s worth investigating other options too.

You should contact your chosen institution well in advance to secure the best possible accommodation you can.

Weather and climate

Florida has a tropical climate with hot summers and mild winters and is the warmest state in the US. Summer runs from June until August when temperatures can regularly exceed 35C and be extremely humid.

The mild winter months are at their coldest between December and February, but even then temperatures hover around 8C.

Florida is at risk of hurricanes between June and the end of November, with more than 114 striking to state between 1851 and 2006, with a record four in 2004.

What to do next

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