The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million km2), the United States is the world’s third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe’s 3.9 million square miles (10.1 million km2). With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S.A. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital’s federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S.A. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago.European colonization began in the 16th century. The United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, and the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776. The war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties. The United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, and gradually admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848.
The United States dollar (sign: $; code: USD; also abbreviated US$ and referred to as the dollar, U.S. dollar, or American dollar) is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the United States Constitution since 1792. In practice, the dollar is divided into 100 smaller cent (¢) units, but is occasionally divided into 1000 mills (₥) for accounting. The circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars (12 U.S.C. § 418).
Since the suspension in 1971 of convertibility of paper U.S. currency into any precious metal, the U.S. dollar is, de facto, fiat money. As it is the most used in international transactions, the U.S. dollar is the world’s primary reserve currency. Several countries use it as their official currency, and in many others it is the de facto currency. Besides the United States, it is also used as the sole currency in two British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean: the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands. A few countries use the Federal Reserve Notes for paper money, while still minting their own coins, or also accept U.S. dollar coins (such as the Sacagawea or presidential dollar). As of June 27, 2018, there are approximately $1.67 trillion in circulation, of which $1.62 trillion is in Federal Reserve notes (the remaining $50 billion is in the form of coins)
American public education is operated by state and local governments, regulated by the United States Department of Education through restrictions on federal grants. In most states, children are required to attend school from the age of six or seven (generally, kindergarten or first grade) until they turn 18 (generally bringing them through twelfth grade, the end of high school); some states allow students to leave school at 16 or 17.
About 12% of children are enrolled in parochial or nonsectarian private schools you can even study pharmacy in usa. Just over 2% of children are homeschooled. The U.S.A. spends more on education per student than any nation in the world, spending more than $11,000 per elementary student in 2010 and more than $12,000 per high school student. Some 80% of U.S.A. college students attend public universities. Of Americans 25 and older, 84.6% graduated from high school, 52.6% attended some college, 27.2% earned a bachelor’s degree, and 9.6% earned graduate degrees. The basic literacy rate is approximately 99%. The United Nations assigns the United States an Education Index of 0.97, tying it for 12th in the world.
The United States is the world’s oldest surviving federation. It is a representative democracy, “in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law”. The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the U.S.A. Constitution, which serves as the country’s supreme legal document. For 2018, the U.S.A. ranked 25th on the Democracy Indexand 22nd on the Corruption Perceptions Index.
In the American federalist system, citizens are usually subject to three levels of government: federal, state, and local. The local government’s duties are commonly split between county and municipal governments. In almost all cases, executive and legislative officials are elected by a plurality vote of citizens by district. There is no proportional representation at the federal level, and it is rare at lower levels
The climate of the United States varies due to differences in latitude, and a range of geographic features, including mountains and deserts. Generally, on the mainland, the climate of the U.S.A. becomes warmer the further south one travels, and drier the further west, until one reaches the West Coast.
West of the 100th meridian, much of the U.S.A. has a cool to cold semi-arid climate in the interior upper western states, to warm to hot desert and semi-arid climates in the rest of the western and southwestern U.S.A. East of the 100th meridian, the climate is humid continental in northern areas (locations roughly above 40 north latitude), transitioning into a humid temperate climate from the Southern Plains and lower Midwest east to the Middle Atlantic states. A humid subtropical climate is found along and south of a mostly east-west line from the Virginia capes (north of the greater Norfolk area), westward to northern Oklahoma. Along the Atlantic seaboard, the humid subtropical climate zone extends southward into central Florida, such as the greater Orlando area. A Mediterranean climate prevails along most of the California coast, while southern Florida has a tropical climate, the warmest region on the USA mainland
Best Places to Visit in the United States 1 New York. New York.
Personal transportation is dominated by automobiles, which operate on a network of 4 million miles (6.4 million kilometers) of public roads, including one of the world’s longest highway systems at 57,000 mi (91,700 km).The world’s second-largest automobile market, the United States has the highest rate of per-capita vehicle ownership in the world, with 765 vehicles per 1,000 Americans (1996).About 40% of personal vehicles are vans, SUVs, or light trucks. The average American adult (accounting for all drivers and non-drivers) spends 55 minutes driving every day, traveling 29 miles (47 km). In 2017, there were 255,009,283 motor vehicles—including cars, vans, buses, freight, and other trucks, but excluding motorcycles and other two-wheelers—or 910 vehicles per 1,000 people.
Map showing Amtrak (passenger) rail speeds in the United States. Mass transit accounts for 9% of total U.S.A. work trips. Transport of goods by rail is extensive, though relatively low numbers of passengers (approximately 31 million annually) use intercity rail to travel, partly because of the low population density throughout much of the U.S.A. interior. However, ridership on Amtrak, the national intercity passenger rail system, grew by almost 37% between 2000 and 2010. Also, light rail development has increased in recent years. Bicycle usage for work commutes is minimal.The civil airline industry is entirely privately owned and has been largely deregulated since 1978, while most major airports are publicly owned. The three largest airlines in the world by passengers carried are U.S.A.-based; American Airlines is number one after its 2013 acquisition by USA Airways. Of the world’s 50 busiest passenger airports, 16 are in the United States, including the busiest, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the fourth-busiest Los Angeles International Airport, and the sixth-busiest O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks of 2001, the Transportation Security Administration was created to police airports and commercial airliners.
The USA is a safe country. It is ranked 51th on the ranking of world’s safest countries, which puts it in the top-third of the ranking. All the risks listed here have a small chance of happening, but prevention is better than cure. The USA is often criticized for having one of the highest crime rate in the world due to gun violence (American movies and TV shows tend to exaggerate this); despite the fact that crime rankings only ranks it at the 114th place out of 218. Most violent crime is concentrated around inner urban areas of some cities, as well as some poor suburbs with drug and gang violence. Check the page associated to each city to see these areas on a map. We also discourage tourists to stay around the Mexico border in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas as they have been reports of crime and car theft. Nonetheless travelers may face some minor dangers like petty crime, aggressive homeless people, dangerous traffic or natural hazards.
Since 9/11, most touristic landmarks have seen an increase in police presence, and tourists can expect to be frisked and have their bags opened at museums or other monuments. Mass shootings and isolated terrorist attacks such as the Boston marathon bombing are on the rise : they were over 372 mass shootings in the USA in 2015. Still, they mostly occur in cities and neighborhoods unfrequented by tourists. Cases of pickpocketing and bag-snatching are on a steep decline in the USA, as can be read in this article; it is still wise to watch your valuables while in the subway or buses. Begging is not uncommon in some larger cities, but not to a greater extent than in most other major cities, and you will rarely experience aggressive beggars. Some beggars are organized in groups. Be aware that flashing any cardboard sign very near to your body could be a pickpocket trick.
Civil unrest is prone to happen in some areas, such as the recent outbreaks in Ferguson, Missouri. Some protests can lead to fights between the demonstrators and police force, it is therefore unwise to join any of these protests. In case of emergency, dial 911 to get help. Dial 311 for all non-emergency situations. Protect your personal belongings at all times, especially your ID and passport. Petty crime, like targeting rental / tourist cars to steal their valuables, can be an issue in some areas. For more details, see city specific advice or take a look at our travel articles.
In 2018, about 4,178 billion kilowatthours (kWh) (or 4.18 trillion kWh) of electricity were generated at utility-scale electricity generation facilities in the United States.1 About 63% of this electricity generation was from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, petroleum, and other gases). About 20% was from nuclear energy, and about 17% was from renewable energy sources. The U.S.A. Energy Information Administration estimates that an additional 30 billion kWh of electricity generation was from small-scale solar photovoltaic systems in 2018.
December 25 (Christmas)
November 22–28 (Thanksgiving)
May 8–14 (Mother’s Day)
March 22 – April 25 (Easter)
July 4 (Independence Day)
June 15–21 (Father’s Day)
October 31 (Halloween)
February 14 (Valentine’s Day)
March 17 (Saint Patrick’s Day)
December 31 (New Year’s Day)
The primary regulator of communications in the United States is the Federal Communications Commission. It closely regulates all of the industries mentioned below with the exception of newspapers and the Internet service provider industry.
General assessment: – A large, technologically advanced, multipurpose communications system.
Domestic: – A large system of fiber-optic cable, microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and domestic satellites carries every form of telephone traffic; a rapidly growing cellular system carries mobile telephone traffic throughout the country.
International: – Country code – 1; 24 ocean cable systems in use; satellite earth stations – 61 Intelsat (45 Atlantic Ocean and 16 Pacific Ocean), 5 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 4 Inmarsat (Pacific and Atlantic Ocean regions) (2000).
Telephones – main lines in use: 141 million (2009): – Most of the American telephone system was formerly operated by a single monopoly, AT&T, which was split up in 1984 into a long distance telephone company and seven regional “Baby Bells”. Landline telephone service continues to be divided between incumbent local exchange carriers and several competing long distance companies. As of 2005, some of the Baby Bells are beginning to merge with long distance phone companies. A small number of consumers are currently experimenting with Voice over Internet Protocol phone service. Most local loop service to homes is provided through old-fashioned copper wire, although many of the providers have upgraded the so-called “last mile” to fiber optic. Early in the 21st century the number of wire lines in use stopped growing and in some markets began to decline.
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There are a number of options when it comes to deciding where you will live when you are living and studying in the United States.
Once you are enrolled in a U.S.A. school, the Admissions Department or International Student Office will most likely send you a “pre-departure orientation” packet. Options for where to live are generally included in this information.
Some American schools offer accommodations for international students on-campus, or near the school’s classrooms, libraries and other facilities. “Dormitories” are buildings with many rooms for sleeping and living, often with two or three people (of the same gender) per room. Dormitory residents typically share large bathrooms which include showers and toilets. Many first-year students prefer to live in on-campus dormitories because they are convenient to both academic and social activities. Another advantage is that it is not likely that you will need a car to commute to campus.
Some U.S.A. schools do not provide on-campus accommodations for international students. However, an off-campus housing office will assist you in finding an appropriate place to live. Often, the office coordinates activities to help students find a compatible roommate to share expenses; they also provide information about the local neighborhoods, including popular restaurants, shopping areas, parks and recreation, and public transportation.
Ask new friends and other students if they have any suggestions for a good apartment. Check classified advertisements in the local newspaper (Sundays usually have more apartment listings than other days of the week). If all else fails, contact a real estate agent for assistance – though beware of unspecified fees for the service.
Before committing to a lease, or an agreement to rent an apartment, spend some time in the area to decide if it feels safe and convenient to places like school buildings and grocery stores. Read the lease carefully before signing. You will learn, for example, that the landlord is not responsible for your possessions if they are stolen or destroyed, so you may consider purchasing “renter’s insurance.” If you do not understand any part of the lease agreement, ask the landlord, a friend, or someone from the international student office to explain it to you.
Homestays are a viable option for students under the age of 18, especially those who are nervous about leaving home and living in a new country. In a homestay arrangement, you will be placed with an American family within 20 to 45 minutes from your campus. You will have your own room, and meals will be provided.
Living with an American family will allow you to fully immerse yourself in American culture as you adapt to the life of the family with whom you are living. You can benefit of the comforts of home and of a family life, even though you are far from home and in an entirely new country.
As a graduate from the USA, you have the opportunity to gain and sharpen valuable skills which employers seek in candidates, including confidence with new people and language skills. You may even choose to remain in the USA to work. Find out about the sorts of careers which international graduates have gone on to, as well as tips for securing that dream job in the USA.
Tuition and other fees – $34,740 (Per year)
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