Settling In


The United States has a decentralized system of education; there is no national school system and the ultimate authority to create and administer education policy rests with the 50 states. There are therefore, no national laws addressing: a prescribed curriculum, the establishment and recognition of institutions, the recognition of degrees or professions, the governance of institutions, or the legal status of students or faculty. However, within the states, there is a public and private school system (primary, secondary, college and trade schools) – Jewish schools (of all denominations) are part of the private school system and therefore fees are payable. There are also very high college fees for private and out of state colleges (e.g. If you live in California and want to study in NY), and American parents start saving for their children’s college education from their birth.

Information regarding education in the U.S. for citizens and international students:

Health Care

Health Care in the United States is provided within a highly regulated entrepreneurial health care market rather than a comprehensive integrated system. Unlike other developed countries, there is no government-led scheme that provides access to healthcare for all citizens and thus healthcare is of a major concern to most Americans. Individuals largely take responsibility for their own healthcare provisions. Furthermore, the US has seen an unprecedented rise in healthcare costs during the last 30 years and it is therefore essential that you are insured for medical expenses. There is an enormous array of medical insurance companies in the country and to ensure that a person is properly protected against catastrophic health expenses, medical insurance is often purchased. While the majority of Americans obtain medical coverage through a group program provided by their employer, such opportunities may not be available to recent U.S. immigrants (perhaps the immigrant is self-employed, in between jobs, or already in retirement). If you are sent out to the USA with a company it is more than likely that medical insurance will be part of the package. A group health plan is an employee welfare benefit plan established or maintained by an employer or by an employee organization (such as a union), or both, that provides medical care for participants or their dependents directly or through insurance, reimbursement, or otherwise. Students will be able to benefit from cheaper premiums for the under 25s. Most colleges have a clinic or health center, which will offer free advice and basic treatment.

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The Atlantic Coast is the most heavily populated area and retains strong traces of its European architectural heritage. This is where the oldest American cities, such as Boston, New York, Washington and Philadelphia are located, and where most of the major events in early American history took place. Today’s average homes are much more spacious than any built in the previous 100 years, and typically have three or more bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, an attached garage for two or more cars and central air conditioning. About 40% of the population lives in houses, with newly built homes costing approximately $200,000 or more, depending on the location. Low interest rates for mortgages (between 6 and 6.5%) have kept families buying homes, and high rents and purchase prices and shortages of space in the inner city centers have ensured the development of the “urban suburban” paradigm – towns located within 100km of the city, have excellent public transport systems and multiple lane freeways, to ensure easy access to work places.


In America, the world of active sports is at your complete disposal. From surfing in Hawaii and the famous beaches of California, to down-hill skiing and snow-boarding in the Rocky Mountains to hiking in the alpine meadows of the High Sierra and the forested byways of the Appalachian Trail – you will never be alone in your pursuits. With the temperate climate in most of the US – it gets hotter the farther south you go and seasonally more extreme the farther you are north and inland from the coasts. Florida is hot all year round and beaches close to non-coastal cities become over populated on the weekends during the summer months.

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