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Study in USA - complete guide for International Students
Studying in the United States of America is a dream for many but very few make it as the path they take is not the right one. You need to have a clear idea of how to proceed. Receiving a USA based education is not just getting an international degree recognized globally but opens the gates to the huge opportunities not only there but around the globe.
- How to pick the right course
- Scholarship and funding
- How to Apply
- Visa Requirements
- Before you leave for USA
- After arriving in USA
- Monthly Expense
- Cultural Shock
- Most common student’s mistake
- Successful Student does
- Parents and guardians
- Some top universities in USA
American institution offers internationally-renowned teachers and offers scope for researches in renowned US colleges and Graduate schools. Nearly 500,000 international students who study in USA each year gets the opportunity to choose and change subjects and institutions which is a very big advantage. The better way to start education in USA is to start studying in a smaller US college, complete a two-year associate degree, and then move on to a larger USA university for further study.
Want to Study in USA, but really baffled where to make a good beginning?
You always wanted to study in the USA as studying there would give you a host of job opportunities. The international students guide will offer you in-depth knowledge about different ways to approach the education system in the USA. Most of you will get all your queries answered and assist you take the proper step to take your dream closer of studying in the USA.
Once through the guide you will have a comprehensive knowledge of how to proceed the right way and become a student in USA. To know more about choosing the right program or course in the USA you have to do a thorough research.
We have made a sincere attempt to picture a comprehensive guide for the students wishing to go to the USA into different categories so that it becomes easier for students to understand the whole progress. Each category will provide you wealth of information of how to proceed with the application process. But even after going through the guide, you have some queries left; feel free to contact our education team. Our executives will guide you through the process and will give you any assistance even after you land in that unfamiliar world.
Choosing your course
The USA education system is in great demands worldwide and every year the craze for studying in USA is going up. The number of students coming out successfully from different colleges has been able to make a mark in the international arena and able to contribute in research activities. American universities offer different programs both in undergraduate and postgraduate categories.
The course structure and module of different universities may vary and it is the responsibility to check it from the website of the institute concerned. Bachelor degree in Arts and Science is usually four years in length.
Tips to choose the right course
So how do you make a choice which is suitable for you?
- The very first thing is to ask yourself why you are looking to study. You should choose a course which matches your present skills and qualifications. Studying can be expensive, so be very sure to research for any prospective career.
- Secondly it is very important to think what you are interested in or is it from the parent’s side. Next decide where you want to study. Every one of us has our own fascination, so it is up to you where you can study and benefit the most.
- Next find out the decision which you have taken is a realistic one. Here you have to consider the cost of your journey, tuition fees, cost of living and many other costs.
- Studying in the United States of America can be expensive, so you have to consider it as an investment which should give you favorable return. Try to find out where other international students from that university have worked after graduation. This will give you clearer picture of the days to come.
Choosing your course FAQs
Questions- Where to find information on the courses available in the USA?
Answer- The best method for getting information about studying abroad is to surf the internet. In case of the United States of America also you can take the help of the internet. All universities in the USA has respective websites with detail information about the course offered, the tenure of the course, the cost of study and all other relevant information. You can directly contact the university and request them to send a prospectus containing all the information about the courses.
Question- How do I know which is the best University to study in the USA?
Answer- There are a host of universities in the USA and without doubt they are all of high standards with the backing of renowned facilities. So whichever destination you choose to further your career prospects all will give you a positive return.
Question- Are their age limitations to attend U. S universities?
Answer- You should have completed the high school and must have attained the age of 17 years.
Questions- What is the academic calendar for universities in the United States?
Answer- The academic year runs from August through May with breaks for holidays. Most universities use either the semester system (two terms), the quarter system (students attend three out of four total terms), or the trimester system (three terms).
Question- How many types of undergraduate degree are there?
Answer- Associate a two-year program that either leads to a specific vocation or transitions to a bachelor program. Bachelor – a four or five year program where a student can earn credits in a wide variety of courses.
Question-What are the kinds of graduate degrees?
Answer- Masters: two-year degree offering additional specialization. Doctorate: five to eight-year program which certifies that a student is trained research scholar and /or professor.
Question- what is the duration of study of MBA programs in the US?
Answer-The MBA programs is usually ranges from a one year to two years.
Question- Can I work while I study in the US?
Answer- You have to get permission of the International Student Office, all international students may work on campus up to 20 hours/week their first year and can apply to work off-campus in following years.
Question- How can I find out if an institution is accredited or not?
Answer- You can search the U.S Department of Education’s office of Post-secondary Education website to know if an institution is accredited or not.
Question- What is the credit system in U. S universities?
Answer- A credit is a value assigned to each course which tells about the number of hours the class will meet with the professor each week.
Question -What is a GPA?
Answer-GPA is a numeric indicator for a student’s performance, calculated on a scale of 4.0
Question- My education has been in English. Do I have to sit for English proficiency test?
Answer- American universities expect strong English Language skills from their students. This is primarily done with the intention that students can cope with the demands of degree level study. The English tests available to prove your language abilities are TOEFL or IELTS,
Scholarships and funding
The real fact is that there is very little of financial aid available from the US sources for international students. It is better to mention that international student scholarships are very hard to get. For the vast majority of international students scholarships is very difficult to get. They must completely depend on themselves and their relatives for funding.
If you wish to get financial aid to be in a position to afford an American education, the best place is to look for source in home country. There may be scholarships and loans available for study abroad from your government, financial institutions or some other source.
You can also loans and other forms of aid from international humanitarian organization that desires to promote international education and cultural exchange with the USA. There are many universities in the US that offers financial assistance to international students but that is available for graduate rather than undergraduate students.
The competition for international student scholarships and aid is very fierce. Below are some websites that gives information on scholarships and financial aid for international students.
- international Education Financial Aid
- international Student Loans
- Rotary International
- The Soros Foundations Network
- American Councils for International Education
- Citizens of Other Nations
- Cornell University Graduate School Fellowship Notebook
- King Faisal Foundation
How to Apply
When you have finally set upon a course which you will pursue in the United States, you have to be fully clear with the application process. Any incorrect information provided in the application process would result in your application rejected something which will result in unnecessary expenses.
The most vital part of the application process is to have a clear understanding of how to apply to universities in US. There is no doubt that you have to pay extra attention. Make sure that you have all the supporting documents which you have to submit along with the application form.
International students often underestimate the amount of time needed to apply for admission to a college or university in the United States. You can stay from this mistake by setting a schedule for yourself that starts well in advance of the time that you plan to begin your studies.
US universities have 4 intakes which are as follows-
- Spring- January/February
- Fall- August/September
- Summer- April/May
Most of the intakes is the Fall intake, but some universities are open for spring and a few of them in summer and winter too. But all subjects commence in Fall and only some in winter and Summer.
U.S Admissions and Placement Tests
Most four-year universities and colleges need students to take an admission test such as SAT or SAT Subject Tests among other requirements. Each institution will list the required admission tests in their application instructions. For further information on tests you can get it from the internet. You should try to register well in advance to ensure a testing spot.
English Language Requirements
Remember it is mandatory to have English language proficiency with regards to the course like TOEFL score of 90 or above for Postgraduate and 80 above for undergraduate studies is a nice score. IELTS score of 6.0 or above for undergraduate degrees and 6.5 or above for postgraduate degrees is required. Over 2500 institutions in USA recognize the IELTS exams including many top ranked institutions.
Entry Requirements and Eligibility
- Undergraduate 10+2
- Graduate -16 years of education needed (10+2+4)
- Excellent academic background
- Good scores in entrance exams like SAT,TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, IELTS, etc
- Strong recommendation letters
- Strong financial background or good grades to obtain a scholarship
Documents needed to be submitted along with the application
- Covering Letter
- Application Form
- Statement of Purpose
- Recommendation Letters
- Transcripts Mark sheets & certificate
- Bank statement
- Affidavit of Financial Statements
- Test Score Report
The United States welcomes all foreign nationals who come to the U. S to study. But before you apply for a visa, all students visa applications are needed to be accepted and approved by their concerned school or program. When accepted, the institution will give each applicant the required approval documentation to be submitted when applying for a student visa. For academic purposes, students will need to get an F-class U.S A student visa. These visas cover students planning to pursue full-time degree programs at either the undergraduate or graduate level.
What you need for the U.S. student visa interview
On the appointment date for the student visa interview make sure that you arrive at least 15 minutes before the appointed time and bring the following documents along with you.
- Valid passport and previously issued passports
- Recent passport size photograph with a white background (50mmx50mm)
- DS-160 confirmation page with barcode
- Bank visa application fee receipts.
- SELVIS receipt and 1-120
To know more about the requirements it is advisable to visit the website of U.S Embassy. Each U.S. Embassy has a website giving instructions on how to make an appointment for a visa interview and other information on the visa application process. The website can also tell you the expected wait time for a visa in your country. Be prepared to give your information completely. Speaking English is not a requirement for a student visa. In fact thousands of students come to the United States each year to learn how to speak In English. The visa officer needs to know your specific objectives, both academic and professional, for studying in the United States. Be prepared to explain why it is better to study your specific field in the United States than to study at home.
You must have enough, and show financial support to live and study in the United States. The application gets more weight if the financial support comes from family, employers or other institutional sponsors located in the home country.
If your parents are paying for your education costs, be ready with the documents from your parents’ employers stating what they do, how long they have worked at the organization, and how much is their salary. When providing information about your bank accounts, ask your bank for a letter that states how long your account has existed, which should convince the visa officer that you and your family have a long and stable history of business at the bank.
What happens if your U.S student visa is postponed or not approved?
It just means that you have to wait longer for a confirmation from the consulate. Again your visa may be refused or a chance it will be approved. If it is rejected, or withheld, for further response or action, contact the consulate. In case your application is refused, it is not the end. Here you cannot appeal your case but can reapply paying the visas processing fees again and schedule another appointment.
Before you leave for USA
When your application process is complete and finally you get admission into your dream College or institution, it is time that you start to plan your journey to the U.S. You need to have a clear picture of the date of departure and what are the things you need to keep ready to ensure that you have everything wanted for the adventure ahead.
Here is a checklist of the things to ensure before you leave for the U.S
- Application and paper work- It is very important to see that all the application formalities are complete and make arrangements for the necessary paperwork. This will give you a definite edge to settle with your university program and know beforehand that you have done with all necessary preparations in respect to your studies. Make sure you have your schedule ready as well.
- Housing arrangements- It will be wise enough to complete all the necessary steps to complete with the housing requirements and never try or make a plan to board the plane unitl your housing arrangements have been settled.
- Visa and Passport- You will not be permitted to enter the U.S without the necessary visa and passports. You should take the responsibility to see that all your visas are in proper order before you board the plane. Make sure that you some of your passport photographs along with your passport.
- It is very important to know before you leave for the U.S what will be your cost of education in USA and cost of living. It is surely one of the most expensive and you have to pay for your expenses as the US government is limited in the financial support it gives to the international students.
- Most of the financial requirements are to be met from your parents’ side or from your relative circles. Only a strong financial support will ensure that your visa application process is easily processed and your stay in the United States is hassle free.
- One thing you can do to supplement your education while in the United States is taking a job. There are a lot of opportunities that you can pursue while studying in the United States, but you have to go through a certain protocols in order to actually pursue those opportunities. Most students hold F-1 Visa. These visas are for those who are not immigrating to the United States permanently. The students are permitted to work in the United States if certain conditions, guidelines are complied.
Mode of transportation-Some large cities in the U.S offer different methods of public transportation, such as buses, taxis or trains. But in most places, public transportation is not very good. It is advisable to depend on your private car for transportation. Unlike countries like India, long distance travel by train is not popular at all. The United States is a very big country and distances are very far between many cities. So do researches of the modes of transportation.
Researching the area- Researching the area where your university is one way to have a understanding the place before you leave for the U.S. Since it is a big country you have to be specific and get to know the place or where your university is.
Social concerns- Adjusting to a new culture can at times be strenuous and frustrating. You should be prepared to feel overwhelmed, both when you submerge yourself in another culture and when you return to your own. Try to give time and you will be accepted in due course. Accept the food, and lifestyle as soon as possible to better merge with the culture there. Remember to keep your sense of humor always which will keep you in high spirit.
After arriving in the U.S
The wait is finally over for you. You are now in America and wondering what you should do know to make a smooth entry and make a cool beginning. You have to first make sure that you have gone through the information sent to you by the concerned university. There will be guidelines to know the ideal way to reach the university from the airport. It is vital to ensure that the plan is made before you actually leave for the U.S.
List of actions to do after reaching USA on F1 Visa
- Give a call back home after you reach America. Ask seniors for help and don’t shy away from that.
- Report to the Office of International Admissions or International student advisor
- Attend the International Student orientation Program
- Get University e-mail account activated
- Register for courses as pre-decided.
- Open a bank account.
- Get to the place where you have done some research for your stay or find a good place to rent and live.
- Apply for utilities like Electricity, Water, Gas as needed.
- Meet your student Advisor and discuss your course and job related work.
- If you have a on campus job offer apply for SSN.
- Prepare a good one page Resume
- Apply for on-campus jobs
- Do not carry too much cash but instead try to use Bank Credit or debit card.
- Be careful when you are travelling with the documents
- Make sure you are having health insurance.
- Be of great help to seniors with cooking and other related activities where you stay.
- In the first week, it will be difficult to adjust sleep time because of jet lag. Avoid sleeping during day or sleeping early. Try to get away from home.
- Tour the campus and discover where the buildings are and your classes are. Have a check done on your libraries, computer labs, study rooms, food places etc.
- Have your clothing ready according to the weather conditions.
Accommodation Costs- There are three types of accommodation and cost will vary according to the option you choose. The on-campus accommodation can be more expensive but you get to know lot of students. Off-campus accommodation comes at a lower price than living on-campus. Host family accommodation offered by few universities which are expensive compared to living off-campus but gives the opportunity to know American culture quickly.
One of the places that you will see a lot of variation in the United States is in housing and living accommodation. The price will depend on which utilities are included in your rent. Here are some of the most common utilities and their expected costs in a month.
Electricity-$50 to $150 per month
Gas- $50-$100 per month
Internet- Averages $45-$50 a month
Groceries-$80 to $160 a month
Cellular service-$50 to$100 per month
Entertainment-$100 per month
Transportation-$100 per month
Work while studying in the U.S
- It is much easier to work on-campus than it is to work off campus.
- You must maintain valid F-1 status while you are employed on campus
- You can work up to 20 hours per week is class is not in session
- You can choose from part time or full time depending upon the availability
- Work-study programs are available for both undergraduate and Master students.
There are noticeable cultural differences that all students are sure to face while adapting to the lifestyle in the US. It is always wise to understand these differences. Before you leave to study in the Us make sure you are familiar with the typical symptoms of culture shock so that you can identify and solve it early. The symptoms usually include
- Sadness, loneliness, melancholy
- Preoccupations with health
- Aches, pains, allergies
- Changes in mood, depression
- Loss of identity
- Lack of confidence
- Obsessions over cleanliness
- Feelings of being lost
Studying in the U.S is a new experience for everyone and with such new experience come typical challenges. You may be confused but to minimize the shock, you will have to keep contact with your family and friends back home but it is also vital to find new areas of support.
How to combat culture Shock?
If you are an international student you will experience some cultural shock. Below are some tips which will help you overcome them or ease them out slowly.
- Just tell to yourself that you are feeling normal
- Keep in touch with your family and friends via email, text or telephone
- Keep near you familiar items such as photos
- Try to take a balanced diet
- Maintain contact with your ethnic groups as well as local students.
- Search for activities that will put you in contact with other students who share your interests.
- Maintain your confidence and try to follow your ambitions and have a plan for the future.
- Find out what services on your campus which offer help to international students dealing with culture shock.
- Say “hi” or smile at strangers while walking on the street.
Most Common Student Mistakes
Any study in the foreign country is dependent on different factors like culture, the university, the course chosen, the food and the people. There are host of mistakes that international students make while studying in the U.S. These students stand in the way of you enjoying and experiencing the best of study life in the United States of America. So, in the midway you may think of returning home but if you can know about the common mistakes committed you might be in a dramatic position
Mistake# 1- you presume that everything will go smooth as it does back at home
This is one of the most common mistakes every student make while going abroad. So when you are in the U.S you should be prepared to face some hostile or unfamiliar situations which you are not accustomed. The lifestyles, cultures, food habits all will be different from your home country.
Mistake# 2- you are getting bored
Yes, you have to come to study in the U.S but that does not mean to stay all the time inside and just study. Try to move out and mix with some local students and try to entertain yourself with some friends of your native origin as well as with locals.
Mistake # 3- Being afraid and overly cautious
While it is important to be more careful instead of absolutely reckless, there is no need to be over cautious and bar you from the community there. Take the normal precautions don’t walk alone at night, don’t flash your valuable in the street and don’t wear too much jewelry.
Mistake # 4- Partying too wildly
The easiest way to put yourself in precarious position while studying abroad is to go out and drink too heavily assuming it to be the culture there. Enjoy the nightlife, but stay sensible and get dependable way to go home after the party.
Mistake # 5- Not putting enough effort in studying
Along with drinking if you attend a lot of party ,that will cause a lot of distractions and will affect your studies. Try to balance your study life with the social life there which will give good results.
Things that most successful student do
Temperament plays a very important role in shaping your student life. Here is a list of things most successful students do. So it will be better if you follow the below suggestions.
Tip # 1 -Set your targets
It is very important to set some targets while studying abroad. Some should be short term upon which achieving them can lead you to reaching your long term goals.
Tip # 2- Set your priorities
You have to set your priorities while studying abroad. Remember you are alone far away from your family and friends. Here you have to give top importance to your studies while not ignoring the social factor also.
Tip # 3- Give yourself the proper time to adjust to your new surroundings
The first few months in a foreign country plays a very vital role. These few months will ultimately tell upon your career and test your capabilities to meet the challenging situations.. Give time to adjust to the new surroundings and acclimatize to the new culture however stressful or challenging it may be.
Tip # 4- Manage your time
Know how to manage your time and try to keep a proper balance between your free time and the time you spend on studies. Try to take out some time to enjoy your days so that you can concentrate on your studies better.
Tips # 5- Never shy away from asking questions
Always try to clear doubts from your teachers and friends if you have any confusion. Never shy away from asking questions, in that way you will better understand them and will give you the confidence to meet challenges
Role of parents and guardian
There is a great part to play in the success of any student of their parents. I t is necessary that they give a helping hand to help their children make the right choice. They should be able to guide their children in making the following decisions.
- When is the best time to make the decision?
- How long to stay abroad?
- What type of course will suit the best
- Which university to apply for further studies?
- How to manage the expenditure of the study abroad which includes the cost of living and study.
- Do a proper research so that your child gets a proper and safe environment abroad.
Some top universities in USA
Finally some of the top universities which are in USA
- George Mason University
- Hult International Business School
- Northeastern University
- Polytechnic Institute of New York University
- San Francisco State University
- University of South Florida
- Washington State University.
- Columbia University
- Stanford University
- University of Chicago
To know more about such top universities in the US you can go and click on the LINK below
Going to the U.S is for higher studies is a dream of many of us but many fail to see the dream materializing because of the faulty steps and the exact knowledge of how to move on with the application process. Plan your visit much earlier and know beforehand what you have to do regarding submitting your application, in fact the whole application process and the visa rules and regulations without which you will not be able to enter there.
Even more important is to know how you can pull your education cost by working and what type of jobs you will get there while studying. In fact knowing the cost of your stay there will help you to create a budget and arrange ways to get fund to have a smooth flow of student life.
Your To-Do List
Try to contact the institution you have selected for your further studies and get to know the different documents which you have to submit along with the application. This should be done well in advance.
Know about the culture of the place you are going to study. Different parts of America have different customs and lifestyles and it is better to acclimatize with the new environment. Be very ready to experience a new culture and environment.
If you wish to work while you study, then you have to explore what are the types of work available and whether you have the skill to do those work . Choose a job which fits your skills.
For all non-US citizen students studying in the USA, international student insurance is mandatory and so you cannot attend class without showing proof of health insurance.
Have a passport which is valid and have some photocopies of all important documents which will pave the way for smooth transition to the United States for a better time ahead.
How we help our students
|We have in-depth knowledge and pool of experience of the educational set up in the U.S. There are so many colleges and institution where you can pursue your studies. The United States is a big country and we have a good amount of information to make the best choice.||We will help you choose the right institution with reference to your grades, location, and budget||Our executives will help you with the application, resume, bank draft, application fee, etc and all other relevant matters and save your valuable time but ensure that your application is nor rejected.|
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