We suggest you check out our FAQs section below that cover a few basics first. But before we get to that…here’s a quick glimpse of a few interesting stats and facts you do NOT want to miss…
“Oh, Say! Can You See by the Dawn's Early Light “
Recent stats from the U.S. Council of Graduate Schools reveal a spike of 25% in Indian PG admissions to the USA…not much of a shocker though is it??! The USA has always been and probably will always be our most sought-after dream destination. You know it. We know it. Everyone knows it!
Plus we are not the only ones who feel this way- the rest of the world joins in on the craze as well with a whopping 800,000 international students racing in a year after year. And we aren’t just referring to the postgraduate level alone now, international students make up 4% of the undergraduate total student population in US colleges and universities as well.
The FAQs Section
You are also one of them aren’t you? Of course you are…that’s why you are reading this. Still hazy on the details and don’t know how to make your American dream a reality? Well- here we are with answers for some of the most popularly asked questions by students such as yourself…
Q-Why the” Land of the Free”?
We would LOVE to pack our student bags right now and head to the US of A but – hey- not without reason. Here are a few quick reasons why…
For the scholarships & financial aid available; employment and internship opportunities; international student environment; the range of study options; hands-on research opportunities; state-of-the-art-facilities; cultural exchange; and of course for a fun, fun, FUN student life. Who doesn’t want that?
Q- F1, M1, J1...which one is the one for me?
International students looking to study in the United States need to apply for the right visa type.
Here’s a quick visa-intro for starters…
- The F-1 Student Visa: This is for students looking to study at a well renowned and accredited American uni and also for those looking to upgrade their English skills at an English Language Institute or a university.
- The J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa: For students looking to take place in cultural and educational exchange programs, this visa is the right option.
- The M-1 Student Visa: Students looking to get into vocational or non-academic training should opt for the M-1 Student Visa.
Q- What’s the VERY FIRST thing I should do after I set foot on campus?
Once you are on uni campus, get in touch with the international student office right away. You can direct any q’s you have to the staff here and you are sure to be guided out of your state of confusion. Plus, one more reason why you should make the office your first stop on campus is because they must make a note of your arrival in the SEVIS system- which is mandatory.
Q- I reallllllly NEED a scholarship! What kinds are available in the US at the moment?
Unis offer international students a wide range of partial tuition scholarships and also full tuition scholarships. This varies from institution to institution. There are also scholarships offered by private organizations that might be worthy of a glance or two. We listed out a few popular ones for you here…
Some uni based scholarships include:
- Amherst College Scholarships
- Clark University Scholarships
- Colby-Sawyer College Scholarships
- Concordia College Scholarships
- Dartmouth College Scholarships
Some private organizations that offer international scholarships…
- AAUUW International Fellowships
- Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarships
- Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme
Plus, a few popular American Government scholarships for international students
Q- Any pointers for landing a scholarship?
First and foremost- never be late. Make sure you don’t miss your deadline! ( We know you’re going Duh-but this can’t be stressed enough seriously.) It’s better to have a few days leeway when applying for scholarships. Also...did you check the eligibility? Do you have all the materials you need? Academic transcripts; financial statement; and study plans?
Q: OMG...leaving home for the first time…where will I stay? Will I be able to manage by myself?
Don’t panic..you are NOT ALONE..there are thousands of students who make this transition every year and turn out just fine! Here’s what you need to know-there are three kinds of accommodation options that are popular in the US…
- On campus Dorms
After getting enrolled in an American uni or school, you will be sent a pre-departure orientation packet which is usually inclusive of accommodation details- inclusive of all costs involved and your meal plan. Students can pick on-campus options or options near the Uni’s schools or libraries, and classrooms- if not directly on campus. Remember the early bird gets the worm-so apply as soon as you can.
Are you under the age of 18 or can’t even imagine living by yourself without your family? Then homestays are the best option for you. You will get to live with an American family and all your basic needs will be taken care of such as your meals and laundry. Many unis recommend these options for you in their sites – so you don’t have to go too far out of your way looking for one. Contact the International Student Office if you need more details.
- Off Campus Apartments
You could lease an apartment- but make sure you read documents carefully and ensure that the school and grocery stores are well within walkable distance for convenience.
Q- How much will I have to shell out every year for my living expenses?
We know you’re thinking ‘please don’t be too much- please don’t be too much’.The thing is living expenses could vary widely- for many reasons such as
a) Your lifestyle and
b) Your accommodation choices- so we can’t give you a fixed number here.
But we would say anywhere between USD 1000- USD 5,000.
Q- I want to work part-time while I study full-time…can I?
Yes- you can work part-time for up to 20 hours per week (semester time) and 40 hours per week (during vacation). Part-time work is quite a popular choice among international students in the USA.
Q- Which are the best unis in the USA today?
Here are a few highly ranked ones from the recent THE World University Rankings 2015- California Institute of Technology; Harvard University; Stanford University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Princeton University; University of California, Berkeley; and Yale University.
Q- I’m confused- what is GRE and what is SAT? Do I also have to take the TOEFL/IELTS?
To answer your question- the GRE is for those looking to get into uni at the postgraduate level and the SAT is for students looking to get into the undergraduate level in the USA. You will also need to prove your English proficiency through TOEFL/IELTS- which could vary from institution to institution.
So-what are you waiting for? Sharpen those pencils and start prepping as soon as you can! Plus if you have any MORE questions about studying abroad- anything at all- JUST give us a call on our toll free numbers- 1-800-103-9634 or 1-800-103-2581 and we will take care of EVERYTHING from choosing the right uni to booking your flight out to the USA! We can’t wait to make your American dream come true!