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Mahesh Ramani
08 Oct 2015 4.8K 3 mins Share

[Must Read] 8 Steps to Join a US University in Fall 2016

This article offers tips to students who are planning to apply for a place in an American institution for the 2016 Fall Semester.

08 Oct 2015 4.8K 3 mins Share
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Traditionally most US institutions have two admission-intakes - Spring and Fall. Spring semester usually starts in mid-January and the Fall semester usually starts in mid-July. This article offers tips to students who are planning to apply for a place in an American institution for the 2016 Fall Semester.

Short-listing of Institutions:

If you have a clear idea of what you wish to study and where you wish to study then you can plan your admissions process accordingly. Assuming you wish to study for an MBA and have not written the GMAT yet - you need to factor time to prepare for the GMAT. The same holds good for ‘engineering studies’ and the GRE.  Give yourself enough time and plan accordingly. Apply to multiple institutions as a back-up plan; in case one institution rejects your application; there should be another option open for you!


Dates and Deadlines:

Always focus on dates and deadlines - remember to apply well in advance and ensure that your application form, documents and letters of recommendation reach well in time before the application deadline date. University websites have clear information on the dates when classes start and the date by which the application-form should be submitted. Please follow the dates diligently.

Monthly Planner:

Let’s assume you are planning to join an MBA programme in the Fall Semester starting in July-2016; the following monthly planner should help you:



August to October - 2015

Preparation for GMAT

November first week

Writing the GMAT exam

By November-end

Applying to the University

Applications will be verified and based on you meeting all eligibility requirements and a conditional offer will be made by early March -2016. If you choose to accept the university’s admission offer you will receive detailed instructions on visa-processing and tuition fee payment. 
Once the fees is paid and application for the student visa is processed; you will receive information on your student-visa interview. The student-visa interview will be usually between 20 to 45 minutes and consist of a set of questions on your course-selection, ambitions, future academic plans, etc. On successful clearing of the interview you will be granted a student visa (usually two to three weeks from date of interview).

Planning your Trip:

Once the visa is granted - you should begin your next step of planning - in most cases you will have to live on-campus accommodation - apply for the same and pay the fee as mandated by your instruction. If the institution rules permit you to stay off-campus and you are lucky to find a place; you may choose to stay off-campus as well. You would also have to take specific medical vaccinations and produce a health certificate as mandated by your university. Keep all your finances in order and pack your belongings carefully. Based on the duration of your course you will be away for quite some time - so you know what you need - pack safe and do not exceed your baggage-weight limit!

The Flight:

Inform your University about your date of arrival and request an ‘airport pick-up’ this is extremely helpful and your University’s International Student Support Team will arrange this for you. Carry all important documents safely and make multiple copies of important documents for back-up. Reach the airport well in advance; do not get caught in traffic jams and miss your flight! This has happened so do not take a chance!

Landing in the USA:

‘Welcome to America - the land of unlimited opportunities!’
Once you land - clear immigration and customs - collect you baggage and head out - you will be greeted by your ISS Team-member. In all due probability, you will not be alone and other students will also be there with you. 

International Student Orientation Week:

All institutions have an ‘International Student Orientation Program’ - this may vary from three days to one week. It is mandatory for international students to attend this program as during this period the support staff will help you open a local bank account, sign you on to health insurance, introduce you to your new campus and professors and help you acclimatise to life in an American University!

Classes Start:

Once classes start - ensure that you stay focussed and you achieve your academic goals!
All the very best for a successful Fall Semester - 2016 Admission!

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