Study in USA

Every year a large number of Indian students go for Study in USA. As a large number of scholarships, assistantships, fellowships and are available to international students, expenditures can be met easily. Students are also allowed to do work for 10 to 20 hours a week to partially meet their expenses. Many renowned universities in the USA are having an office which is dedicated to international students and services, which provides a variety of services from campus orientation to assistance in resume preparation. Personal and career counseling services are also available .As the reward of studying in the US are huge, it is important that you should choose an appropriate course and university through careful planning. You would need to seek required information from reliable sources and ponder the options to make an academically sound decision.

If someone gets selected for Study in USA, then there will be no problem of accommodation. Students can opt either for the Campus Accommodation or for the off campus accommodation. Mostly universities in US want sophomores and freshman and to stay in the accommodation provided on campus. Juniors, seniors and graduate students can also apply for Residents in university. They normally give surety of accommodations to students who apply before deadlines however after deadlines it depends solely on the availability of place. All housing which is not owned by the Universities is known as Off-Campus housing.

Students are allowed to work only part time up to 20 hours per week only on campus during their first year of study in USA as per as the current immigration regulations. You can pay for books, clothing, and personal expenses easily by working 10 to 15 hours a week. However your campus job can’t support your major expenses like tuition or room and board for higher education in US. You can apply for the employment as a resident assistant in university dormitory after the first Scholarships in US year. RA works as first point of contact for students who needs as assistance .In return, RA receive free accommodations and sometimes a small salary and free meal. According to the current regulations, you may apply for the immigration and Naturalization service for permission to work off campus for up to 20 hours a week all through your study in USA.

Anyone who is having consistently good academic record, strong financial support and proficiency in English can apply for study in USA for higher education. You should check the details of the program and the universities you wish to apply since different programs are having different set of criteria for its eligibility.

BENEFITS OF STUDYING IN USA

1. Excellent Academics 
USA is known for its finest higher education in the world especially in the field of technology. US degrees are considered as the most prestigious and are accepted all over the world.

2. HIGH QUALITY RESEARCH 
Distinguished programs at over 3,600 colleges, universities and institutes provide both undergraduate and graduate students with choices in more than 900 fields of study. A close relationship between research and education has brought a no. of US institutions to the forefront of the research and technological development. At such universities students usually learn under the direction of world – renowned faculty who range from Nobel laureates to Pulitzer prize winners. The success of US higher education relies on the use of cutting – edge technology and top learning facilities, excellent teaching, coupled with personalized study programs and individual attention.

3. FLEXIBILITY IN COURSE CURRICULUM 
Based on the interest of the students, other than their area of study they have an option to choose courses (often referred as 'electives') in other subject areas. As the selection of the course offerings vary from university to university, the students have a chance to 'cross-register' or choose the courses at a different university as a part of their degree program.

4. FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE 
The international students are financially assisted in some situations by the universities in the form of teaching and research assistantships. These are based on the student's academic performance rather than their financial needs. Students are also given benefits like stipends and sometimes either partial or full tuition fees as waivers. Students who perform exceptionally well in their area of study may be offered the full course fee for free. Students also have the opportunity to receive loans and scholarships from various organizations.

5. ON-CAMPUS WORK OPPORTUNITIES 
Most of the colleges/universities allow international students to work on-campus as their part-timers. Students who are on F-1 VISAs can work on-campus up to 20 hours a week during course time and up to 40 hours a week in their vacation, semester holidays and summer time. Students are paid an hourly rate (approximately ranging from $ 8.00 USD - $ 15.00 USD) depending on the role of the job and these earnings help them to cover their living expenses. Most of the students are placed in jobs based on their experience, financial need and personal/communication skills. For example, a student who has good English speaking and communication skills may be placed at a university library where someone who has a lifeguard certification may be placed at the campus Aquatic Center. 

6. INTERNSHIP 
Students are allowed to work as interns in their respective academic fields/areas in small companies to large organizations during course and vacation time. These internships are considered to be the best and valuable part of the student's academics which help them to gain practical experience during course time. Most universities also offer academic credits for the internship experience.

7. JOB OPPORTUNITIES/PROFESSIONAL TRAINING 
After graduation, international students are allowed to work full-time for one year in their respective fields to gain practical experience. As of 2008, students in certain subject areas can extend this up to 17 months. This extension of program is called Optional Practical Training (OPT). Many talented students are hired as permanent employees as soon as they finish their OPT program by getting a sponsorship from their employers for an H-1 VISA. The H-1B VISA is a temporary work permit VISA given to foreign nationals to work in specialized areas like Software, Teaching, Marketing Engineering and Marketing etc. The international students have a chance to continue their jobs without leaving the country (USA) after this status change approval.

8. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AFFAIRS OFFICES 
Most of the colleges/universities in USA have international student affairs offices with advisors who provide extraordinary support to international students. They give advices on choosing the right course/university, academic advices and immigration bureaucracy and to get the most out of their educational experience. In addition to all these they host events and workshops which help international students meet other students and get involved in campus life and gain international exposure.

9. CULTURAL EXCHANGE 
Apart, from education, international students have an opportunity to learn, interact and know different things from other students who come from different countries. They also get an opportunity to know about different diverse cultures, religions, economic and ethnic backgrounds. This experience will help the international students to get global exposure and to become true global citizens. 

10. VALUE 
USA offers a high quality education which is valued anywhere in the world. The success of a student always depends on the amount of dedication and hard work shown in their academics. The variety of skills and cross-cultural environment can make a great and unique learning experience.

INTAKES

Major intake is the fall intake, but most of the universities are open for spring and few of them for summer & winter intake too. However all subjects commence in Fall and only some in Winter and Summer intake.

US universities have four intakes

  • Spring: January/February
  • Fall: August/September
  • Summer: April/May
  • Winter: December

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

English Language Requirement

Proficiency in English is critical to success at any university. One of the following exams is required of all international applicants from non-English-speaking countries:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) - a score of 7 or higher on the academic module or
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - a score of 80 or higher on the TOEFL iBT or 550 or higher on the paper-based exam

Language exam results must be received in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions no later than January prior to the fall semester in which the student wishes to enroll.

Entry Requirements + Eligibility

  • Undergraduate: 10+2
  • Graduate:16 years of education required (10+2+4)
  • Some institutions accept 15 years education into their Bridge /Masters Programs
  • Good & strong academic background
  • Good scores in entrance exams like SAT, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, IELTS etc
  • Strong recommendation letters
  • To the point Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement, essays & resumes
  • Certificates of achievement & extra -curricular activity participation
  • Strong financial background or good grades to get a scholarship
  • Documents needed for making an application are resume, statement of purpose, mark sheets & certificates of X, XII, till Graduation or relevant degree transcripts in specific cases,
  • Certificates of extracurricular activities and passport copy, birth certificate & 2 reference letters from colleges & employers

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED

Covering Letter, Application Fees, Application Form, Statement of Purpose, Essays, Resume, Recommendation Letters, Transcripts, Mark sheets & Cert., Bank Statement, Affidavit of Financial Statements, Test Score Report

COST OF STUDYING / LIVING

Studying

US Universities fall under two major categories: public (state supported), and private (independent) institutions. International students’ tuition expenses at state schools are based on nonresident costs, which are still usually less expensive than those of private universities. It’s important to note that the cost of a program in a US school does not necessarily affect its quality. A brief idea can be got from the following table:

University Type

Average Tuition Fees
(annual in U.S. Dollars)

Private Institutions (High Cost)

$35,000

Private Institutions (Low Cost)

$18,000

State Institutions (High Cost)

$25,000

State Institutions (Low Cost)

$12,000

The tuition fee is different for different universities and varies widely with courses. It can vary from as low as $ 10000 a year for state universities to as much as $ 35000 per annum for some private universities. For more specific details, can be contacted universities.

LIVING

The approximate annual living expenses are about $10,000, which includes accommodation as well as other daily expenses. However, the expenses are different for different people depending on the lifestyles and this is just a rough idea. The main expenses can be split up as:

Rent

$ 400 per month
(you can live alone with that amount in a place like Auburn or share an apartment with 6 people in NY)

Groceries

$ 100 per month

Utilities

$ 100 per month

Phone

$ 100 per month

Sundry

$ 200 per month

So, about $1000 per month is a good estimation. Most people can survive with $700-$1000 a month. The key here is to share apartments/houses so that you save on the utilities, fixed charge portion of phone and to some extent on groceries.

FINANCING STUDIES/ SCHOLARSHIPS

International students studying in the USA on F-1 status visa are eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours a week while school is in session, and can work full time during vacations / scheduled breaks. Students are eligible to begin employment immediately upon being admitted to the United States in F-1 status.

Work Study Opportunities Include:

  • Employment available for international students
  • Work during the day and take classes in evenings or on weekends
  • Employment with both on and off campus companies
  • Students are paid regular "American" wages
  • Both part time or full time employment available
  • Work-Study programs are available for both Undergraduate and Master students

SCHOLARSHIPS

Scholarship in USA is purely merit based for Masters Program. They will look into your standardized test scores , Academics , projects or internships done and overall your profile to offer you scholarship.

The popular Undergraduate scholarships for Indian Students are:
  • LearnHub Dream Study Abroad Scholarship
  • Fulbright Fellowships for Indian Citizens
  • The Fulbright – Nehru Master’s Fellowship
  • J.N. Ratan Tata Endowment Fund
  • The Paul Foundation Scholarship
  • Bharat Petroleum Scholarship
  • Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
  • Rotary Scholarship

Apply VISA

We counsel you to pick and grab the best opportunity to study in a foreign university. We realize that different individuals have different needs and therefore you need various options to choose the right one to realize your dreams.

A student VISA is a golden opportunity for any individual to go abroad and learn not only about the chosen course but also about life at-large.

The letter of acceptance from the university is among the first documents you must submit. Apart from that, you must have documents specifying the course you’ve enrolled in, duration of your studies, funding details, and a letter from your sponsor, if any.
Submit a letter of recommendation from your school teacher or college professor detailing your progress as a student under their supervision. If you’ve already worked somewhere, get a reference letter from that employer and pass it over to the VISA office. 
Hand in all your previous degrees, certificates and transcripts detailing all the modules you’ve completed in your college or school. Attach documents, if any, indicating your academic and non-academic achievements in school or college.
It is likely that you’ve had to take the IELTS or TOEFL to prove your English proficiency, and if so, ensure you take those scores along with you. If you’ve had to clear a GRE or SAT, then you must attach a copy of those results as well.

FAQ

1. Should I apply only to Top Ten Universities?

The acceptance ratio of top ten Universities is only 1% - 4%. Therefore, in order to improve your chances of admission, you should also apply to other Universities that offer good programs. Also the entry requirements are extremely stringent for such institutions. One must always remember that Ranking can be world wide, region based and even subject based. If one is looking for a ranked university, search should be subject based.

2. I have completed 15 years of education in India. Can I get admission for MBA directly in USA?

Most American Universities require 16 years of education for admission into an MBA or any other Graduate program. It is therefore adVISAble to complete M.Com / M.A/ M.Sc. or at least one year of any Masters Degree before taking admission in an American University. Some top ranked Universities can take you with 15 yrs. of education with 2-3 years of relevant work experience.

3. Can I get financial assistance?

Yes definitely, but getting financial assistance in the first semester is extremely competitive and you need to have an extremely good academic and test score to be qualified. There are number of good cases where we have helped student’s secure full financial assistance. If you have an outstanding academic background and test scores, our Counselors will try their best to get you financial aid.

4. What about shifting school once I get there?

Once you are in the US, you are governed by the USCIS rule. According to this rule, you cannot change the school before completing one semester at the school. It is adVISAble that you make your choice carefully to avoid problems at a later date.

5. Is only TOEFL applicable for USA, can a student also take IELTS?

Yes, a student can take IELTS instead of TOEFL. As 2500 universities have started accepting IELTS.

6. What is the ideal time to start applying to Universities, and what are the different start dates?

Generally, the students need to apply for USA one year in advance. This specifically would be an advantage to those students looking out for scholarships. Most commonly available start dates are in the Fall Session (August / September) and the spring session (January / February).

7. Can I work while studying?

Students are allowed to work 20 hours a week on- campus during the term and full-time during the vacation period.