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Study in USA


Study in USA

Top 10 Reasons to study in the United States

Universities in the U.S. attract international students for many reasons. The statistics say that over 500,000 international students are pursuing their higher education degrees in the U.S. At the time of applying for a student visa, most international students are questioned as to why they want to study in the U.S. Following are the top 10 reasons why international choose U.S. colleges and universities:
Excellent Academics
The U.S. provides some of worlds finest higher education, especially in the field of technology. U.S. degrees are recognized all over the world and are considered to be one of the best in the world.
Research
The U.S. is the right choice for research professionals. There are many opportunities to do research in any field. The funding for most of the research projects are sponsored by the U.S. Government or by corporations. Also, many companies provide projects for the students in the neighboring universities to gain practical experience during their studies. Most of the research students receive waivers for their tuition fees and in some cases they are also provided with a stipend to help with their living expenses.
Flexibility in Course Curriculum
While most programs are structured very well, students also have the option to choose many other subjects as part of their course. Students have an opportunity to emphasize and narrow down topics of specific interest in their field of study. Sometimes students may even choose subjects from other universities as part of their studies.
Financial Assistance
Financial assistance is normally provided to international students, because pursuing higher education in the U.S. is expensive. Most of the universities financially support the international students either in the form of providing teaching or research assistantships. These assistantships are based on academic merit, rather than financial need. Awarded students will receive stipends, or either partial or complete tuition waivers. U.S. education could turn out to be completely free if the student exhibits exceptional skills in his or her field of study. Students also have the opportunity to receive grants, loans, and scholarships from various organizations.
Work Programs
Most of the universities allow students to work on their campus as either part-time or full-time employees. The students are paid minimum wage on an hourly rate, and their earnings help to cover their cost of living. Students are placed based on their financial need and personal skills. For example, an English major may be placed at the university library, while someone who has a Lifeguard certification may be placed at the campus Aquatic Center.
Internships
Students are allowed to work in their respective fields outside the campus for approximately three months as Interns during summer vacation. There are Intern programs during the academic year as well. Internships are a valuable part of education, as they help students gain practical experience while taking classes. Most universities offer academic credit for internship experience.
Job Opportunities
Once students complete their degree, they are authorized to work for one year in a related field, in order to gain practical knowledge. Students are allowed to work full-time (40 hours per week) by applying for an Optional Practical Training Employment Authorization (OPT). Many talented students are hired as a permanent employee after their OPT, by getting an H1B work visa sponsorship from their employers. H1B is a temporary work permit for foreign nationals to work in specialty occupations like Software, Engineering, Teaching, Accounting, or Marketing. Students may continue their work without leaving the U.S. after the F1- H1B status change approval.
Reorganization of International Students
U.S. universities provide extraordinary support to international students. Every university in the U.S. that enrolls international students has a separate office to help and guide these students from the very first day.
Cultural Exchange
Apart from education, international students get to interact with students from various countries and diverse cultures. This shapes them to a large extent and enables the international students to become world-class professionals, once they complete their education,
Value
The success of any student will be directly proportional to the amount of dedication and hard work he or she exercises. Undoubtedly, the U.S. offers a very high quality of education. The variety of skills and cross-culture environment can make the learning experience in U.S. universities a rich and unique one. With such diverse academic and cultural backgrounds, international students are better prepared for working with absolute ease anywhere in the world.

Application Process

Pre-application
This section is for students who wish to apply to a university themselves, without the help of a consultant, such as F1study.com. The first step of the application process is for students to get the application forms from the universities of their choice. Once they have decided on a set of prospective universities, they must collect information such as the departments general queries e-mail address. Most universities send an application form upon request, but some universities require prospective students to fill out an online request. Many universities do not send applications or brochures to international locations, so students are required to print the form off of the website. It is always preferable to apply through online applications.
For Fall semester admission, students should start requesting forms in January or February of the previous year. For Spring semester admission, the application should be completed by August. As the application package takes a minimum of one month to arrive, it is advisable to do it early. Keep tabs on the universities, and if they do not respond within a couple weeks, re-send the request.
When applying to several different universities, it might be a good idea to create a separate email account for the entire application process. This will prevent other miscellaneous emails from getting mixed up with important ones.

Choosing a University

Choosing a university from overseas is a very difficult task. There are over 4,000 U.S. universities, and they all offer a wide variety of courses. The following information is important criteria to consider when choosing a university:

  • Academic Importance: Students should choose a university that offers a degree in the field of study that they wish to pursue.
  • Course Emphasis: Some universities offer a fixed course curriculum while some offer independent study, which allows students to choose their own subjects. Go through the course catalogue and course descriptions to gain a clear understanding of the types of courses offered.
  • Accreditation: In the U.S., accreditation is used to assure quality in educational institutions and programs. Accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental process of peer review. It requires an educational institution or program to meet certain defined standards or criteria. Students should always choose to attend an accredited university.
  • Cost Factor: Study the fee structure printed in most university prospectuses carefully and estimates the cost of living, insurance, and other expenses.
  • Type of University: U.S. universities are either private or state-supported. In general, the tuition fees at state-supported universities are less expensive than private universities. International students are charged "out-of-state" tuition rates, which are higher than in-state rates but still much less than most private universities.
  • Financial Aid: Getting Financial Aid from the university can lower the tuition rate. Check with the present students of the school or the school officials about the possibility of scholarships, loans, and assistantships.
  • On-campus Jobs: The U.S. allows international students to work up to 20 hours per week, which can help to cover monthly living expenses. Most on-campus jobs are awarded through the universitys Financial Aid Office.

It is up to each individual student to decide which criteria is most important when choosing a university. Consultants like F1study.com can help students narrow down the choices by listing important factors. The goal is to help students find the best university for them. F1study.com also provides information about university fees, available programs, financial assistance opportunities, campus jobs, and the cost of living.
Applying
Applying to a U.S. university is a very different from applying to universities in other parts of the world. Getting admitted in a U.S. university is not an easy task. Even though it takes lot of hard work, the results are rewarding. There are over 3,000 accredited colleges and universities in the U.S. that accept international students. Other than this, there are nearly 2,000 private and community colleges, many of which are as good as the state-supported schools. Students should choose the university that fits their needs and goals the best. The best way for a student to begin his or her search is to first decide on a Major. Then he or she can research colleges and universities that specialize in the chosen field of study.
Students planning to pursue their degree in the U.S. should start their preparatory work at least 6-7 months before they plan to begin their studies. In the U.S., there are two admission times per year. Classes for the Fall semester begin in August and classes for the Spring semester begin in January. Most students typically begin in the Fall semester.

Admission to Programs

Types of Admission
The students application will be forwarded to the admission committee as soon as the university receives all necessary documents. This process enables candidates to receive an admission decision within a reasonable amount of time after submitting an application. The decision typically arrives about two months after the application process is complete. Receiving a quick decision allows the student to plan his or visa interview well in advance.
If the university does not have rolling admission, they usually have a specific deadline, and no applications are evaluated before this deadline, no matter how early they receive the application documents. All admission decision letters are then mailed to candidates on the same day, which is generally in late March or early April. Usually the deadline dates will be earlier than the universities who have rolling admission.
Admission Criteria
Application evaluation and admission decisions are made based on several factors. Each university follows their own set of rules for considering the applications. In general, a students academic performance and test scores play major roles in the admission decisions. A history of good academic performance is more important than very high-test scores, just as individual section scores are more important total test scores. Many universities expect a minimum score in each section of the students test results.
Excellent undergraduate performance - especially in the Major courses - is necessary for admission into a Masters degree program. For example, if a student is applying for an engineering program, he or she should have high grades in the areas of math and science. If there are too many applications with a similar set of scores, then the university considers all other aspects of an individuals application, such as extra-curricular activities, or published papers.
Admission records are very confidential and can be obtained only by the student or student-authorized person. The student must provide written consent for any third party, other than University staff, to access his or her educational record.
Bachelors Degrees
There are two types of Bachelors degrees - Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) - both of which take typically four years to complete. International students on F1 visa status cannot study part-time and must maintain full-time status. If the student in already in the U.S. on a different visa, then he or she may be eligible to do part-time studies, which may take more than four years to complete. One of the most attractive features of the Bachelors degree program is that it is highly flexible. Students can usually choose from a wide variety of courses and create their own unique program of study. The degree is awarded after the student completes a specified number of credits - usually 120 - over a typical period of four years. The first year is called the freshman year, the second is the sophomore, the third is the junior, and the fourth is the senior. In their senior year, students write a thesis for their chosen Major.

Application Documentation

The U.S. university application process is a lengthy procedure that requires students to fill out many documents. Documents may differ, based on the department to which a student is applying. Therefore, it is very important to read the instructions carefully. Some universities do not process the application until they receive all the documents. Some universities provides conditional admission if the student is still completing his or her current course. Following is a list of required documents for an international applicant:

Document Preparation Instruction

Copies

Application Document Checklist

1

University Application: Specify Application ID if applied online

1

Financial Support Form: Please use university form if available.

1

Transcripts of Previous Degree: A copy of the degree or provisional certificate and all the mark sheets will be one set. Each set should be in separate envelope and sealed by the university. Students should write their full name and the name of the university to which they are applying on the envelope.

2

Resume:

1

3 Letters of Recommendation: Each letter should be in a sealed envelop with the references name on the front. Students should write their full name and the name of the university to which they are applying on the envelope.

1

Bank Statement: An original copy of a recent bank statement should reflect the cash balance as required by the university.

1

Statement of Purpose: This should not be longer than two pages.

1

Standardized Test Scores: Scores must be sent to the universities through ETS.

1

TOEFL Test Scores: Scores must be sent to the universities through ETS.

1

Passport Copies: Copy the front and back of photo ID and signature pages.

1

Statement of Purpose

Most applications ask for a statement of interest or an autobiographical statement. It is important for students to thoroughly research a field of study before applying to it. That way, they can effectively write about how they will fit into the program and how they program will best help them obtain the career of their choice. Admissions committees are impressed by students who have a strong sense of self and can creatively express themselves through writing. Students should begin their Statement of Purpose in a way that will catch the readers attention, such as with a quote or personal anecdote. A students Statement of Purpose should describe the following:

  • Who the student is as a person and why they stand out from others
  • Why the student is interested in a particular program
  • How the particular program will help the student achieve his or her long-term goals and ambitions

Letters of Recommendation

As part of the application procedure, every university requires students to send three letters of recommendation. These letters should be from professional references, such as teachers or employers, who can verify that the student is an outstanding candidate for a program. Family, friends, and character witnesses should not be references. It is important that the person providing the recommendation has a good understanding of the students academic history, interests, goals, and direction. The letters should be confidential and not be discussed with the applicant. Therefore, it is important that the applicant choose references that he or she can trust to write a good recommendation. Following are several points to remember:

  • The letter is typed on official letterhead.
  • The letter should have the references signature.
  • The letter is enclosed in a sealed envelope.

The Resume

The resume should provide a snapshot of the students life on approximately two pages. Students should verify the following in their resume:

  • Personal information, including name, address, telephone number, and email address
  • Academic history, including highest completed degree and relevant courses
  • Employment history, including job titles, responsibilities, and the start and end dates
  • Volunteer work
  • Professional memberships or affiliations
  • Awards and recognitions
  • Certifications
  • The names and contact information of at least three references