Student Visas > Studying in USA


  • Education System
  • Cost of Study
  • List of Universities & Colleges
  • FAQs
  • Visa
  • Financial Aid
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The Country:

USA needs no introduction as it is one of the most popular countries both educationally and travel wise. It is talked of as the land of dream fulfillment, of cutting edge quality, of mega bucks and of life as you want it to be. The US market is home to around 4 per cent of the world 's population, approximately 273 million people. It is the fourth largest geographic area and covers 4 time zones - 6 including Alaska and Hawaii. It has an integrated and largely self-contained economy and every major industry is represented.

Geography & Climate:

USA is country which enjoys a cool climate almost round the year. The USA shares its borders with Mexico in the south and Canada to the north. To the west is the Pacific Ocean, to the south, the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico; to the east, the Atlantic Ocean. The geography of the USA is hugely diverse ranging from glacier and tundra to sub-tropical forest and desert, vast plains and lofty mountain ranges.

Currency:

The official currency of USA is Dollar. The symbol is US $.

Education:

USA boasts of one of the best education systems as far as higher education is concerned. No wonder it is the favorite amongst international students, especially Indians. The U.S. educational system is very different from its Indian counterpart. U.S.A. has more than 3,300 accredited colleges and universities, which offer a wide range of graduate and undergraduate programs.

Major Cities:

New York, California, Washington, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco.

Culture:

The American culture is very forward in its views. Americans are constitutionally guaranteed freedom of worship; dominant faiths include Protestantism, Catholicism and Judaism, among others. American English encompasses a multitude of regional accents of differing degrees of intelligibility. Modern American culture is a juicy burger of mass culture garnished with 15 minutes of fame.

Sports:

Baseball, Ice Hockey, Football, Basketball, Soccer.

Insurance

If you have come from a country with a health-care agreement with the UK, or you are enrolled on a course for six months or more you may be able to get medical treatment on the National Health Service (NHS). Short-term students who are here for less than six months are not entitled to free medical treatment and you will have to pay for any treatment you get. Please make sure you have enough health insurance to cover your stay

Student Support Service

Most schools, colleges and universities have special international student advisers to help with academic and personal concerns. International offices are open throughout the year, and you can seek advice and information on any subject at all. These staff are there to make you feel welcome and to help you adjust to living in the UK. At universities and many colleges, there are student counselors available to advise on personal, financial, practical and health matters; and specialist careers advisers will discuss your career options with you and help you formulate practical plans. Most boarding schools, colleges and universities have professional health care staff on site to advise on day-to-day health matters. Most universities have an International Students Association-or an Overseas Student Association. Student support services help in matters related to:
  • Immigration
  • Housing
  • Extending your visa
  • Police registration
  • Travelling abroad
  • Work
  • Information on other help and advice services
  • Bank accounts
  • Health care
  • Dealing with change of culture

Permission to work

You may take part-time or holiday work but you must not:
  • Work for more than 20 hours per week during term time unless your placement is part of your studies, has the agreement of your education institution and leads to a degree or qualification awarded by a nationally recognised examining body
  • Do business, be self-employed or provide services as a professional sportsperson or entertainer
  • Work full-time in a permanent job

Arrival and Reception in USA

Many schools, colleges and universities will send a representative to meet new students at the nearest airport and provide transport to the campus. Many institutions also arrange orientation programmes for new international students at the beginning of the academic session. The duration and content of these programmes vary considerably: some last only one or two days and others for a whole week. Typical elements include: a tour of the campus, an overview of the facilities and how to use them, explanations of the institution's rules, help with registering for your course, an outline of teaching methods, discussion of important aspects of life in the USA, and social events where you can meet staff and other students.

List of Universities and Colleges in USA


  • Albright College, Pennsylvania
  • Alfred University, New York
  • Alvernia College, Pennsylvania
  • American Inter Continental University Online
  • Augustana College, South Dakota
  • Dean College, Massachusetts
  • Desales University Center Valley, Pennsylvania
  • DeVry University, Illinois
  • Elmira College, New York
  • Florida Southern College, Florida
  • Lasell College, Newton, Massachusettes
  • Long Island University (C.W. Post Campus)
  • Long Island University (Southampton College)
  • Manhattanville College, New York
  • Manhattan College, New York
  • Marietta College, Ohio
  • New England College, Henniker, Hampshire
  • Pacific University, Oregon
  • Pacific Lutheran University, Washington
  • Ripon College
  • San Diego State University - California
  • Sierra Nevada College, California
  • Spring Hill College. Alabama
  • St. Bonaventure University, New York
  • St. Joseph's College, Maine
  • Troy State University
  • Universitas 21
  • University of Akron, Exec MBA - Ohio
  • University Of Arts, Pennsylvania
  • University Of California , Riverside Extn.
  • Woodburry University, Burbank, California

Q. How many schools can I select from?

A. The US is the only country in the world, which offers students a plethora of over 3300 colleges at the undergraduate level and over 1400 colleges for the Master's program. The MBA candidate alone can choose from 700 institutions.

Q. What is the honors program?

A. The Honors program is a 'tougher' program than the regular coursework. You will need to turn in more assignments, do more research work and generally work harder at your grades. There is no separate application process for the Honors program. If you have excellent academic record and excellent scores on standardized tests you are automatically considered for the Honors program. Some universities may review your performance in the first semester and then let you opt for the Honors program.

Q. How long will it take me to complete a degree?

A. In United Sates the High school program begins with the 9th grade and ends with the 12th grade a total of 4 years. A Bachelor's degree in America is a four-year degree. A Masters degree ranges from one and a half to two-years. The Ph.D. program generally varies from a period of 3 to 8 years.

Q. What are credits?

A. The credit system, until recently has been unique to the US education system. It is devised to give 'points' for lectures attended. For instance, if a student takes one paper in Economics that is worth three credits, it means that she/he will attend lectures in Economics three hours a week for the whole semester. The three hours maybe divided into three lectures, two lectures, or one three-hour seminar session. Credits eventually are added and must meet the minimum of 30 credit hours per academic year. Hence in a bachelor's degree a student has to achieve 120 credits. If each subject/paper is equal to 3 credits then the student would have to do 40 papers in 4 years! Different courses have different credit hours ranging from one, two or three credits.

Q. How many credit hours make up a degree?

A. Students must complete 30 credit hours per academic year. A bachelor's degree is equivalent to 120 credit hours while a Master's program is equivalent to 60 credit hours.

Q. I have a three-year Bachelor's degree, am I eligible to apply for studies in America?

A. The United States offers a four-year program at the undergraduate level. At this stage you can either opt to pursue a Master's degree or transfer into the Bachelor's degree. To be eligible for the Master's degree you must complete the Master's degree - part 1. A few majors might require you to complete both Part 1 and 2 of the Master's course to be eligible to apply for a Master's degree. Another option that you might consider is to apply as a transfer student into the undergraduate program.

Q. What is a transfer status?

A. If you were unable to go to the US soon after the 12th grade, you still have an option. If you are currently in a Bachelor's degree program here, and have completed a year or two, then you have the option to apply to a University abroad and transfer into the second (sophomore) or third (junior) year of college at a particular University depending on your transfer of credits.

Q. How many transfer credits can I expect?

A. The transfer of your credits will largely depend on the overlap in the curriculum of your current University and the one you have applied to. Hence if you have completed the pre - requisite courses here in India you will not need to do them again.

Q. What are the Regional and National Rankings?

A. National universities are generally rated as the best colleges in the country (USA) for over all academic excellence, faculty and infrastructure, offering any/all/majority of the subjects that are being taught. These are colleges that are ranked in the Top 50 and beyond. There are many colleges that do not make it to the top national colleges but which are very well reputed. These colleges are ranked according to the US regions (North, South, Midwest and West). There are a host of rankings that you will find. Each college may be ranked differently in different rankings. For e.g. Purdue University is not a 'Top 50' national university but falls under the next '50' category. However it is in the top 15 category for business, operation research, engineering, and computer science.

Red-Alert - Rankings are a complementary tool to making the right choice. You cannot choose your school solely on the basis of its rank.

Q. Why is the Fall term more popular than the Spring term?

A.
  1. Some colleges (especially the top ranked ones) do not have a Spring intake.
  2. Most graduate colleges and even some undergraduate colleges give financial awards only in the Fall term.
  3. Most students complete their studies in India in June and are eager to begin their education overseas at the earliest in Fall term.

Q. Which state is cheaper for living?

A. States in the Midwest regions of America are comparatively cheaper to live in than Northeast of the West coast.

Q. What is medical / health insurance?

A. All universities in the US require students to purchase a medical insurance after they have registered at the university. It is advisable to buy insurance on-campus.

Q. What is the F1 visa?

A. The F 1 Visa is a student visa. The F 1 visa is issued for the explicit purpose of studying for a degree program in the United States. This is a non-immigrant visa and is temporary in nature.

Q. What is an I -20 form?

A. The I -20 form is the document that you will receive from the colleges that you have been accepted into. This will have the following details - your name and surname, date of birth, citizenship status and country of birth. It will also mention your degree, the major and the estimated length of your program. The financial expenses that you will incur, will also be mentioned on the I-20.

Q. Do I need to carry original documents?

A. Yes, you must carry all original documents. Photocopies are not acceptable. The visa officer will not keep or make any copy of the documents that you show him and these will be returned to you as soon as they have been read through.

Q. What is the F2 visa?

A. The F2 visa is a status given to the dependents of a student. If you are married, your wife and children become your dependents and are eligible to apply for the F2 visa. Your parents are not your dependents and cannot apply for an F2 visa.

Q. Can I take my wife and children with me?

A. Yes, you can take your wife and children with you. They will need to first apply for the F2 visa, which is a dependent visa.

Q. Can my spouse work while on an F2 visa?

A. No. Your spouse cannot work while on an F2 visa status. Violation of this US immigration law will result in deportation.

Types of Visas :

There are mainly two types of student visas:

F-1 (Student Visa): The F-1 visa is for full-time students enrolled in an academic or anguage program. F-1 students may stay in the US for the full length of their academic program plus 60 days. F-1 students must maintain a full-time course load and complete their studies by the expiration date listed on the I-20 form.·

J-1 (Exchange Visitor Visa): The J-1 visa is issued for students needing practical training that is not available in their home country to complete their academic program. The training must be directly related to the academic program. The J-1 visa obligates the student to return to their home country for a minimum of two years after the end of their studies in the US before being eligible to apply for an immigrant (permanent residence) visa.The rules and regulations governing the entrance of all international students into the United States are complicated and should be properly looked into before applying for a visa.

Visa Application Procedure:

Applicants should apply at the consular section of the American Embassy any working day, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 and 10:00 AM.

Documents required are :
  1. Valid Passport
  2. One Passport size photograph (Black and White or Colour)
  3. A Non-immigrant Visa Application (Form 156) available from the Consular section.
  4. Form I-20 executed by the authorizing official of institution concerned, signed by the applicant.
  5. Evidence of financial ability to cover the costs of the education and maintenance involved
  6. Visa fee to be paid in Indian Rupees by Bank Draft

When to apply :

An applicant may apply for a student Visa not earlier than 90 days before the registration date specified on the FORM I-20. If the registration date is already passed or the applicant cannot reasonably expect to arrive at the school by the registration date, the applicant should obtain an amended I-20 or a letter of extension from the issuing institution stating by what date the applicant may arrive.

After the Completed application forms along with the documents are submitted

In most cases, the visa will be issued within a few hours or days of the submission of the application. In some instances, the process may take longer depending on the time of year, consular caseload or other factors.

If your application is denied, you should ask the Consular Officer for a "written denial decision." This will provide you with the official reason for your visa denial.

Principal Requirements for a Student Visa

  1. Acceptance by University

    Acceptance of the applicant by an institution of learning for a full course of study is essential. Evidence in support of this requirement consists of a Form I-20 (Certification of Eligibility) filled out by the accepting school, and signed by the applicant and presented with the visa application.

  2. Knowledge of English Language

    Evidence that the applicant has sufficient scholastic preparation and knowledge of the English language, if required by the school to undertake a full course of study in the accepting institution. Proof of the required scholastic preparation is usually established by the I-20 from the institution involved and the entries on the form. To establish their knowledge of English, applicants are encouraged to take the "Test of English as a Foreign Language" (TOEFL), available in many Indian cities.

  3. Proof of Financial Resources

    This involves proof that the applicant has sufficient funds to cover the total cost of education and stay in the U.S. This implies evidence of readily available funds to meet all expenses for the first year, and of the availability of funds for the following years from reliable financial resources. To satisfy this requirement applicants may show that funds are available from the educational institution, from their personal resources or from sponsors, (normally a very close relative) who have agreed to pay for their education.

    If the support is from the educational institution, in the form of a scholarship, assistantship, on-campus employment, etc.,it is usually noted on the I-20.

    If the support is from India, the applicant must produce bank books and statements or other documents showing a total amount in rupees equal to the dollar cost of the first year, and evidence regarding sources of funds for subsequent years. If the student is not paying his own expenses, an affidavit of support executed by the sponsor and sworn before a first class magistrate (in India) must also be presented, along with financial evidence indicating the ability to carry out the undertaking.

    If the support is from outside India, the sponsor must provide a letter from his/her bank indicating that the sponsor has sufficient funds to cover the costs involved, together with a current notarized Affidavit of support stating willingness to finance the applicant's educational expenses. The sponsor should also provide evidence of current employment and income.

    With regard to sponsorship, particular weight is given to promises of support from immediate family members. Affidavits from less than immediate relatives and family friends do not carry the same degree of commitment as do affidavits from immediate family members and should be accompanied by a statement explaining in detail what compelling reasons the person has to carry out the promises made on the affidavit.

    The Embassy emphasizes that the commitment contained in an affidavit of support is not a mere formality. The U.S. Government regards Affidavits of support to be binding, legal documents that oblige the sponsor to be financially responsible for the student during his/her time in U.S.

  4. Proof of Non-Immigrant Intent (Existence of permanent residence)

    It is difficult to prove that you intend to return to India after your studies are complete even though you sincerely intend to. This is because by law, all non-immigrants are viewed as "intending immigrants." This means that the visa officer is under the assumption that you will be coming to the US and will remain in the US permanently.
You should carry with you documents that demonstrate ties to India and would help convince the consul of your intent to return. Such documents may include:

  • Proof of land ownership
  • Economic and Social ties are very important: An applicant's future role in a family business, academic institution, government agency, professional organization are all possibilities. Bring letters from appropriate parties to demonstrate such facts.
  • If other family members have studied in the U.S. and returned it should be mentioned.
  • Letters from prospective employers recognizing the need for specialized training offered in the U.S. can also serve to aid an application in the applicant's home country.
  • Providing an explanation of why equivalent educational training is not available in your home country, if applicable.

Most importantly, Consular Officials want to hear from the applicant. At no time, is it recommended that the applicants bring family members with them to the interview.

If you prove to the Consular Official's satisfaction that you intend to come to the U.S. solely for the purpose of study and will return to India upon completion of the program, a visa stamp will be affixed to a page in your passport. You should apply for a multiple entry F-1 student visa. With a multiple entry visa you can travel between US and India during the duration of your stay in the Unites States.

For Further Information on Counseling and general information on studying in United States and or for information about student visa, contact : Aryans International or write to us at info@aryansconsultants.com
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