Why study in USA?
Classy Institutions and Quality Education
The United States has more institutions of higher learning than any other country in the world. Importantly, the academic bodies provide absolute quality education. Study programs are tuned to the current scenario at all times. Quality of research is excellent and the facilities available to bring your research to the market are exceptional. The research at many of these universities is cutting-edge and often published in journals Worldwide. USA has always been a hub of inventions and Universities play a significant role in the change process. The list of world-class learning institutions in the USA is endless and include, but are not limited to Stanford University, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, California Institute of Technology, UC Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, MIT, John Hopkins, Northwestern University, etc.
Study what you like
USA has to offer any course that you can even think of related to hospitality & tourism industry. More than 4000 institutions offer undergraduates, post graduates, Masters and doctorate degrees.
Acceptability and Popularity
This is the key aspect. For years for some valid reasons, US education in India and also Worldwide has been more recognized. This means your degree is worth the cost. US remains the ultimate land of opportunities given its size, market, value in everything largely and most importantly, the quality and value of its education. Check out the Fortune 500 Companies list and you will the maximum being from the US. And remember, where the Companies do well, the job market and learning automatically enhances. Quantity in terms of number of Institutions and quality is all aspects especially in education makes us say students enjoy the Global Edge when they study in USA!
Scholarships / Financial Assistance
US Schools have always been generous to students who have the ability to contribute. US easily enjoys the advantage of providing more scholarships / financial assistance / financial aid / bursaries to students as compared to the rest of the world. Thus, we recommend that whatever be your scores in your studies in your home Country, always apply for scholarships and you may be in for some luck. Overall value of your education rises when you make use of the opportunity cost. Most of our students who have applied to US Schools at any level have managed to get some scholarships.
Part-time work Students can make much more than a handful working part-time for 20 hours per week during course of study and full-time (generally 40 hours per week) during vacations Optional Practical Training (popularly known as OPT) US in most cases allow students to opt for the Optional Practical Training (OPT) year whereby students can stay back for at least a year and work
The USA education system is flexible. During your course, you can transfer from one course or stream to another or from one School to another. The system is distinguished and credit transfers are possible.
Test Appearing for your tests like GMAT / GRE / SAT / TOEFL / IELTS. You must know which test is applicable for you and should appear for it timely
Selection of right course at the right Universities is the key since US has over 4000 Institutions and every application costs money (likeapplication fees which can be between $ 50 to $ 150 in most cases, b. courier charges (of sending your application documents to each University which could be Rs 1000 to Rs 1500 + per School), c. sending your GMAT, GRE, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS, SAT II subject test scores to each University, where applicable). This can be as much as spending Rs 5000 to Rs 6000 per University while only making applications.
Editing Essays and Personal Statement (Statement of Purpose)
US Schools often will have topical essays as a requirement especially for undergraduate studies and MBA. Many MS (Masters) courses in the USA also have this as a requirement. If not, at least a Personal Statement (popularly known as SOP) is compulsory. To add, remember scholarship essays are very important too and can get you better value for your studies
You need to gather the correct financial documents (may include bank statement, bank balance certificate, solvency certificate) while applying to US Schools. They need to check if you have adequate finances to join them and live in the US. Generally, the liquid and other assets you must show through appropriate documentation should be equivalent to your total cost of studying in the US (tuition + living) for the total course duration
USA offers the world’s most flexible education system. Each University can determine the content of the program and admission standards. Transfer of credits is possible ensuring smooth lateral movement ie one can change from one Institution to another. Students can decide their area of specialization and US has it on offer
Types of Institution in USA
Most Public Universities are State universities operated by state government entities. These are generally large in size. All levels of degrees with different fields of study are offered. Public colleges and universities are relatively reasonably priced for residents of their respective state, who pay in-state tuition fees. Foreign students pay ‘out-of-state’ tuition, which is higher.
The source of funding determines whether a University is public or private. Private Universities are the ones that do not receive Government funding and which are run without any Government’s control.
Instead, endowments, annual gifts, alumni donations and tuition fees are significant sources of funding for these schools. Thus, the tuition fees at private colleges and universities are fairly higher as compared to state (public) schools. However, private Universities also tend to offer generous financial aid packages; many a times, the actual out-of-pocket cost to earn a degree from a private college in the US turns out to be less than the cost of state (public) schools. Over 80% of full-time undergraduates at private colleges receive some kind of financial aid.
Private colleges and universities include virtually every type of school: four- and two-year colleges; rural and urban; liberal arts colleges; major research universities; Christian, Catholic and Jewish institutions; art Institutes; schools of law, medicine, engineering, business, management and other professions. A private College can be as small as having 100 students to the larger universities with over 30,000 students. With both undergraduate and graduate programs, students can take anything from a 1-year professional certificate to a doctorate at a private college or university.
Both, local and foreign students pay the same fee at a private College.
The Ivy League:
The alarm bells ring when you hear about names like: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania. These are the IVY LEAGUES and admissions here could be a daunting task besides extremely heavy on pockets. They are in the Northeastern part of the USA. Ivy League colleges stress undergraduate liberal arts education, but they also have noted graduate and professional schools.
Some useful facts on Ivy League admissions:
• Acceptance Rate: Their acceptance rate is about 9 % to 11 % in general. Only Cornell and University of Pennsylvania register an acceptance rate of over 15% (this information may change)
• Scores: Generally students who have been accepted, the top 10% of their high School class would have scored between 88% to 99%
• SAT Score: Students with over 2100 + generally fall in to the higher acceptance rate category. In general, at least two SAT II subjects are recommended to be taken by students
• Admissions however depend on all factors like academic scores, additional work undertaken by students during their course of study, SAT (I and II) Scores, participation in other activities (like sports, extra-curricular activities, etc.), personal interview and more
Small Liberal Arts Colleges:
Generally have the focus on undergraduate study of the traditional arts and science disciplines: humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Strictly liberal arts colleges are often quite old and mostly private schools. They are highly-rated institutions as they stress on small classes, individual attention to the students, and closer relationships between the faculties and students. Many of them also generally have rigid admission standards.
These are institutions normally run by a certain community for their own people. Many high school graduates who cannot afford to go to a university, or who simply are not ready for a four-year institution, will choose to go to community college. These institutions accept international students, but they have a fewer number of attendees, as most students are commuters from the near-by area. Although community colleges focus on undergraduate programs, some offer good graduate programs as well. These institutions will be mostly located in suburbs, and the basic advantage in these institutions is minimum academic fees. Community colleges provide higher education and lower level tertiary education, granting certificates, diplomas and Associates Degree.
US Student VISA
US Consul General Josh Glazer off answers queries on US student visa process
Can you elaborate on the US student visa process? What are the key points you look for in a student visa application?
It is a very simple and straightforward process. We strive to make it as quick as possible. It is a two-way process where you give your biometrics, fingerprints and picture at an offsite location. In my section, it will take you close to half and hour to wrap up the entire process. A visa officer may speak with you for around 4 minutes; it is a very quick process. The officer may ask a couple of very basic questions like where are you interested in studying and how did you find out about it, are your parents going to fund you or are you on a scholarship.
How early should a student apply for a visa?
We encourage students to apply early; we don’t want people to be in a rush at the end. But you cannot apply more than 120 days in advance. What we tell people is get yourself organized and take an appointment with us online.
What is the average time required to get the visa processed?
We generate over 90% of the visas the following day.
Can you list the key documents required for a student visa?
The most important document is the I-20 (which comes directly from the University in the United States) and your passport. It is a very simple process.
Does multiple admission offers influence the visa in any way?
We all want to be welcome in every place we can, and it is nice to get accepted in a bunch of places. But, you must make a careful choice about the course you plan to take.
Do standardized test scores make a difference?
The visa decision is a very small part of the whole process. These tests are taken much in advance while you are contemplating what your various options are.
What makes an officer reject an application?
We do turn some people down during the process. But we issue the visa in a vast majority of the cases. If someone is not able to explain why s/he chose a particular college or a course; we only look at whether s/he is a genuine student. However, once you have done all your research and spoken to USIEF counselors you would be able to demonstrate your reasons for studying in the US.
Can my parents come to drop me off this fall? Can they apply right now or should we wait to get my I-20 first?
They can come anytime. We issue visas for 10 years, so anybody who wants to travel on tourism or business can come in whenever they are ready to apply. Application process is very simple.
What are the restrictions on jobs and internships on an F1 visa?
There are opportunities for international students, but there are some limitations. Generally, you have to be doing something that is related to your field of study. Your own institutions and the international student office will be able to guide you best on the opportunities available to you in the US.
How much money do you need to show for a visa?
The requirements from our side are to show that you can pay for the first year of school. We don’t tend to spend a lot of time on funding; we are more interested to know how you selected a college and a programmed