Study in USA- The Land of Liberty is a superpower and is the supreme desired destination of students for higher education. Fascinating the global talent is one of the pillars of accomplishment of the country. Every student irrespective of the field and geography wants to live the American dream. A great emphasis is given to the mix and diversity. Hence a degree from the USA guarantees a quality education and a truly international experience. Job prospect is highest when matched with other higher education destination, as employers and the state laws are very generous in hiring international students. To support the fact there 123 US companies in 500 global companies, that too occupying the top places. Studying in the USA instils a cross-cultural understanding added with networking, helping students to land a job.
The United States has a number of ranked universities presenting the students a wide pool to choose from. Unlike in India, one student can club different majors and minors that too from different subjects. Flexibility, practical approach and job oriented courses add to the positives of education in the states. Education in all the levels is of supreme quality whether tertiary, undergraduate, postgraduate and even in language courses. US universities also have the flagship in Research and post-doctorate degrees. There are 50 states and around 4500 colleges offering different courses.
There are approximately more than 1,000,000 international students pursuing their education in the USA. The arrangement of the undergraduate degree is dissimilar as compared with the other countries. All the bachelor’s degree in four years and the same duration is the requirement to apply for a master’s degree. However, some of the US universities are becoming flexible and are accepting three years undergraduate degree. There is no compulsion of choosing major and minor of the identical field, one can easily choose and study the subjects according to their preference and interest.
Broadly there are two intakes presented for students to choose from fall and the spring intake. September is the big and the major one and almost all the course including bachelors and masters have a fall intake. Comparatively, spring is the small intake where there is less and limited option available especially at the undergraduate level.
The Same relevant degree is desired, however not a mandate. This can be leveraged with appropriate experience or addition certificates in the field of the desired course.
GRE and GMAT will be a prerequisite if considering for technical and business courses respectively. However for the English proficiency IELTS/ TOEFL either one will suffice the need to apply for a university/college. For the bachelors, SAT will be essential for admission in respectable universities. For Law Students: Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Nevertheless, there are universities admitting students without standardized tests. There is no definite weight to be defined for the academics percentage and also the scores in GRE/ GMAT. Universities look at the overall profile while considering a candidate for a seat. Hence, extra-curricular, volunteer activities, articles and research papers become very handy if accompanied with the application. Some particular courses in medical and pharmacy can demand practical experience which can be a decisive factor. Not conclusive but yet important factors are Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Letter of Reference (LOR).
We can categorize universities in two categories: public and private. The tuition fees for international students will be different as compared with the domestic students. However, the range can be from 10-40K $ depending on the university, course, modules and credits. For the living expense, students can take an approx. The budget of 10K$ per annum depending on the lifestyle and comfort. If one is looking for affordable options and doesn’t have to break the bank then they can target Public universities as they are supported by the government, hence are cheap comparatively.
Students will be eligible to get one year stay back post degree on student visa F1. For the students opting for STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) will get two years of stay back time to look for jobs. So if opting for certain courses students can get up to three years of stay back option. While looking for jobs student need to make sure that they are looking for jobs in the same relevant field of their degrees.
A valid visa is a mandate before commencing the education in the USA. A valid offer letter is a prerequisite for applying for a student visa. A gap of 120 days is required before applying for I-20 and the travel window is 30 days after applying.
There are two kinds of student visa to study in the USA
Most prevalent visa to study in an accredited US university or college. In this category, students can complete their bachelors, masters, secondary school and also English language programs. If a course is more than 18 a week then the student should apply for this type of visa.
This type of visa is for vocational studies in the USA
If you plan to engage in non-academic or vocational study or training at a U.S. institution then you need an M-1 visa.
There are fundamentally two types of scholarships available-: Government and University/ college-specific scholarships. Government scholarships are often full tuition waive or half tuition waive. Different scholarships are offered to different geographies and fields in mind. One student should narrow down the criteria before applying for the one. In government scholarships, students are required to write articles, essay or assignment in order to be acknowledged for the scholarships. Most of the government scholarships are very competitive are not easy to get one. The second type of scholarships is offered by the university/college and is course, geography and gender-specific. Different universities have set various checkpoints in order to grant one like- profile, standardized test scores, relevant experience, extracurricular activities etc. There are universities which can offer full tuition waiver of half as well but that’s very rare. A student can expect somewhere between 20-40% which is much more normal and easily gettable.
Fulbright Foreign Student Program: This is research-oriented scholarship
Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships- This scholarship is available for Regional Planning, Higher Education Administration, International Legal Studies, Public Health, Public Administration, Culture Management including Heritage Conservation and Museum Studies Environmental Science/Studies, women studies and Gender studies.
Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program: This scholarship is suitable for experienced folks looking to deepen their leadership quotient. The duration is ten months and the topic should be in the common interest of the USA and the home country. This scholarship lends a hand in networking, attending various conferences and seminars of interests resulting in augmenting the knowledge and understanding of the subject.
Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Program: The foundation will not be funding students if they are viewing to study Germany, UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Denmark, Italy Norway and Sweden. Applicants from the following countries can apply for the scholarships: Uganda, India, Mozambique, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Syria, Tanzania, Madagascar, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Egypt and Kyrgyzstan
Genetics and research courses on Diabetes, MBA, Medicine, MS Computer sciences, Electronics and Bio-Technology.
In the recent World University Rankings by QS 2015-16, Top 5 places are occupied by American Universities: