Study in USA
The Land of the Free has much to offer international students from the tech corridors of Silicon Valley to some of the world’s best medical research centers and the vibrant culture of the world’s melting pot.
The USA is a popular choice for those wanting to go in for their higher education because of many reasons such as:
- Some of the finest and highly rated universities in the world are based in this country. They also boast of the IVY Leagues
- Flexibility in the education system- The country offers students the opportunity to choose the content and structure of their course. Elective majors help you explore your preference and work on varied interests
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) OPT: A wide variety of degrees offered here are ‘STEM eligible’. This means that international students or candidates have a confirmed opportunity to stay back in the USA and gain additional two years of experience. This is post completion of their degrees to gain practical training working in a US organisation
- The USA has a robust support system for International students. To empower the International student, universities here conduct workshops, English-language practice courses, orientations, and training
- Diversity in culture- The USA has long been welcoming and accommodating of differing ideologies, beliefs and nationalities creating a rich cosmopolitan culture
- Optimized Classroom experience- The US is a country which applies innovative and rapidly changing technological innovations most efficiently in education
The education system in the USA
These have been designed to launch a career. They are the first two years of a bachelors program.
3 – 4 years
These are designed as the undergraduate core courses, major, minor and elective.
Master’s degree (Professional)
1 to 3 years
Designed to make graduates undergo specific professions
Master’s degree (Academic)
These are the programs for traditional education; streams of humanities, arts, and science.
Doctorate or PhD
5 to 8 years
Doctorate programs can be undertaken under the supervision of any faculty advisor.
- GMAT – The Graduate Management Admission Test- This is an entrance exam for those appearing for management or business courses. The test checks the aptitude for English, mathematical, and reasoning skills
- GRE – The Graduate Record Examination- Pursuants wanting to do their masters in arts or science need to appear for GRE. Some business schools (B-Schools) accept GRE scores for management courses
- LSAT – The Law School Admission Test – To pursue courses in Law, the students need to appear for their LSATs. The pursuant gets tested on their reading and verbal reasoning skills
- SAT – The Scholastic Assessment Test- Literacy and writing skills of a student are tested here. This is applicable to most undergraduate education courses. This test is designed to evaluate problem-solving skills. The SAT exams are conducted for admission to undergraduate courses
Even though the USA is acclaimed to be the best place for education for a lot of courses, the most popular ones are:
- Computer Science Engineering- Silicon Valley is the hottest site for computer science enthusiasts
- Information Technology- freedom for Innovative approaches, training, creative thinking are what make these the most sought after
- Engineering- The land of machinery is a hub for students who want to study engineering. You can learn everything from building a car to an innovative robot
- Aeronautical Engineering- NASA has been a pioneer in space and aeronautics and no wonder it is the most sought after destination for careers
- Business Programs- The Wall Street needs no introduction and neither do the many business and management courses that lead to coveted jobs in some of the world’s most profitable firms
- Healthcare- With the topmost and premier hospitals and research opportunities, this is one of the most lucrative sectors
The USA offers nearly 445 Scholarships, across various education levels from Bachelor, Masters to Doctorate. Here are some of the most popular scholarships:
Federal Student Aid
This is granted by the US Department of Education. These are granted in the form of scholarships, loans and are applicable while they study and perform part-time jobs. The quantum of grant changes every year
AAUW International Fellowship Program
This is granted to women who are pursuing graduate and post-graduate programs and demonstrate academic excellence. . The quantum of the grant is between 18,000-30,000 USD
Gates Millennium Scholarship
The Melinda Gates foundation encourages excellence in the fields of Engineering, Computers, Science, and Humanities. This is a need-based scholarship with no restriction on the quantum of grant
Fulbright Student Program
Bi-national Fulbright Commissions or US Embassies awards these scholarships. These are awarded to citizens of over 155 countries and cover their Tuition fee, airfare, health insurance, and other expenses
Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Program
This is a grant which is awarded as a 50% grant and 50% loan to students of developing nations. The quantum is based on living and tuition expenses
While the fees for different universities differ, the chart below is to give an approximate idea of the cost that arises on average:
|average tuition Fees for undergraduate courses||Public colleges for a 2-year course||$3,570|
|Public colleges for a 4-year course||$9,970|
|Private colleges for a 4-year course||$34,740|
|Average tuition fees for postgraduate courses||Public||$25,000|
|Health Insurance which is mandatory||Starts at $2000|
Living Expenses can only be estimated on the basis of what we believe a student would require:
- The cost of study materials, including books, is $500 to $1000 per annum
- Travel costs for education are $300 to $700 per annum
- Accommodations range from $2000 to $7500 per annum
- Off-campus rentals can range from $200 to $1000 per month
- Cost for food, keeping cheap and affordable meals in mind- $3000 per annum
- Clothing and other lifestyle expenses- $500 per annum
- Personal expenses like mobile phone, medicines etc would be around $2000 per annum
These can vary as per inflation and do not take into consideration extra and special university expenses for projects etc.
- A passport that is valid for 6 months more than the time post which you complete your education Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant visa application confirmation page), Payment receipt for the Application fee, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status filed via form Form I-20, Original Marks Sheet or Provisional certificates.
- A score of aptitude examinations like- IELTS, TOEFL, GMAT, SAT, GRE etc.
- Proof of funds required to cover for education and cost of living.
- Proof of candidate willing to return home post-course completion.
- An interview is conducted at an embassy of the USA.
It is not very difficult to find good and growth-oriented career opportunities in the USA. The candidate needs to be dedicated, score good results and have an unquestionable character while pursuing their education.
Students need to have some of the items checked before they start job search:
- An early start helps as H1B Visa takes time
- Some visas are specifically available for study and work. The aspirants may consider them
- Career sessions with the career coaches assigned by the colleges and universities go a long way
- Industry networking and building connections amongst peers while studying are encouraged to build a strong career launchpad
The most important sectors that offer placements here are:
- Accountants and Auditors
- Marketing Managers
- General and Operations managers
- Technology and Computer Engineering
- Medical practitioners
Do remember, STEM courses carry 2 additional years of stay back permit after completion of the course.
Part- time work opportunities
Part-time jobs are an excellent source of extra and quick cash, along with an opportunity to interact with others. . No study experience is quite complete without part-time jobs.
America has a student Visa guideline. This dictates the number of hours one can work in the week. It allows students to work for 20 hours a week on campus only. Off-campus is only with the permission of the university. The students can work for 40 hours a week during their holidays and vacations. Part-time work can be off-campus or campus.
Campus Jobs are in the form of Library Monitor, Teaching Assistance, Tour Guide, Peer Tutor, Campus Tech Support, Production Assistant and others. These jobs adhere to the student visa regulations to help students manage their studies.
Off-campus jobs include waiters and staff at food establishments, retail jobs etc. But they are only possible with explicit permission in the credits.
Post-study work visas should be paid most attention to when applying to universities in the USA. F1 Visa, M1 Visa, and J1 visas are generally issued to students and they come with permission to stay in the US for a specified time period after completing their studies and before getting a work Visa of H1B.
An F1 student visa holder gets up to one year stay back post completing their course. The training needs to be in the specified field of education. F1 visa holders have the option to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) on their education completion.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is the work and stay-back permit that the USA issues when a student completes a degree program. It is valid for 1 year.
Students can select from the two forms of OPT:
- Pre-Completion OPT
- Post-Completion OPT
The training job must be related to the course in which education is completed. Employment must be found within 90 days of completion.
STEM- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics courses, have an additional 1 year, which makes it two years stay-back post education completion for their work permit.
After that the company or employer must offer an employee sponsorship to avail the H1B visa.
Life & Culture
Student lifeThis is a vibrant place to be. Students here come from multiple cultures and races, with a pretty clear and career-focused approach. Universities go out of their way to acclimatize the students.
CultureThe American Culture is a little different from most other cultures, especially the Indian culture. This country places their values on independence and individualism, equality of all gender and cultures, informal demeanor, frankness, openness and discussions. It is a very tolerant country where there is no or very little judgement and interference.
Famous placesWhile most of us have dreamed of visiting the Statue of Liberty or Mount Rushmore or sunning on the beaches in California, there are some other famous places in the USA that shall excite you.
- The Grand Canyon
- Las Vegas- because why not?
- White House
- Walt Disney World Resort
- Yosemite National Park
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Times Square- don’t wait for New Year’s Eve!
Other Popular Countries
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