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Lucrative Job Opportunities

On completion of your degree, you are legally authorized to work in the US in your related field for about a year. You need to apply for Optional Practical Training Employment Authorization (OPT). Most international students get inducted into the company that hires them during their OPT period, by sponsoring their H1 B or work visa.

Education in USA

A Unique Higher Education System

U.S. universities and colleges may differ from those in your home country in several ways. For one thing, small class sizes are very common. There may be as few as 10 to 20 students in a class, giving you the personal attention you need in order to succeed. While in class, students are encouraged and expected to contribute to the discussion. Professors meet with students in their offices or even share coffee or meals with them. The close relationship between students and faculty serves to motivate students and fosters a personal approach to the curriculum. Studying in the U.S. gives you the opportunity to gain a mentor in your given career field, an invaluable resource.

Calculate your Own Costs of Studying in US

In recent years it’s become easier for individual students to calculate how much they could expect studying in the US to cost. All US universities are now legally required to include a fees and financial aid calculator on their websites, allowing students to get a rough idea of how much their intended course of study would cost and what aid they may be eligible for. These “net price calculators” can be accessed via the government’s College Affordability and Transparency Center, which also provides details of the US universities with the highest and lowest tuition fees and net costs.

Average fees at US Universities, 2022/23.

Average Living Expenses

The approximate annual living expenses are about $10,000, which includes accommodation as well as other daily expenses. However, the expenses are different for different people depending on the lifestyles and this is just a rough idea. The main expenses can be split up as:

So, about $1000 per month is a good estimation. Most people can survive with $700 $1000 a month. The key here is to share apartments/houses so that you save on the utilities, fixed charge portion of phone and to some extent on groceries.

Employment as Student

Many students hold on campus jobs, and work opportunities are nearly always available. Most jobs pay about $7.25 per hour and entail work in a laboratory or in food service. You may be taxed for income earned in the United States. Money is deducted each pay period from most employees’ paychecks for federal and state income taxes. The amount of the deduction varies greatly.

In general terms, students are permitted to work on campus 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semester and 40 hours per week during school breaks when classes are not in session.

Academic Year

The school calendar usually begins in August or September and continues through May or June. The majority of new students begin in autumn, so it is a good idea for international students to also begin their U.S. university studies at this time. There is a lot of excitement at the beginning of the school year and students form many great friendships during this time, as they are all adjusting to a new phase of academic life. Additionally, many courses are designed for students to take them in sequence, starting in autumn and continuing through the year.

The academic year at many schools is composed of two terms called “semesters.” (Some schools use a three term calendar known as the “trimester” system.) Still, others further divide the year into the quarter system of four terms, including an optional summer session. Basically, if you exclude the summer session, the academic year is either comprised of two semesters or three quarter terms.

Admission Requirements

US University Applications

Entry requirements for each university are different, but most involve either completing an admissions test or essay, the SAT or ACT admissions tests, and providing recommendation letters from teachers. On top of this, most universities ask for a transcript of your grades and a personal statement.

Typical Application Requirements

English Language Requirements

Undergraduate Applicants

All applicants (including US citizens) whose first language is not English can prove English proficiency by one of the following:

**English speaking countries include: UK, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (except Quebec).

Graduate Applicants

Graduate school applicants who have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited institution in the English Speaking Country may be exempt from the English language proficiency test requirement.

Admissions Deadlines

Universities will offer a variety of application deadline types. Most universities offer one early deadline type (early action, restrictive early action or early decision) plus regular decision deadlines. However, always check the university’s admissions page for full details.

  1. Rolling admissions Students can apply over a set period of time (typically August to spring), and admission decisions will be made on a rolling basis. It is still suggested that applicants still apply early (October/November) if possible. This type of deadline is non binding and non restrictive.
  2. Regular decision Students typically apply by 1 January in anticipation of an admissions decision by 1 April. This type of deadline is non binding and non restrictive. Students may apply to as many universities in the US as they choose under regular decision policies.
  3. Early action Students typically apply by 1 November in anticipation of an admissions decision by 15 December. This type of deadline is non binding AND non restrictive. Students may apply to as many universities in the US as they choose under early action policies.
  4. Restrictive early action (Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Yale) Like early action, students typically apply by 1 November in anticipation of an admissions decision by 15 December. This type of deadline is non binding.
  5. However, check for restrictions in the university policies on whether you can apply to other universities while you have a restrictive early action application out. Generally speaking, you can only apply to one university restrictive early action, and this will be your only early application in the US. There may be exceptions in the university policy (check on their admissions page) such as allowing you to apply early to state universities with a non binding, rolling admissions policy or to universities where the university application is considered for scholarships must be submitted earlier than 15 December.
  6. Early decision There are two early decision deadlines, ED1 in November and the slightly less common ED2 in January. These are more common at private liberal arts colleges. Like early action, ED1 students typically apply by 1 November in anticipation of an admissions decision by 15 December.
  7. Early decision applications are binding. You should think very carefully before applying to a university early decision. You, your school and your parents will sign an early decision agreement, certifying that you understand the terms of early decision: The early decision university should be your first choice (worldwide) and if accepted, you will withdraw all other applications (worldwide) and attend that university. The only exception is if you apply for financial aid and do not receive sufficient aid to take up your offer.
  8. You may only submit one early decision application in the ED1 and/or ED2 rounds. You should certainly apply to other universities in the UK at the same time to keep all options open, but know that you will need to decline your UCAS offers if admitted early decision in the US.
  9. Early decision is also somewhat restrictive in that, you cannot apply to more than one university early decision, but you may be able to apply to others early action at the same time. (Unless as stated above, the university you would like to apply to via early action has restrictions.)

How to apply visa

Types of Student Visa

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. You must have a student visa to study in the United States. Your course of study and the type of school you plan to attend determine whether you need an F 1 visa or an M 1 visa.

F Visa

This type of US student visa is for international students who are intending to pursue an academic degree at an accredited US college or university, or to study English at a university or intensive English language institute. There are three types of F visa:

Students with F 1 visas can work on campus for 20 hours a week or less. Students wishing to work longer hours and off campus must gain prior authorization from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) they may also grant work authorization for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) for a total of twelve months, without accruing more than 90 days of unemployment.

M Visa

The second category of US student visa is for international students who want to engage in non academic or vocational study or training at an institution in the US. There are three types of M visa:

M 1 students are admitted to the US for a fixed time period the length of their training program plus any Optional Practical Training. They must not stay in the US for longer than one year except in the case of extensions due to medical reasons. M 1 visa holders are not allowed to work on or off campus while studying and may not change their status to F 1.

J Visa

Finally, this third type of US student visa is for international exchange visitors participating in programs in the US that promote cultural exchange. Whether it is to obtain medical, business or other training, all applicants must meet the eligibility criteria of the program in question and be sponsored by a private sector or government program. Holders of J visas usually stay in the US for a short period of time, perhaps one or two semesters. There are two types of J visa:

Student Acceptance at a SEVP Approved School

Before you can apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an F or M student visa, you must first apply to and be accepted by a SEVP approved school. Visit the Department of State EducationUSA website to learn about educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate study, opportunities for scholars, admissions, and more. You can also visit the DHS Study in the States school search page to search for SEVP certified schools.

When you are accepted by the U.S. school you plan to attend, you will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). You must pay the SEVIS I 901 Fee. The U.S. school will provide you with a Form I 20 to present to the consular officer when you attend your visa interview. If your spouse and/or children intend to reside with you in the United States while you study, they must obtain individual Form I 20s, but they do not pay the SEVIS fee. Visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) website to learn more about SEVIS and the SEVIS I 901 Fee.

Financial Requirements

You must have adequate, demonstrable financial support to live and study in the United States. Visa applications are generally stronger if the financial support comes from family, employers, or other institutional sponsors located in the home country.

Required Financial Documents Need to Receive i 20

Your financial support can come from any combination of the following sources (please see “Acceptable Documents” section, below ) in the U.S. or abroad. It is highly recommended that some or all funding come from your home country and immediate family support is preferable to friends or distant relatives.

All documents submitted must meet the following requirements:

Acceptable Proof of Financial Documents.

If you are paying all expenses with personal funds (“self sponsoring”) you must submit:
If you have a family member or other individual sponsor you, you must submit the following:
If you have an Organizational or Governmental Sponsorship, you must submit all the following:
If you received Scholarships and/or grants from University, you must submit the following:

Visa Application Procedure

There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply. Please consult the instructions available on the embassy or consulate website where you intend to apply.

Complete the Online Visa Application

Schedule an Interview

While interviews are generally not required for applicants of certain ages outlined below, consular officers have the discretion to require an interview of any applicant, regardless of age.

You must schedule an appointment for your visa interview, generally, at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be difficult to qualify for a visa outside of your place of permanent residence.

Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. Review the interview wait time for the location where you will apply:

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Prepare for Your Interview

Gather Required Documentation

Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

  1. Passport valid for travel to the United States Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country specific agreements). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.
  2. Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS 160 confirmation page
  3. Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview
  4. Photo You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS 160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
  5. Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F 1) Student Status For Academic and Language Students, Form I 20A B or Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M 1) Student Status for Vocational Students, Form I 20M N Your school will send you a SEVIS generated Form I 20 once they have entered your information in the SEVIS database. You and your school official must sign the Form I 20. All students, their spouse and minor children if they intend to reside in the United States with the student, must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS). Each person receives an individual Form I 20.

Additional Documentation May Be Required

Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish that you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:

Attend Your Visa Interview

Bringing your Dependants

International students are allowed to bring dependants by obtaining a F 2 Visa. Following mandatory documents are required.

Supporting Documents

Appointment Times

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.