United States of America
If you are planning to live and learn in the United States, you already possess a well-known American characteristic—a sense of adventure! As an international student, you will experience many new and exciting things.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to discuss exactly what “Living in the U.S.” means to everyone. American culture has been enriched by the values and belief systems of virtually every part of the world. From an international student’s perspective, that diversity is very valuable. If you choose to live in a completely different environment, you may be challenged with new situations every day; but if you decide to live in a part of the U.S. that resembles your home country in some ways, you may find comfort in those similarities.
Learning more about yourself is perhaps the most important part of your decision to travel to the U.S. Once you know what you want to achieve, then you can identify the right place to study and live and grow in the States. The United States is a very diverse country and there is a lot to see and enjoy while you are there, make connections and see if you can find places that are off the beaten path and learn more about the area that you reside in. Just get involved and do everything that you can. The independence and adventure associated with going to university is going to rub off on you. Student life in the United States is an incredibly unique experience.
The United States has one of the world’s finest university systems, with outstanding programs in virtually all fields. At the undergraduate level, excellent programs exist in traditional disciplines, as well as in professional fields. At the graduate level, students have the opportunity to work directly with some of the finest minds in their field of study, with the chance to become involved with exclusive research and educational opportunities. U.S. degrees are recognized throughout the world for their excellence.
Some U.S. colleges and universities stress broad educational principles; others emphasize practical, employment-related skills; and still others specialize in the arts, social sciences or technical fields. This means that no matter what you plan on studying, you will have a wide variety of programs in your particular field from which to choose.
Universities in the U.S. pride themselves on being at the forefront of technology, research and techniques, and in making the best possible equipment and resources available to their students. Even if your field does not directly involve science or engineering, you will have opportunities to become skilled in using the latest technology to conduct research, as well as obtain and process information. You will find ways to stay connected with researchers, teachers and experts in your field all over the world.
International students are some of the most valued teachers and researchers in U.S. universities because they bring new skills and ideas to the classroom and library or laboratory. This practical component of your education will prove useful in your future career, and may give you insights into your field that would not be possible through course study alone.
Many international students find that the college and university international student office is a great resource when it comes to adapting to a culturally and academically different environment. The mission of the international student office is to assist students like you, and there is often a wide range of student services that they provide.
Top Universities in USA
- University of Pennsylvania
- Columbia University
- Cornell University
- Princeton University
- University of Chicago
- California Institute of Technology
- Harvard University
- Stanford University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Admission Process for USA
Each U.S. university and college sets its own admission standards and decides which applicants meet those standards. Therefore, you must apply separately to each university or college.
Even if you have selected one school where you are sure you want to study abroad, you should still apply to other schools—it is possible that your “first choice” school may not accept you. Remember that you are competing with prospective international students from all over the world for a limited number of spaces. Most schools in the USA encourage prospective international students to contact their admissions office at least one year before planning to enter that school.
Follow these helpful steps as you apply for admission to U.S. universities and colleges:
After you have selected the schools you want to attend, contact each school for an application form and more international student admission information.
U.S. universities and colleges usually base their admissions decisions on a student’s academic record and applicable test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT. If you are applying to graduate schools, additional exam scores, such as the GRE or GMAT, will be required.
The admissions office will review your marks earned during the last four years of secondary school. Your results from your country’s national secondary school examinations will also be reviewed. If you are applying to a graduate program, your marks from university or college will be taken into consideration.
After the application deadline, you will begin receiving letters from your chosen schools. Some universities inform candidates of their acceptance soon after their documents have arrived in the admissions office; this is called “rolling admissions.” Other schools, however, wait several months and inform all candidates at one time.
Most universities require students to pay a deposit by a certain deadline in order to reserve a space in the entering class. For international students, this deposit can be as high as a semester’s or a full year’s tuition.
Visa Process for USA
Any international student wanting to study in the USA will need to obtain a student visa for the USA. Most students are issued with an F-1 visa, and the general outline/process flow for obtaining an F1 visa is as follows:
Before you can apply for your F-1 student visa for the USA, you must apply to and be accepted by a school approved by the SEVP.
Once you’re accepted, you will be required to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee in order to be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Then, your school will provide you with a Form I-20. This form will be presented to the consular officer when you attend your F-1 visa interview.
Applying for the F-1 student visa may vary depending on the U.S. embassy or consulate you are dealing with. You will be required to pay a non-refundable visa application fee.
You can schedule your F-1 visa interview with the U.S. embassy or consulate. Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. An F-1 student visa for the USA can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your course of study start date. You will only be able to enter the US with an F-1 visa 30 days before your start date.
The following documents are required for your F-1 visa interview:
- A valid passport
- The Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
- The application fee payment receipt
- A passport photo
- A Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1) Student Status (Form 1-20)
Additional documents may be requested to prove your eligibility for the F-1 student visa, including academic transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates. Test scores such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, or GMAT may also be requested, as well as proof of your intent to depart the U.S. after your program is complete and proof of your financial stability.
Your F-1 visa interview will determine whether you are qualified to receive an F-1 student visa for the USA. Assuming that you have prepared the appropriate documents and meet all of the F-1 visa requirements, your visa will be approved at the discretion of the consular officer.