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Study in USA24 min read

By January 23, 2020 February 13th, 2020 No Comments

Study in USA

All about Eligibility,
Requirements, Documents,
Campus Life, Job opportunities..

Study in USA guide

If you’re looking to study abroad for the next few years, especially in the US, then you have made the right choice!

With the growing population of Indian students in America, universities in the US are inviting students like you to be a part of their programmes!

About the US

With 50 states and a land mass of 3.8 million square miles, the United States of America is a considerably new country that has risen to be a superpower due to its growing technological and scientific advancements.

Numerous films and TV shows have been a source of knowledge about the country, people and life in general- hence, one might have a general idea of the inherent diverse culture in the country.

In terms of education, the USA houses over 15 million students in more than 4,000 universities spread across the country.

The USA has been a widely sought-after educational destination for many international students and Indians have been contributing to the larger share in the population for the past two decades.

With their unparalleled commitment towards providing a holistic education, they have really projected a state-of-the art curriculum to the world.

It is hardly surprising that the USA has an education index of 99.9%- the highest in the world, according to the United Nations!

These universities also help you prepare to take on the competition in the global platform. With opportunities for internships, practical experience and career fairs that introduce you to the present job market, this is one of the best benefits you get to enjoy during your course of study in the US!

Tertiary Education in the US

There are different types of colleges in the USA ranging from Community Colleges to Liberal Arts Colleges. Universities in the USA have always been highly sought after for its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and Management programmes that come with modern facilities to enhance learning methods.

Many colleges/ universities are usually state funded and the rest have been supported by endowments and other donors.

Here are reasons why the US is the right choice for higher studies!

Why study in the US?

The land of opportunities has so much to offer for aspiring students who want to make it big after getting a strong foundation in their respective fields. So, what should you be looking forward to in the USA? Here is the list!

Multicultural exposure

USA, the land of immigrants, is also an educational hub that grants students an opportunity to be surrounded by a multicultural environment that enhances their experience.

At the global platform, you might encounter a whole different set of perspectives that people hold on life, in general, which might turn out to be more of an eye-opener for most of you.

You will have to get past the cultural shock in the beginning but networking through the whole lot and adapting yourself to varying scenarios can be fruitful.

Flexible study atmosphere

Get ready to face some new changes because your academic life will take a turn for the better! In the US, you will be given the liberty to structure your course as per your individual needs.

As a student of engineering, you can also take up a management course as a part of the semester’s syllabus. Such flexibility that emphasizes on a learner- centered study is one that you should experience in the course of your student life.

Your day will not be entirely packed with lectures as it usually is back home, you will have time for yourself- study at the library, extra-curricular activities and even part-time jobs.

State-of-the-art facilities and programs

Education in the USA has been lauded for providing the students with a state-of the-art infrastructure. Infrastructure matters a lot when it comes to practical learning because you will need laboratories and other equipment to facilitate better learning.

When your comfort is taken care of then its a given that your time at college will not be taken up by inconsequential matters. Labs, libraries, cafes and all other structures have been set up to help students make the most of their time at college.

Diverse learning

From lectures to assessments, a student can look forward to learning the scope of the field in all its entirety where they are offered resources to facilitate such learning.

Advanced Research

In the US, the institutional culture does not just aim at imparting knowledge to its students but also makes it a point to get the students to initiate a step towards creating knowledge, that is, in the form of research.

Most of the universities make sure that there are enough resources to take forward such initiatives.

Balanced student life

The campus life is brimming with student groups coming together as a way to bond as a community and to give an opportunity for the students to pursue other interests. As an international student, you might want to join one such groups so that you can socialise easily in a new place.

Top Universities in the US

Now, dealing with the ‘Where to study?’ and believe us, there’s a LOT to choose from!

It’s always good to aim higher and dream bigger. Here are some of the top colleges in the US for STEM programmes- you might already know the Ivy Leagues but here are a few more, in case you have missed them!

College/ University Official Website
Harvard University https://www.harvard.edu/
Princeton University https://www.princeton.edu/
MIT http://www.mit.edu/
Stanford University https://www.stanford.edu/
CalTech https://www.caltech.edu/
Dartmouth College https://home.dartmouth.edu/
University of Pennsylvania https://home.www.upenn.edu/
Yale University https://www.yale.edu/
University of California https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/

How much does it cost for international students to study in the USA?

International students applying for universities in the US might have to spend on airfares, accommodation, food, etc.. But the tuition fee contributes to the major share of the annual expenditure.

Type of College/University Ranking Tuition Fee structure
Public Universities Below 60 $20,000 to $30,000
Public Universities Above 50 $35,000 to $55,000
Private Universities Above 50 $50,000 to $70,000

Scholarships

You can always check the university websites for financial aid and other scholarships available for international students. Here are a number of trusts that offer financial aid to meritorious students.

1. Fulbright-Nehru Research Fellowship

Offered to students pursuing a Masters degree in Arts and Cultural Management including Heritage Conservation and Museum Studies, Environmental Science/Studies, Higher Education Administration, Public Health, Urban and Regional Planning and Women’s Studies/Gender Studies in any US institution.

2. Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowships for Indian Students

Offered to students pursuing an MBA at Stanford Business School, this scholarship amounts to nearly 15,000 USD.

3. Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarship

Offered to students studying in European and North American Universities, this scholarship is granted for a full time Masters, M.Phil or Doctorate program.

4.Microsoft Scholarship

Students planning to pursue their bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or one of the STEM programs in any US, Canadian or Mexican institutions are eligible for this scholarship.

5.Western Union Foundation Global Scholarship Program

Provided to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in any STEM or Business/Management programs.

If you have determined the field of study, course, fee structure and other preferences but do not have enough time to sort out the colleges- We are here to help you with it!

Application fee

University application fees are usually non-refundable and ranges from 20 USD – 1200 USD, although some colleges offer applications free of cost.

When to Apply- Application Dates and Deadlines

Universities in the US mainly call for admissions in the Fall and also during the Spring session.

One thing you have to keep in mind is that this process takes up a whole year and you need to work diligently to make this a successful endeavour- which means that if you had applied for a particular university this July 2019 then the process will have extended till the next year and you might have started college in August 2020.

Early Action

For those who want to apply early and know the status of their application, you can apply during fall through the Early Action where applicants have to submit the required documents and scores by November.

Get closer to you dream university at every step with Galvanize.

Take our admission email Series to get more updates.

Academic Eligibility

To apply to universities in the US for an undergraduate course,

  • you must have completed your 10+2 and submitted your transcript.

And for graduate courses,

  • you will have to produce a transcript- an academic record from your college/university to show that you have had 16 years of formal education. You must have at least a 3.0 CGPA out of a 4.0 scale.

Test Requirements

Why do universities ask for certain test scores when you already have your high school scores?

Here’s why!

Applicants, who may be international students like you, come from different parts of the world and the diverse educational backgrounds can make it difficult for the university to assess each one of you equally.

And also, the university might require its students to possess a set of skills and knowledge that can help them set sail during the new academic semester.

It makes sure you don’t lag behind the lot. That is why a uniform testing is required and those test scores matter during admissions!

What are some of the important tests you might need to take?

Students aspiring to take any of STEM course in any of the US universities need to produce scores from the tests listed below.

SAT

For undergraduate courses, you will be asked to submit SAT Exam scores. The test evaluates your Reading, Writing and Math skills. This test is conducted many times a year and it has no negative marking too! You can retake the test as many times as you want.

Wanna start early and go ahead with your plans to study abroad?
Sign up for the SAT practice test today!

GRE

For those who are interested in pursuing their Masters abroad, GRE Exam acts as a gateway to such aspirants by testing them on their Verbal and Math skills. A good GRE score can make up for a low GPA- another chance to achieve your dream!

See where you stand in competition by taking the GRE practice test.

TOEFL

This is a test administered to check your English Language Proficiency through a number of sections that test your Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening skills. IELTS is also accepted and it is totally alright to apply without the IELTS score if you have taken the TOEFL test- and also, TOEFL is preferred in most US universities. There are many test centers available and the TOEFL Exam is conducted nearly 50 times a year.

Want to know where you stand before you know more about the exam?

Take the expert crafted TOEFL practice test.

GMAT

If you are interested in pursuing a management degree, then universities in the US expect you to submit GMAT scores. You might have to score between 700 – 730 to get into the creamy layer of the business schools in the country.

Important Documents

VISA

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services grants the F1 visa when you have planned to pursue a full time course in one of their universities.

F1 Visa

Students aspiring to pursue their higher studies must have an F1 visa for the course of their stay in the USA. It is valid for 5 years, of which two or three years might be spent in college since you will be completing your course after which you might start working.

VISA process in a nut-shell

Step1 : Pay the SEVIS Fee- https://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901

Step2: Fill VISA Application DS-160.

Step3: Make the payment and Schedule the VISA appointment.

https://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visaapply.asp

Step4: Appear for Biometrics on Day 1 and Interview on Day 2 .

What are the required documents?

The documents can be classified under Visa, Academic and Financial documents.

Visa documents include,

  • Passport. 
  • I-901 SEVIS payment Confirmation.
  • VISA Appointment Confirmation Email .
  • I-20.
  • Acceptance Letter.

Academic and financial documents contain,

  • All documents from tenth grade and also the test scores- GRE, SAT, TOEFL. 
  • Bank statement of Either Loan or Cash deposit covering expenses of food and living for 1 Year. 
  • Affidavit Support documents of person Sponsoring you. 
  • Proof of the family Annual Income.
  • Proof of IT paid at least for 3 years.
  • Chartered Accountant statement to proof family worth.
  • Incase it is through Loan then the loan sanction letter.

Visa procedure is one that needs your time, energy and proper documentation. You can stay organized and get this last step off your checklist too. Check out how!

Letter of Recommendation

We have come across students who manage to get 3 LORs but fail to get each recommender to focus on the different aspects of the student’s capabilities. Reviewing thousands of LORs has given us the following insights.

What should it contain?

As students, you will have to submit a LOR which provides a glimpse of your abilities as a student.

It can be written by any of your professors who can validate your experiences as a student- your accomplishments, abilities and your attitude towards the course and your student life, in general.

They might also have a knowledge about your contributions outside of class- in terms of extra-curricular activities.

How can it be crafted?

These letters are important and can act as a key factor in your admission process along with the Statement of Purpose.

You must always pick a recommender who has witnessed your academic trajectories and is able to articulate them in a manner that highlights you as a potential candidate for the applied program.

Usually, you are required to submit 3 LORs- which you must make sure are mutually exclusive to each other. Often, most of the applicants delay the submission of documents so make sure you send the necessary documents well before the given deadline.

Here’s how to write the perfect LOR! Tips and Techniques.

Statement of Purpose

As opposed to the Indian universities, universities in the US want to extract your take on the selected program and we always remind our students to emphasize in the SOP on why this step is initiated as an essential part of their academic or professional life.

What to write?

When you write your Statement of Purpose, 

  • It must be persuasive in a manner that is not very boastful but at the same time gives a perspective of your experiences in life. 
  • You must keep in mind that this piece of paper has the potential to influence the admission committee into accepting that you are the candidate they are looking for. 
  • Your achievements act as the unique selling point when you market yourself through your SOP. 
  • You will have to put forth a convincing essay that outlines your ability to learn independently.

How to write?

  • Your SOP must have a structure and must not have loose points that do not add to the coherence. 
  • You have to be formal and direct. Beating around the bush might not make a good impression. 
  • When you share your experiences, keep in mind that you need not be unnecessarily sentimental.
  • Importantly, make sure that your SOP is not a mere compilation of the points stated in the LOR.

A statement of purpose has different components that need your attention. Know more about how to write a winning statement of purpose.

If you have trouble knowing where to start, you can use the Microsoft Template and if you need an in-depth profile analysis, you can always ask our counselors!

Campus Life

Life in the USA might be a lot to take in the beginning due to the completely different culture. But the exposure you receive will build your awareness of the nuances of various social interactions.

Apart from the tuition fee, students will have to take care of other expenses like food and travel which can fall between 12,000 and 20,000 USD.

  • Orientation

When you step foot on campus, you will be made to attend the Orientation program where you will be introduced to your course, the university’s rules and regulations and important places- such as the library or cafeteria.

This is also an opportunity to get to know people and also get familiar with the campus.

  • Weather

It can be quite a change from the tropical climate you’re used to and your wardrobe should pretty much suit the weather conditions prevalent in your side of the country. Hence, make sure you have enough sweaters and scarves to battle the harsh winter.

  • Accommodation

Choose on-campus accommodation since its economical and it’s easier to settle in since you’re surrounded by students- also, visiting the library or the gym can be quick.

You will be given a number of options so you can choose what’s best for you and that which is affordable- it could be a single bed unit or a two or three bedroom unit.

If you are provided accommodation within the campus along with catering facility you will have to survive on American cuisine regularly.

  • Health Care

Health care is expensive in the USA so you have to be covered by a health insurance plan. Universities usually have medical centres in college which are not as expensive as the hospitals off-campus. Make sure you take all your medical reports that can assist you during a consultation.

  • Student Clubs

There are student-led clubs in universities who focus on a variety of areas from debate to Math. You can also join Sports clubs and Leagues if you have an athletic streak in you!

Job Opportunities

  •  Universities organize career fairs and even provide necessary training to create potential candidates. They have career development programmes to refine your abilities when you face the job market.
  • They help you find internships and paid employment fellowships so that you get practical experience that can enrich your learning. 
  • You can always look for openings and also speak to your seniors and professors regarding the availability of companies in your field. 
  • Universities have also created pathways for students to establish their careers through on-campus recruitments. 
  • The work culture in the USA is constructive and they also have a handsome salary package.

To be concise: Opportunities are abundant and there are organizations who look for talented individuals- it is in your hands to take the necessary steps to carve a space for yourself.

Now that you have a fair idea of the whole ‘Study in the US’ , you need to plan ahead if you really want to get yourself into one of the top universities in the world. If you are having a hard time, you can always break it all down to a few steps that you can achieve in the short term.

FAQs

1. What are the requirements to Study in the US?

When applying to universities in the US, you will need to submit the transcript, Letter of Recommendation, Statement of Purpose, Resume, TOEFL scores and your GRE/SAT/GMAT scores.

2. Why should I study in the US?

The US educational culture is learner-centered and provides state-of-the-art infrastructure. You will have a flexible course structure that initiates diverse learning.

You will get exposed to a multicultural environment inherent there that prepares you to take the competition in the global platform.

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