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Study in United States of America

Study in USA:

The United States of America is located on the continent of North America. There are 50 states in the U.S. Forty-eight of the states form the contiguous United States. The U.S. borders on Canada to the north, and Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. On the east coast, the U.S. is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west coast it is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. To the northwest of Canada is the state of Alaska. The state of Hawaii is located in the Pacific Ocean, southwest of California. In addition to the 50 states, the U.S. has several territories and possessions, located in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

The education system in the US is very flexible. Classes are offered under the semester scheme, and course is divided into credits. A student can choose a number of credits he / she want to earn in a semester or quarter, and the electives and the optional classes he wishes to take.

Anyone can opt and earn degrees or certificates from US institutions. The International students mainly choose to migrate to the US at two stages-

  1. After completion of 12 years of schooling or equivalent to earn undergraduate degree;
  2. After completion of 16 years of education or equivalent (i.e. college education) to earn a graduate degree.

As the US being an attractive destination for talented people with a hunger to learn, they come here from all over the world also to enjoy and this makes it more sought after education hub. Because there are no cultural boundaries, people are also fortunate enough to learn about different cultures of the world, as they find communities from different sections of the society within the campus.

USA is a leader in technology. This simply translates into an advantage, which gives the students who study here, an edge over others, in real life. Hence, US degree is beneficial in several aspects and preferred over others.


Why study in the USA:

The world's most popular international student destination

More international students study in the USA than in any other country in the world – at the moment, there are more than 750,000. Let's look at some of the reasons why…

Highest-ranked universities in the world

The USA has an established, high-quality tertiary education system. The USA boasts an impressive seven out of the world's top 10 universities according to the 2013/2014 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In fact, 76 of the top 200 universities are based in the USA.

Quality

The schools, the universities and the institutions in the US offer excellent and quality education, and hence make the US a hot destination for education.

Infinite Opportunities

Apart from the quality, a variety of courses offered in the US schools / colleges is quite high, which make it an attractive destination for students willing to super-specialize in a certain field.

Industrial Training and Research

Learning in an American school means not only confined to classes and attending lectures or doing experiments in the laboratories but also having real industry experience. The university colleges and institutions in America have collaborations with employers and researchers in different study fields where students can gain real work experience. This gives an edge over others when after college your work life begins.

Diversity of geography, culture and institutions

Thanks to the sheer size of the USA and the large number of institutions, there is a perfect fit for each type of student. Huge, sprawling campuses that feel like cities and small, intimate campuses that feel like a collection of close friends. Tropical islands, dry deserts, snowy plains, the Grand Canyon, California, and New York City. In the USA, there is truly something for every type of learner.

Campus life

Living on campus in the USA can offer you the opportunity to enrich your educational experience and meet new friends. Or you may choose to live off campus. USA universities offer a wide choice of academic, cultural and athletic activities. Your university may also have a variety of sporting teams in addition to fraternities and regional or ethnic clubs.


Education system in the USA

Tertiary education is typically divided into:

  • Associate degrees
  • Undergraduate (bachelor) degrees
  • Graduate education (master's and PhDs/doctorates)

USA universities place great significance on diversity, meaning classes will consist of students of different ages, religions and countries of origin. This provides a stimulating and rich learning environment that encourages cross-cultural understanding and networking. Most classes will contain no more than 20 students and the professors will take the time to get to know students and their strengths and will usually be willing to spend time outside of class to offer further support.

There is also a very active social life on USA campuses, with many clubs and organizations students can join to meet other students with similar interests and to help further career opportunities.


Cost of studying in the USA

In the USA, university or college costs vary between different institutions. Accommodation and living costs depend on your personal lifestyle. Tuition will be the most expensive component of your educational costs. The price of tuition can range from $10,000 to $55,000 (USD) per year.

Accommodation costs will depend on personal preferences and the city you reside in. For example, staying on campus will usually cost you more than staying off campus. Undergraduate (bachelor degree) students in some universities may be required to stay on campus for the first year which may considerably increase the cost of living. Whether you decide to stay alone or live with friends will also affect your costs.

Accommodation will typically range from $3,000 to $8,000 per year. If you decide to rent an apartment, remember that extra costs such as electricity, phone line, furniture, and travel costs to and from the university are your responsibility.

Most campuses offer a meal plan for students to allow dining in the on-campus facilities. These plans are offered at many different levels to accommodate individual budgets. Most campuses also require students to pay for medical insurance to allow them to utilize on-campus medical facilities for check-ups, basic testing and prescriptions for common illnesses (for example, head cold, fever, etc). This insurance typically runs under $1,000 per year.

Other costs to budget for are fees for student activities, which amount to a few hundred dollars per year and reference books, which can cost between $500 and $1,500 per year.


USA STUDENT VISA

A student Visa or F1 Visa is granted to students and is valid generally for the period of study (including grace period). Almost all these Visas will stipulate that you cannot take up a job in that country during the period of your stay.

The Visa granted to a Pakistani student planning to join a US university falls under the "Non-immigrant" category, and is known as an "F-1 Visa". The important stipulation of this Visa is that its holder cannot take up a job outside the university campus during the period of study and that he/she should leave USA at the end of the period of study or if the study is discontinued earlier.

Local immigration authorities in USA can permit the student to take up a job outside the university campus during the second year of study provided the student can convince the local immigration authorities that his/her financial situation has changed dramatically necessitating his/her having to take up a job to finance the studies.

Note: F-1 Visa holder can, however, take up jobs within the university even during the first year. It is possible to earn up to $500 per month from part-time jobs that one can get within the university.

Documents Required:

The most important document on which your application for an F-1 Visa is based is on an official letter from a US university offering you an admission called the "I-20. In addition to mentioning the class (undergraduate or graduate) and the semester (Fall or spring) in which you have been offered admission, this form will also stipulate the estimated cost of your study for one year (inclusive of tuition and other fees and the living costs.) and will also state whether you are being offered any financial assistance. It will then arrive at the net amount of financial means that you must have for meeting the costs of study and stay for a year in the university.

If you have applied for admission in the Fall-semester starting in September, you are likely to receive the I-20 form between April and July in the same year. If you have applied for admission to a number of universities, it is quite likely that you would receive offers of admission from more than one university, depending upon the reputation of each of these universities and your net cost in each of them, you will have to make a final choice and then only, make an application for the visa. You cannot secure a Visa on the basis of the I-20 sent by one university and then join another university, unless you get the necessary endorsement from the US immigration authorities authorizing the change.

Having finally decided, which university to join, you can apply for the Visa within 90 days prior to the reporting date mentioned in the I-20 form received from that university. For example, if the reporting date shown on the I-20 is 27th August, you can apply for your Visa only on or after 28th May.

  • Passport valid for travel to the U. S
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page Application
  • 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
  • Three Stamp Paper Rs.30/-
  • Two Passport size Photograph with white background.
  • Original Educational Documents plus four set photocopy.
  • Experience Letter, Job Leave Letter & NOC or Short Courses Certificate if student have gap in education.
  • Property Documents
  • Ticket Confirmation
  • Visa documents from College.
  • If you are self-employed, evidence of your business activities and financial standing;
  • Tax Certificate & Last two or three years tax returns.
  • Last Three Months Bank statements days bank statement on personal name of student or father name with bank manager's letter. Balance must cover one year fee + one year living cost in USA.


Employment prospects in the USA

In the USA there are options to work part-time on campus during your first year of study. You can also explore opportunities for sponsorship following your studies.

International students in the USA can work in a job on campus up to 20 hours a week. Many students find that their time is better spent taking internships or practical training, which allows them to work for university credit in a job in a related field. Nearly every university, even those not located in big cities, has employees dedicated to helping students secure internships. All USA universities also offer extra-curricular activities that provide real-world job experience.

Another option that appeals to many students is to broaden their study experience through semester or summer-long study abroad and exchange programs, offered by most universities as well as outside study abroad providers. Following graduation, students on an F-1 visa can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), which allows them to work in their chosen field for 12-24 months after completing their studies.

Some companies may even sponsor students for a H1-B Temporary Worker Visa, allowing them to continue living in the USA as long as they work for that company. Most USA institutions have a career services department staffed with professionals focused on helping students with their résumé, teaching job interview skills, and helping them find job opportunities.


Health and safety in the USA

Most people you meet in the USA are friendly and helpful. College campuses tend to be very safe, even when located in urban areas.

USA universities place a great deal of emphasis on the safety of their students. Small universities have campus security guards on staff and larger institutions often have their own police force. As in any country, a few simple precautions will help safeguard you and your property.

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