Study in United States of America - USA
Are you looking for complete information about how to get to study in the USA? Looking for a complete resource/reference page? Check this page to know complete information about the USA and how Indian students can smoothly go through the process of getting a Student visa to learn in the USA.
Introduction to studying in United States of America
Studying in the USA is any student’s dream and desire to excel in their careers. Upon understanding it correctly, helps to get through the so-called difficult process of getting the education in the USA.
The first steps
The first steps of getting to study in the United States of America is to research and find out the options, institutes that you can do so, as a student from India. Many of us try to fit ourselves into criteria set by a single college or university, as that is our dream school or university. Usually what happens is most of us end up with getting a rejected message/letter. The approach now considered more appropriate is not fancy an institution, but rather to find the different institutes that match our priorities and our long-term desires and goals.
Time line – rough ideas
Whichever course you choose, the application procedure should begin 12 to 18 months in advance.
What are the criteria that tell us the best colleges and schools?
The United States of America is a big country and hosts the top institutions in the world. But given the widespread of the country and the variation in education they can offer, the best colleges would be the ones that meet your academic, financial and personal requirements. Below would be some of the questions that one can keep in mind to decide upon the best institutions for themselves.
- Why do I want to study in the United States?
- What type of education do I want to gain in the USA?
- Which education stream as an Indian student, would you fit in best?
- Accordingly, which colleges or universities would offer you proper and legitimate education?
- Are you able to sponsor yourself? Or do you need any financial help in forms of loans and guarantee?
- What is the timeline that you will need to work on?
- Where is it that you would like to live in the USA?
On the basis of what you answer to the questions above, you will get a fair idea as to what do you want to do exactly in the USA. Thus, you are one step ahead of the startling statement: - I want to study in the USA.
Depending on what you answer, you will then have to understand the level of study you want to go through. Levels of study are similar to what are present in India. In India, we typically have Schooling, Diploma, Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Research, PhD. Similarly, in the USA, the various levels available for studying are Community, undergraduate, Graduate, Short Term, English Language and Online learning.
Do I need to prove my English Language Skills?
As you may already be aware of, all education in the United States of America happens in the English language. Communication, writing, understanding, debating and examinations happen in the English language.
If you are applying for a SEVP certified university or college, your English will be assessed either through own examinations conducted by the college/university or through tests mentioned below:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Michigan English Language Assessment Battery(MELAB)
- Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic
. Certain degree programmes may accept scores from different tests, or certain academic programmes will accept only certain tests, thus making these tests acting as a bridge to the course. Try to get financial aid for English language testing if the costs may be unaffordable, but keep in mind that you will not get any refund from the English language schools and testing facilities. Thus, if you take a financial assistance, you will have to repay it, irrespective of you clearing the English course and test.
Prepare your Finance options to study in USA
Preparing your finance options is like investing in you. When you prepare at the correct time and plan, you will be able to smoothly wade through and get USA education at an affordable price tag and even repay your liabilities at ease.
While the best time to start for your endeavour is at least 1 to 2 years of time, start with your planning as early as possible. You need to understand whether you are investing in the right path for your future career. While you can always change your career path at your will and possibilities, investing into self-education in the USA as an Indian student is a huge responsibility and can become a huge liability as well. So, think wise and clear.
- Thus start with first understanding what kind of education do you want to pursue, what kind of college you want to learn in and the locality in the USA you want to study in.
- These factors will give you answers as to what your cost of education and living in the USA would be.
- The major factors are Tuition, Fees and living expenses.
- You should also keep in mind that tuition costs increase 6 to 10% per year.
- It may sometimes also be beneficial to have a Education Advisor. Advisors can get you into a Competitive applicant pool with better knowledge and compete for admissions and financial aids.
- The South of the USA and the Midwest and rural areas offer lower cost of living and also less tuition and fee costs.
- Research a wide variety of schools and colleges which provide the type of education you are looking for.
- Check for education loans in India for getting an education in the USA. Further, you can check for loan assistance from Government agencies, US government assistance, private sources and banks and also from US universities.
You can search for the following to get more information about how to get funding for Indian students.
- IIE Funding for US Study Online – http://www.fundingusstudy.org/
- EducationUSA Financial Aid – https://educationusa.state.gov/financial-aid
- InternationalScholarships.com – http://www.internationalscholarships.com/
- Scholarship Help – http://www.mycollegescholarship.org/
- International Education Financial Aid – http://www.mycollegescholarship.org/
- Global Student Loan Corporation – http://www.globalslc.com/
- International Student Loan – http://www.internationalstudentloan.com/
- Access Group – https://www.accessgroup.org/
- Guaranteed Scholarships – http://www.guaranteed-scholarships.com/
- MeritAid – http://www.meritaid.com/
- On a general note, loans offered by US banks and financial institutions may be better than Indian banks. The simple reason being, US loans are having a interest rate of 7 to 8 percent while Indian banks offer loans at 12 to 17 percent.
USA offers education through the following type of institutions:
- Community college
- Online learning
What are community colleges?
Community colleges offer 2-year education programmes which help in gaining an Associate of Arts (AA) or an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree. These degrees are offered through technical and vocational programmes and are linked to secondary/high schools or community groups and even with employers in local communities. These colleges also have multiple campus locations in urban or suburban areas or may have a campus in rural areas.
Students can earn academic credits through these community colleges. Earning credits help towards education in bachelor education colleges and thus lowers the cost of education when earning a bachelor degree.
Many times, community colleges can match up with colleges and universities who have a 4-year education programme which awards a bachelor degree. The usual 4-year bachelor program can be then completed in 2 years if a student has successfully gained an Associate degree.
As a student from India, taking education through a community college first helps to earn a degree at a lower cost and also allows adjusting learning pace with that of a US academic life.
Financing for community colleges
As mentioned above, community colleges are low-cost benefits and also help to carry further the benefits of credits to Bachelor degree education. This helps to save the number of years spent in education from community colleges to Bachelors/Undergraduate colleges. This step also saves thousands of US dollars from being spent on education.
What are Undergraduate colleges?
Undergraduate colleges offer education through colleges and universities which lead to getting a degree and thus making eligible for getting a job or taking admission to Postgraduate colleges.
Applying for Undergraduate education can either be first through education in Community colleges or through the proper procedure to apply in undergraduate colleges.
Education in the United States is conceptualised on liberal arts and sciences. There are multiple choices for pursuing a bachelor degree. The degree is awarded after one earns a certain number of credits in the major field of study. The degree may usually be completed in 4 years of full-time study.
Financing for Undergraduate education
If you plan to direct entry into undergraduate education, your financial liability increases quite a lot. Over here you may have one more option in scholarships – Athletic scholarship. This and other types of scholarships although helpful, will cover only a part of the costs of your education. Also to keep in mind, that these awards or scholarships may not be available for the first year of your study. After all, everyone would want to be sure that you are a good student.
What are Graduate’s degree?
With over a 1000 universities offering Master’s and doctoral degree, one can be sure of multiple numbers of options and potential programmes to get according to choice. These degrees involve research and coursework. One receives in-depth training, specialised instructions with self-directed motivation.
Financing for Graduate education
Apart from the above mentioned general points, for Graduate (Masters, PhD) level education check with the institution that you will be learning at, if they have graduate teaching and Research assistant opportunities, which will help get a Tuition Waiver and/or also a stipend.
The different types of assistance from universities could be:
- Teaching assistantships
- Research assistantships
- Administrative assistantships
The most important step for Graduate students who are looking for Masters, PhD level education is to get in touch with the professors and Head of Departments of the US universities that you one wants to apply for. This personnel give good guidance about identifying and choosing grant and funding students in the respective departments.
What are short-term courses?
A short term is a course which spans for a time of 12 months or even less. These short courses help to gain more skills, related to your main course of study. These programmes are offered under the US Department of State’s J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program. In this programme, one can get multifaceted opportunities to teach or study, conduct research, demonstrate special skills or receive on-the-job training. The programmes covered in this category include:
- Exchange programs
- University exchanges
- Professional exchange programs
- Certificate and executive education programs
- Visiting fellows and scholars
Admission to short-term courses can also be taken through the international education office at the education institution that you are studying at in the United States.
Financing for Short-term courses
Financing for short-term courses in the USA may be little more difficult.
- Check for University Exchange programmes in your Indian university and college. If exchange programmes are available, then special tuition fee arrangements are done by the institution itself and you have to bear a lesser brunt.
- For Non-degree programmes kind of short-term courses, check with certain individual foundations for financing. Fullbright Commissions in USA is an example.