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Ramdhar Maheshwari Career Counseling Centre

USA, the country which has experimented with democracy for more than 200 years is strong economically as well as culturally today with the base being the immigrants.

Introduction

USA, the country which has experimented with democracy for more than 200 years is strong economically as well as culturally today with the base being the immigrants.

Global Edge: 
The United States has more institutions of higher education than any other country, but despite the numbers it is the quality of education provided by these academic bodies which is acknowledged worldwide. The teaching forces of these institutions are leading authorities in their respective fields. The quality of the research program along with the resources available and the faculty ensures that the institutions have high standards. 

Choice: 
More than 4000 institutions offer undergraduate, master’s and doctorate degrees in many different specializations. The USA education system has strong academic & social environment which fosters academic, professional and personal development of individuals.

Financial Assistance 
The education definitely falls in the category of value for your money. USA education is the best investment for the future. A wide spectrum of tuition fees, accommodation options & financial help from the institutions in the form of scholarships, fee waivers, aid etc makes USA education affordable.

Technology & Research:
USA is known for its latest technologies and advancement which gives the student a very good chance to make his/her future in these fields. USA has always been a hub of inventions. Students therefore have firsthand knowledge about cutting edge technologies coupled with excellent research opportunities.

Flexibility: 
The USA education system is flexible in terms of choice of courses within a college or university. During the course of study, a student can transfer from one course/stream to another or one institution to another. This aspect of the USA education system makes it distinct from other countries.

Affordable: 
International students from all over the world choose to study in the USA because an American education is the best preparation for their future. It becomes all the more within your means with financial aid, scholarships and assistantships on hand. At the same time students are allowed to work 20hr/week during their course and 40hr/week during vacation which helps them to earn and learn.

Top Ranking Institution: 
Amongst the top ranking colleges world-wide, majority of them are in USA. These colleges and universities rank high in world rankings because of their infrastructure, technological advancement and top quality of education provided by them.

Professional Approach: 
The best approach of the USA education system is that it allows one to learn and earn. This not only gives one, a thorough knowledge of the subjects, but also teaches one to have a practical & professional approach. It gives better growth prospects worldwide.

"For the students looking for the best overseas education and planning to put their careers on the fast track, USA is the hottest destination". This is because it has immense range of specialties, high quality of education, great opportunities, which attracts students from different countries of the world. Students can choose a suitable university from over 4000 universities and colleges available in USA that facilitates several educational programs. U.S provides a lot of offers for international students like, prestigious education in the world, assorted cities and towns, dazzling natural parks, different events and multicultural population.

Economy 
USA has the most powerful economy in the world both in terms of economy and technology with a per capita GDP of $46000 in 2007 and with 12% below poverty line (as per CIA World Fact book). The growth in GDP is strengthening by extensive gains in labor productivity. Many companies in USA are ahead in technological advances, specifically in computers, aerospace, medical, and in military equipments. 

Climate 
As USA is a big country, its climatic condition varies from place to place. There will be temperate climate in most part of the country. Usually the southern and western half of the country will be warm than the other regions and extreme hot in summer. The eastern and northern half region will be extremely cold and heavy snowfall in winters and will be pleasant in summer. Places like Hawaii and Florida will have tropical climate, freezing in places around Alaska and semi-dry in Great Plains west regions of Mississippi River and dry in Great Basin of the southwest region.

Culture
USA is the country with diverse cultures and is the home for extensive groups of ethics, customs and values. People in United States tend to the human values and socioeconomic triumph. The people and culture in United States are much different from Indians. The students who choose the universities will come across the regional culture and rich traditions and customs. The nation has a multi-racial society that merges new immigrants despite of the country from which they come from. The culture of USA reveals a trend to hybridize pop culture, thus it is called as high culture. The expansion of American culture was apparent in many aspects like, music, dance, movies, sports, architecture, literature, poetry, cuisine and visual arts, which are highly followed by all around the world.

Multiculturalism 
In the United States, multiculturalism is the fundamental obsession expressing that people from different culture, ethics and races are equal and they can keep their identities, can take pride in their heritage and have a sense of belonging. It gives a sense of safety and confidence for immigrants, making them more open to, and accepting of, diverse cultures. Multiculturalism encourages racial and ethnic harmony and cross-cultural understanding, and discourages hatred, discrimination and violence. Multiculturalism enables United States to identify the prospective of all Americans. It cheers people from other countries to incorporate into their society and participate in its social, cultural, economic and political interactions.

Job Market
There is good job market for new graduates in United States. As per the reviews of National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), many companies in United States are competing to hire new graduates. As a result there are increased opportunities for graduates from abroad. According to the survey, around 60% of companies are planning to recruit more graduates in 2007 than they recruited in the year 2006.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics in June 2007, the unemployment rate in United States was decreased to 4.5%. The report stated that the highest unemployment rate was for Michigan with 7.2% followed by Ohio with 6.1% and Mississippi with 6%, Idaho at 2.5% and Utah at 2.6%. The lowest unemployment rate was for the states of Hawaii and Montana at 2.4% each. These facts states that there is good opportunities for the international students in USA and for their careers on good path.

Facts
- Full name: United States of America
- Population: 305.8 million (UN, 2007)
- Capital: Washington DC
- Largest city: New York City
- Area: 9.8 million sq km (3.8 million sq miles)
- Major language: English
- Major religion: Christianity
- Life expectancy: 76 years (men), 81 years (women) (UN)
- Monetary unit: 1 US dollar = 100 cents
- Main exports: Computers and electrical machinery, vehicles, chemical products, food and live animals, military equipment and aircraft
- GNI per capita: US $43,740 (World Bank, 2006)
- Internet domain: .us
- International dialing code: +1

Study Abroad in United States and explore the various career opportunities. 

Our experts will help you with the application procedure. We can recommend waiver of IELTS / TOEFL wherever possible. Take a look at the process and get in touch with us for a detailed explanation. We conduct free counseling sessions for Study Abroad on a regular basis and look forward to your active participation. Our success lies in your success. 

1. Intake Period:
- Spring: January/February
- Fall: August/September
- Summer: April/May
- Winter: December

2. Language Requirements: 

Course

IELTS

TOEFL

Under Graduate

6.5

90

Post Graduate

7.0

100


The above is exempted if students has completed school and college in English medium and have also scored above 70% in the main exams.

3. Eligibility:
- For Undergraduates - One has to have the required scores in certain subjects in the X and XII exams. The students should have completed 16 years of age before he joins the degree program. Some institutions accept 15 years education into their Bridge /Masters Programs.
- For Post Graduates - One has to have the required scores. 2-3 years of full time work experience.

- For All – Strong Academic & Financial Background and Other compulsory documents
*the eligibility criteria vary from University to University.

4. Documents:
Our counselors will assist you in compiling and attesting all the necessary documents*. In addition, they will also -
- Give special attention to your application
- Highlight the areas essential for a well-presented, error free application.
- Assist with References and the 'all-important' Statement of Purpose.
- Review your Essays

*Documents Required - Covering Letter, Application Fees, Application Form, Statement of Purpose, Essays, Resume, Reco Letters, and Transcripts, Mark sheets & Cert., Bank Statement, Affidavit of Financial Statements, Test Score Report.

The United States facilitates top notch resources and qualitative education for wide variety of curriculums that enable students to pursue world-class education at the most renowned location. For every student aspiring education in USA it is essential to be aware of the structure of educational system in USA. The system comprises of 12 years of primary and high school education, which is mandatory for getting admission in any graduate college, university, or for any professional and technical schools. It is not compulsory to accomplish these 12 years of elementary education within United States. Therefore students from overseas are also welcomed for higher education in United States.

Undergraduate School
after achieving high school diploma, students will join colleges or universities to pursue their undergraduate course of study. They offer two types of degrees:

Associate Degree: This is a two-year program offered, as the name suggests, as an 'Associate degree, which is of two years duration. The program is mostly offered by Community, Vocational and Junior Colleges. Completion of this program enables the students to seek a transfer into the third year of the four-year Bachelor's degree either in 4-year colleges or universities. Taking this route to study the first two years is very inexpensive for both American and International students, since the tuition and fees are very low when compared to other types of colleges. 

Most colleges require good score in TOEFL (for establishing English proficiency) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) Reasoning scores for admission in their Associate Degree programs. In some colleges, admission is also possible with just a TOEFL score and good academics in 12th class. Note: For some top universities (like in Mathematics, Languages, and Biology etc.), a good score in the relevant SAT Subject Test is required in addition to the SAT Reasoning Test score.

Bachelors Degree: This is a four-year program at the undergraduate level. Most international students from wealthy countries such as Japan and China prefer to start their education in USA from this level. Statistics from India indicate that less than 10% of students join at this level. This is the first degree with which most students plan their career or profession. Hundreds of 'majors' (or specializations) in all the fields are offered at the Bachelor's level, which makes education an attractive proposition for students all over the world.

In the U.S, the first year of Bachelor’s degree is called the Freshman Year, the second one, the Sophomore Year, the third, Junior Year and the fourth, the Senior Year.

Professional School
For professional programs like Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy etc., US universities offer professional programs leading to degrees such as MD (for Medicine), Pharm D (for Pharmacy) Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT – for Physiotherapy) etc. These are known as the first professional degrees, completion of which entitles the students to practice as professionals in their respective fields (after meeting other requirements). Admission into most of these professional programs are based on good performance in entrance tests such as MCAT (for Medicine), PCAT (Pharmacy), LSAT (for Law) etc., after completion of a Bachelor’s degree in related subjects. 

In near future, US universities are considering to convert the Business Administration program into a professional degree, by offering a DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) as the first professional degree.

The main difference between Indian and American systems for study of professional programs is that, while Indians can take up professional degree programs after completion of their secondary (+2) education, students have to first complete their Bachelor’s (a four-year degree) and then take up professional degree programs.

Student Expenses 
In the U.S. the university or college costs vary between different universities and the accommodation and living costs depend on the city that you choose to live in as well as on your personal lifestyle. Tuition will be the most expensive component of your educational costs. The price of tuition can range from $15,000 to $55,000 per year.

Accommodation costs will depend hugely on personal preferences and the city you reside in. For example staying on campus will usually cost you more than staying off campus. Undergraduate freshman students in some universities may be required to stay on campus for the first year which may considerably increase the cost of living. Also whether you decide to stay alone or live with mates will impact your cost.

Accommodation cost will typically range from $6,000 and $10,000 per year. If you decide to hire an apartment, remember than the ancillary costs such as electricity, phone line, furniture and travel costs to and from the university are your responsibility.

Some of the other costs which you may budget for could be fees for student activities which amount to a few hundred dollars per year. Most students have to buy some reference books through the year which can cost between $500 and $1,500 per year. Personal expenses like clothing, entertainment, telephone bills, travel, groceries and the like will also need to be accounted for.

 Expense

 USD (Annual cost) *

 Tuition Fee

 $ 15,000 - $ 55,000

 Accommodation

 $ 6,000- $ 10,000

 Groceries

 $ 250

 Books

 $ 500- $ 1,500

 Medical Insurance

 $ 700 - $ 1,000

 Incidentals (Travel, Electricity, Phone line)

 $ 500


* All fees and other expenses are approximate and should be used as a guide only.

While it is easy for most domestic students to obtain some form of Federal (Government) Aid or university aid for their Bachelor’s level education, it is most often very difficult for international students to obtain aid in any form at Bachelor’s level. Hence, it is imperative that students who are financially sound or have brilliant academic background (including top-level scores in TOEFL/IELTS and/or SAT I and II) to consider further education at the bachelor’s level.

However, at the Master’s level, aid in several forms is available for international students. Almost 78% of students at the Master’s level in US universities get funding in some form or the other.

Most Doctoral level applicants get a complete tuition waiver along with a stipend or scholarship while pursuing their PhD programs in universities abroad. It is also possible for some universities to provide just the admission and no funding at all, based on their financial constraints and funding availability.

Applicants looking for aid are required to apply well before financial aid deadlines, with proper application material, College Application Essays, Recommendations, transcripts and other specified requirements, as prescribed by universities individually.

Many students are concerned with the high costs of studying abroad. The cost of education could be anywhere between USD 10,000- USD 50,000 per year, depending on the program, level and country you choose. In addition to the tuition fee, students also need to plan for funds towards living expenses, books, health insurance, air tickets, transportation, etc.

Finances are a major source of worry for students who wish to study abroad and their parents. However, there are several funding options available to students these days. Some of the options are listed below:

- Scholarships/Fellowships/Grants 
- Tuition Waiver 
- Assistantships 
- Administrative internships 
- Program related internships 
- Bank loans

Admission into US Universities is one half of the process. The other and the more important half is obtaining a visa. Especially for students, getting a student (F-1) visa was always a nightmare.

Yet, with careful planning, preparation and proper guidance from Impel experts, the process becomes easier, with successful result. As a result of several changes within the USCIS, visa process has been simplified, while at the same time improving the safety and security procedures in order to safeguard their country’s interests.

To study in USA, international students have to attend US Embassy/Consulate for visa interview. Before that, students have to receive the I-20 or IAP-66 form (for J1 visa) from the US University. This form confirms the student’s admission in the university.

For the students who want to study in USA should initially get the admission from any university or educational institution of USA before commencing the visa process. The visas issued for students are then classified into three categories:


F1 Visa - issued for the students applied to study in USA or to conduct research at an accredited US university.
M1 Visa - issued for the students applied for Non-academic or Vocational Studies in USA or for training at a non-academic institution.
J1 Visa - issued for the students applied for academic studies as an exchange visitor through a designated sponsoring organization that includes educational and cultural exchange programs

Visa officers who conduct the interview (and review the applications overall) consider several factors before you could be considered for grant of a visa.


- Is the applicant genuine? - This can be proven by applying for an appropriate program that is compatible with your academic background and future plans.
- Is the applicant eligible? - Many students apply and get admission in programs that are not suitable to their academic profile. Without proper eligibility makes one suspicious.
- Does the applicant have sufficient funding? - By providing necessary resources and evidence, you can substantiate your case.
- Does the applicant have future plans? - If you do not have proper future plans, it is difficult to convince the visa officer about your reasons to study in the US.
- Finally, Will the applicant come back? - By providing strong evidence of your ties to your homeland, you could address this worry of the visa officer.

The process of reviewing visa applications has become more sophisticated with Bio-metric (finger-printing) requirement, review of applicants for /illegal/dangerous activities and the careful consideration of applicants’ intent to enter the US.

In few circumstances the visa officer may also demand further application review in Washington DC. Some visa applicants may need to undergo an extra review process if they seek to engage in a commercial exchange or academic pursuit involving certain designated fields of advanced technology. As a visa applicant, you have to recognize that these name-checking and registration processes are necessary and crucial elements that protect the citizens and visitors.

US Visa is an Interview based visa, Applicant has to apply to US embassy for their Interview, available in 11 cities

If an applicant wish to make an inquiry or require clarifications on the U.S. Visa application process, please visit a VFS Centre, call the Helpdesk or sent an email enquiry to a location within your consular location. Email queries receive responses from Monday to Friday, within two working days.

Process
a. How Many Days Prior Can a student Apply for Visa
90 days prior a student can apply for visa for visa, but student can only fly 30 days prior 

b. Documents Checklist
1. Visa Application form DS - 160 (Online fill able form)
2. Original Passport

3. Bank Fee Receipt
4. Sevis Fee Receipt
5. Interview Appointment letter
6. All Academic Documents including TOEFL, GRE, GMAT Score sheet
7. Evidence of Financial Resources


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