Searching for a University
If you already have a list of schools in mind, just search the name of the institution in a general search engine, such as Google to get more information. Moreover, the rules related to student visas in United States are very straightforward.
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A good place to start on this question is to examine the different schools offering courses of your choice and the regulations for different types of student visas. All schools look for a different set of qualities in potential students but mostly all the schools look for strong academic aptitude in all the candidates. Every applicant is evaluated on the basis of his academic track record as well as the result of standardized test scores.
For more information on schools visit List of Universities in USA.
Tips for finding the right University/College
It is difficult to judge schools on a few factors. The problem is that many foreign students have little idea about the factors that make a school suitable for them. If you have a dream school in the US in mind and you get admission into it you should not think about many factors. However, if you have a choice among different schools read the following tips before you make a choice.
- Colleges are called schools
Remember that colleges are frequently called schools in U.S. While searching for an educational institution keep in mind the existing departments, faculty and course offerings of that particular institution which matches your interest.
- Check reputation
Check the reputation of the schools, especially in the course that you are planning to study.
- Narrow the results
Filter out few schools based on your search criteria. Narrowing the search will help you to identify few schools and compare the courses offered.
- Check the website
Check the school’s website and look at the courses offered by the department. Research information about the professors who teach the course that interests you most.
Larger colleges have a wide range of courses to offer and the professors at such schools are good. Smaller schools on the other hand provide friendly atmosphere for students. Remember that ultimately you have to acquire knowledge and meet your long-term career goal. Larger schools are often preferred by employers and are recruiting hot spots.
The geographic location of the school might have a factor in your decision. For example, if you do not like the snow or cold winters schools on the East Coast may not be the ideal for you. However, if you wanted to get into Harvard or Northwestern University and you have been accepted, do not think twice!
If you prefer to live in smaller cities, narrow your school search according to the location. It is easy to find part time employment opportunities in larger cities than in smaller cities. The rents and cost of living is also different in smaller cities.
- Career opportunity
You can also choose a school based on the types of career opportunities available for the course you opt for. You can do some internet research on career opportunities in specific states/cities.
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- Family support
Remember that some schools offer a lot of facilities for dependent spouses and children. If you are likely to be accompanied by dependent spouses and children you must look at the support facilities offered by each school.
- Final List
Once you have completed the basic research, make a list of your preferred schools. Check your preferred schools’ admission requirements like GPA, GRE/GMAT score, TOEFL score, work experience, etc. Plan diligently and prepare an excel sheet listing the advantages and disadvantages of each school. Finally, make an informed decision.
Tips for Seeking Admission
- Take the required test such as GRE/GMAT, TOEFL etc. and start the application process. You will be able to find the process of applying to each school on the school website.
- Communicate with the admission advisor at the school for any questions or concerns.
- Write a Statement of Purpose. This will be reviewed by the admissions committee members as part of the admission process.
Communicating with your University/College
Building a good rapport with the Graduate advisor and professors before hand is a wise move. Start communicating with the assistants in the department office (your specific department for which you are applying to) and they would eventually put you in touch with the Grad Advisor. University websites have directories with all the necessary information on professors. Contact them through email and try to get as much information as possible from them. Showing interest and eagerness adds value to your application.
Financial Assistance and Grants
- There is no financial aid available by the government to F1 visa students.
- You can earn some money by working as a student assistant in various department offices. Part time work is also available for F1 Visa holders in campus cafeteria, bookstores, and other campus facilities.