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Student Guide to the United States of America (USA)

All you need to know before studying in the United States – the education system, visa obligation and the process, the Indians living in the United States, after considering the options and much more

1. About the country

Training System
Many international students, researchers and visitors are surprised to learn that the United States has no national education system. The federal government can not influence the training it offers financing, but it is limited. Unlike CBSE board exams in India, there is no national review of high school. There is, however, the final exams of the state, and students must pass them.

College Fit: At the level of higher education, students have a wide range of choices when they choose a college or university. Although there are organizations trying to rank US colleges and universities, the concept of “fit” is also important. * GPA of admitted students is very important, but large companies offered, location, number of students, and the campus culture are all factors that influence the decision of a potential student. Some colleges and universities are funded by the state, while others are held in private.
* Average is the average of the notes. It is the average of all scores.

Top Destinations students: the best universities in the US are the University of Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Columbia University and Stanford University (in random order). New England Area on the east coast of the United States is the center of all its famous academic institutions. Most of the best colleges in the country are located in cities like Boston, New York, Cambridge, Old Saybrook, New Haven. Approximately 96,750 Indian students in the US during the school year 2012-13. business management, information technology, finance and accounting, economics, communications / media are popular over Indian students in the US.

Security in the United States: Being a diverse country, the United States is the safest place for students, particularly in India, and there is no need for any concern about racism. In this sense, the US is a safe country for Indian students.

Time
Southwest – Southwest has a hot desert climate and covers cities like Phoenix, Las Vegas. the average temperature is about 40 ° C to 25 ° C; winter is approximately 18 ° C to 4 ° C
South – East has a warm hot and humid climate and covers cities like Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta and Charleston. the average temperature is about 35 ° C to 25 ° C; in winter it is about 10 ° C to 0 ° C,
Midwest – the Midwest, northern Plains, the Great Lakes region and New England have a wet climate and covering cities such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio. the average temperature is about 28 ° C to 15 ° C; in winter it is about 0 ° C to -9 ° C
Atlantic Coast – Central Valley and the coast is temperate humid climate and covers cities like St. Louis, Cincinnati and New York. The average summer temperature is about 30 ° C to 18 ° C; in winter it is about 4 ° C to -3 ° C
Pacific Northwest – Pacific Northwest has an oceanic climate and covers cities like Seattle and Portland. The average summer temperature is about 30 ° C to 18 ° C; in winter it is about 4 ° C to -3 ° C
THE IMAGE OF LIFE TIPS
The United States is a dynamic developing countries, covering the entire continent. Many cultural currents exist and coexist in American life. To mingle with the local crowd, you should keep in mind that the American lifestyle is very different from Indians. You must include more activities in your life, if you really want to learn and meet new people.
Know about professional sport – One way to break the ice with the locals to talk about professional sports like NFL or the NBA or other local sports. Sport plays an important role in the mix with the locals.
Outdoor activities – Americans love to spend time outdoors and prefer to take part in sports games in the fresh air. Their way of life are more active, and they prefer to spend the time to meet new people and try together new and different skills.
Music Concerts, Nightlife – All weekend people go to social events, like music concerts and shows, or maybe just go to the bar to watch the game. Weekend to socialize and relax, so it is possible that your friends or classmates would invite you to the club. All you need to have an open mind to meet new people and socialize.
Indians living in the US
There were nearly 1.9 million Indian immigrants living in the United States in 2011. They are the third largest group of immigrants by country of origin, after Mexico and China.
The United States government documents say that immigrants from India are better educated, more likely to have strong English language skills are applied to employment-based visas, and less likely to live in poverty than the general population of immigrants.
Nearly a third of all Indian immigrants live in just two states, California and New Jersey. More than a quarter of all Indian immigrants live in the three largest metropolitan areas: New York, Chicago and San Jose.
2. Student life

Accommodation

First, you must decide if you want to live in university housing or managed a private owner. Selecting the university managed accommodation can also give you an option catering or self-catering. Catered offers the benefits of your meals prepared for you and the certainty of food costs.
If you have an idea of what you prefer, the placement office of your university will be able to tell you that the accommodation they have – so it’s a place to start. If you plan to rent from a private owner or if the chosen university can not offer you anything in their own office in the residential installation housing should be able to provide a list of private property and owners of the region.
Wherever you decide to live, you must make sure you know their contractual rights and obligations. In most cases, you will be asked to sign a lease, you must read carefully before signing.
Orientation
Orientation week is mandatory for foreign students, and make sure to arrive before it starts. This is the time when you enter the university and its services, as well as enroll in your classes. It is important that you read your guide, which is available at the college. The guide explains each part of the admissions process.
Activities
With sports, colleges offer extracurricular activities that provide students with a wide range of experience. Music, theater, science and literary societies in colleges offer public education opportunities, and other leisure activities. Go to the theater, concerts and places related to training courses, such as art galleries and museums, religious centers and historical sites, research the company and the projects are part of college life.

3. Admission process

Requirements
They vary between programs and research levels. For each course, Indian students will be required to meet the minimum requirements of the English language. In addition to these minimum academic record 65% and above for the Humanities stream in class XII, and from 70 to 80% and above would also require science stream / Commerce in class XII. The funds and degree programs are available for students who provided less than 60%. The student must have completed 18 years before joining the curriculum.
It is important to note that these figures are indicative, the actual figures may differ from university to university.
The following documents must be submitted:
• Certified copies of brand X class leaves, XII, and a BA (if applicable)
• At least two academic letters of recommendation from teachers who have taught in recent years.
If you have experience, two letters of reference from your employer / manager who knows you well and can comment on your professional skills
• Statement of Intent (SOP)
• proceed
• photocopied reports account GMAT / GRE / IELTS / TOEFL
• Portfolio (in the case of students applying to art and design courses and programs in architecture)
• Other (certificates / achievements at the state and national levels, and extra-curricular activities)
• Proof of funds
Calendar
Most US colleges accept applications online. You will need to visit the website of each college to apply. In most cases, you will create an account on the college website to provide basic information, submit the digital version of your documents, and pay the registration fee. You will be informed on the implementation process and its phases through this account. Please check the website of your choice to know the college application process.
Registration fee: All colleges require that you pay a registration fee when applying. The amount of compensation varies depending on the college and of course apply, so check with individual colleges on their entry fee.
Steps: The steps common to the application for admission to the following:
• Search for colleges and courses
• Contact the school websites and visit for information
• Refine your list of schools
• Take the entrance exams like SAT, GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS
• Write SOPs and ask when
• Apply to colleges that match your interests
• There are video interviews for college you list
• If adopted, apply for a student visa
Test: The test shall be presented to the participant. The test is an important part of the admission process at the university. Students may be required to write one or two trials, with some additional tests too. Common topics include career aspirations, strengths and weaknesses, skills, experience and the reasons for a particular school.
SOP: Statement of purpose (SOP) is your introduction to the college admission and officials. It is always written in first person and describes the reason for the application to a particular college. It is necessary to focus on why you are perfect for the college and the college why you should take. The writing style is different from the casual, but it is important to remember that it should reflect your personality as well.
LOR: Letter of recommendation (LOR) is a reference to a letter written by a third party, describing the qualities, characteristics and abilities of future students to recommend it to the university in terms of the ability of that person to perform a task or a specific function. A third party may be a teacher, supervisor, etc.
Input seasons
There are two main inlet seasons of American Universities, the session begins mostly in September and January, but some institutions have intakes in May, July and October, as well. Staff best season for consumption in the United States in September rate while consuming negligible season in January, which is designed for a relatively small number of courses.
You must start the receiving process in approximately six months before the registration deadline. Typically, most universities have three dates, from October to January. It is for the convenience of students that the deadline to apply. You have to do with language and aptitude tests for the three months prior to expiration. The last 3 months must be focused on the application form correctly.
It is imperative to ensure that the “full application process”, in collaboration with the advent of interview procedures and visa application should be completed in June or July for admission in September.
The main reception of the season for the best colleges and courses that fall from September season. It depends of course you want to continue, because many courses have intakes in January.
If you are looking to get admission in professional courses, courses may have admissions open in January and maybe in May or July.
4. Exams

Language Examinations
International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Pearson Test of English (PTE) all standard language tests which are necessary in order to qualify for admission at University. They follow different formats, structure, and bands of the result. These tests are all different in different ways, but many institutions have asked any results. So the student to decide what should appear in the examination.
Repeat examinations: IELTS can be taken an unlimited number of times. TOEFL can be repeated as many times as desired, but can not be done more than once during the period of 12 days. Even with PTE, it can be taken as many times as necessary. You must wait for your results before you book your next test.
Fees: Rs 9300 for these exams IELTS, TOEFL to Rs 10,000 and Rs 9350 for PTE.
Application time: Ideally, if you aim to enter in September, you have to appear for exams in November, so that you can apply in the first period. Universities will you use to talk about what kind of results they will take the exam. But if given the choice to go to one of them, the choice is yours. The time required to prepare for the IELTS / TOEFL / PTE depend on the existing English language. You may need 2-4 months of preparation before the exam date.

General Examinations
GMAT – Graduate Management Aptitute used to measure the ability of a potential MBA aspirant to keep higher education in business or management. It measures the math, English language skills and the student’s reasoning.
GRE – The Graduate Record Examination is another test to take students applying for graduate schools to pursue MA or MS. Increasingly, many business schools also accept GRE scores for admission to the MBA.
LAST – The Law School Admission Test is a standardized test and is part of the entry process in law school. This provides a measure of reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use when evaluating candidates.
SAT – measures of literacy and writing skills or Scholastic Assessment Test, necessary for academic success in college. This test assesses how well the test takers analyze and solve the problems of the skills they have learned in school that they will need in college. SAT is typically taken by high school students to enter the UG course.
The university you apply to mention some test results are applicable in your choice. But if given the choice to go to one of them, the choice is yours.
Repetition and payment: You can give an unlimited number of GMAT subject to five times a year, and a 30-day interval between the two tests. You can take these tests with an interval of 30 days from the first time. Cost Rs 16,000 GMAT, GRE and LSAT Rs 12,000 Rs 3800
Ideally, if you aim at the entrance of September, you should go for these exams in November, so that you can apply in the first period. the preparation period is generally 4 to 6 months.
The average results: average GMAT is accepted by universities 540. Average GRE Verbal 155, 167 for the quantitative and 5.0 for writing. Average it takes 162 universities.
It is important to note that these figures are indicative, actual results could differ from university to university.
Cost of living

The cost of living is largely dependent on what part of the United States are living with it, as you communicate. Some of the basic elements of life as an international student in the United States are:
• rental housing (on campus or off campus)
• Food and food processing
• Utilities such as electricity, water, gas, internet
• Phone bills
• Text and reference
• The cost of tickets for a trip to India.
• Other items that may vary from person to person would be:
• Supper
• Travel and Vacations
• Rent a car and car insurance
• Connecting Cable TV
School Fees
Tuition varies by different universities, courses and the city. Spending on education in the United States may be $ 10,000 to $ 30,000 per year under-graduate. And if you are considering applying for the graduate school will cost $ 15,000- $ 55,000 per year. Importantly, the cost of the American school program may not affect its quality. It can vary from as little as $ 5,000 per year for public universities as far as $ 50,000 per year for some private universities.
Living expenses
On average, a student spends approximately $ 10,000 $ 12,000 per year. But costs also depend on where the student is. If a student is in a metropolitan city like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, etc. the costs can reach up to $ 15,000 compared to a student in the suburbs, where costs would be about $ 8,000- $ 10,000 per year.
Medical Insurance
An insurance policy is a must for foreign students and students must remain abroad for a long period of time. Insurance costs are usually around $ 500- $ 1,000 per year. Before insurance, make sure it covers medical expenses, personal accident, dental care, interruption of the study, loss of passport, etc. Insurance is essentially non-cash so that the student does not pay the money at the time of hospitalization.
Scholarships
Exemption from paying foreign students are awarded based on merit criteria and needs him. Candidates with strong academics, good performance in standardized tests and extracurricular achievements will be eligible for scholarships and financial aid. To take advantage of these opportunities, you must make sure to send all the necessary documents are limited in time. In addition, the presentation of the application is also important because it is judged by the image of the project.
Required documents: documents are usually required to apply following the stock market, although requirements may vary:
• academic records and photocopies
• A recent CV
• letter of intent, which acts as a cover page
• certificate of proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS)
• Letters of recommendation (LOR)
• loans
Student eligibility criteria: The first thing that should be known if you qualify for a loan or not. General criteria after all banks are:
• You must be a citizen of India
• You must have a strong academic performance
• You should apply for admission to the vocational, technical or otherwise. Most of the banks argue that the course chosen should focus on employment.
• You must be attached receipt in foreign universities.
• You must be aged over 18, or your parents can avail the loan.
safe Eligibility: You can not get a credit for each course. This kind of exchange, which can apply for student loans.
Graduation: oriented professional or technical course work offered by the well-known universities
For after graduation:
MCA, MBA and diploma
These courses can be foreign universities or institutions approved by the state and the central government.
Loan amount: If your total amount is Rs 10 lakh, the bank may offer to give credit in the amount of 80% of the amount, and you have to put in the remaining 20%. It is the sum of the margin. The maximum loan amount for study abroad, usually around 20 lakh rupees by the bank. If the tuition fees of Rs 30 lakh, you will manage the rest of the funds themselves. Some banks charge for treatment, while others do not. it can be a fixed amount or a percentage of the total loan amount. So if the bank charges 1% processing fee, which will be at an additional cost, you need to cover.
Documents required: You must provide an acceptance letter from the university, reflecting the fact that you were chosen for the course and schedule of payments. You will also need to show a sign of the last sheet of the qualifying examination to show their performance.
All banks have different requirements for documentation, you must confirm with the bank first.
Repayment: The repayment starts only after the period of the course. If a student got a job in the year following the end of the course, repayment must begin immediately after the expiry of one month from the date of employment.
If you do not provide a job for one year after completion of the course, repayment begins regardless of whether or not you work. The loan generally must be repaid in 5-7 years after the onset of maturity. If a student is unable to complete the course at the time agreed, the extension of the deadline for completion of the course may be authorized for a period of two years. Generally, you will receive up to a maximum of 10 years to repay the loan.
6. Visa

Conditions
If you want to go to university or college in the United States, you will need a student visa, visa called F1.
Valid Passport – Your passport must be valid for at least six months after your period of stay in the United States.
Nonimmigrant visa page form DS-160 confirmation
Registration fee payment receipt, you must pay before the interview
Photos – the US consulate will upload your photo, and for the same purpose you will have to fix an appointment with the consulate. You will have to visit the area of the consulate. Digital photography is your will be taken and with it, all your fingerprints have been scanned. You must have approval of the reception at the consulate after successfully taken your photo and finger scan.
Eligibility Certificate Status Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student – Your school will send a SEVIS generated I-20, once they have entered your information into the SEVIS database. You and your school official must sign the I-20. All students, their spouses and minor children, if they intend to reside in the US with a student must be enrolled in the system of exchange of students and (SEVIS) visitors.
NOTE: Additional documentation may be required. During a personal interview additional documents may be requested by the investigator. They can be documents confirming evidence of academic or financial condition. These include:
• Transcripts, diplomas or certificates from the school you attended
• The results of the tests that are required in your American school, such as TOEFL, SAT, GRE, GMAT or
• Your intention to leave the US after completing the curriculum
• How will you pay all education, housing costs and transport
Process
• There are several steps to apply for a visa.
• Complete the online visa application form DS-160
• After filling out an online visa application, you will pay a non-refundable registration fee. You must pay before your interview. It can be paid online or through a bank transaction, as well.
• Print the form confirmation page request to bring to the interview.
• Make an appointment to interview and biometric applications.
• Biometric purposes, you will be required to appear in person to get your pictures clicked for a visa and get your fingerprints scanned finger.
• On a personal interview, the interviewer will ask you questions about your course selection, college, finances and plan to return. If s / he is convinced they will keep your passport with them to get a visa stamp.
• F-1 student visa may be issued up to 120 days before the start of the course. However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States on an F-1 status no earlier than 30 days before the start date.
Work permit
During the first year of study, students may not accept off-campus employment at any time. In certain circumstances, the Immigration citizenship in the United States (USCIS) may grant permission to accept off-campus employment after one year of study, but it is very rare. F-1 students may accept employment on the campus of your university without obtaining prior authorization from USCIS.
Students can not work more than 20 hours per week. During the holidays, breaks and summer sessions, students can work up to 40 hours per week. The student can work on a commercial company that provides services to the university, for example, in a bookstore or coffee. Work more than 20 hours can cause problems with the restoration of student status of the expulsion.
Outside employment on campus as hotels, motels, gas stations, liquor stores, etc., is illegal. If caught, which could lead to the expulsion or future problems linked to immigration work permit.
Visa for wife
The spouse or children of a student receives F2 visa, which is a dependent visa.
Mari on the status of F-2 can not join a full course of study, but it can take classes that are professionally or recreational in nature, such as the pursuit of a hobby or interest such as cooking or tennis. Child on the status of F2 allowed to attend primary, secondary or college as a full time student. They can not enter the full-time training in a college or university.
The wife and children of students may not accept employment at any time.
7. Checklist before departure

• flight Reservations
• Travel and purchase of medical insurance
• Arrange accommodation in USA
• To arrange a shuttle service to / from the airport back to the US
• Organize your banking business – to consider buying travelers checks
• Analysis baggage and customs restrictions
• Delete all records from your school house
Get your documents in order and make photocopies for storing your luggage and keep at home, including:
• foreign passport
• flights
• Travel insurance certificate
• letter of acceptance from the educational institution;
• Key addresses and telephone numbers
• bank statement showing proof of funds
• The requirements for any medication you are
• checks, if any traveler
• Medical and vaccination records
• history and academic transcripts
8. Once you land
Shopping in the US: the major shopping centers and supermarkets like Wal-Mart and Target in the United States are one-stop shops for all your daily needs. Be careful that all your purchases billed correctly and that you keep the account with you.
Learn basic cooking: Cooking for yourself will help you save money. Indian food is expensive in the United States. It will also satisfy your desire to eat “food” in nostalgia for the times. Indian spices are not usually available in small towns, but you can find shops on campus where you can get the ingredients used in most Indian dishes.
Travel: All major cities in the US and provides various modes of transportation in common, such as buses, taxis and trains. However, public transport services are poor. The frequency of stops, and less space are not very well connected. You can rely on private cars for transport in most cases. Even with the rising cost of gasoline, passenger cars are the most economical mode of transportation practice, because you get a lot of flexibility and freedom with your car. You can travel where and when you want and not have to depend on public transport timetables. However, before you buy your own car, you will need to use public transport or ask friends for a ride.
Stay on a student visa: When you enter the US, you can stay in the US as long as you are enrolled in school to complete the curriculum. After completing the program, you will have 60 days to leave the United States, you can search for job opportunities during this period, or you can move outside the country, to return to India.
9. Post Study Options

OPT (Optional Practical Training)
If students want to stay back in the United States to gain practical knowledge in their field, they are able to do that with OPT. the authorization of temporary employment allows students the opportunity to gain practical experience in their field of study for the period of 12 months.
• Pre-completion OPT
• After completion OPT
If students want to do work related to their field of study, they can do it with the help of pre-completion OPT. Students who are currently conducting studies to acquire a work permit through this resolution and work can be a part-time on the job and full-time during holidays.
Time – Students are allowed 12 months OPT for diplomas of all bachelor and master. Those who follow STEM courses to receive an additional 17 months (total 29 months) to expand the STEM OPT.

Students who have completed their studies and want to work more than 20 hours per week is required after completion OPT. This OPT is available full time. While on the OPT, students can not carry out a new course, if you are not a PhD student.
Request OPT – the student must apply to the OPT with their DSO (Designated School Official) recommend OPT. FIR DSO should:
• I-20 will approve
• Creating relevant notes in sevis.
The student completes a Form I-765, which is an application for the EAD (work permit documents). After approval, the issue of student EAD. The student can start working as soon as the EAD issued.
Cooperative Training Program
The joint program, the dual training period with work. Co-Op student program is formally program in which the goal is to recruit students while still in school, to fill permanent jobs after graduation degree structured. Co-op programs are generally held in colleges and universities. Salary will, most likely, will be given on an hourly basis and depending on your choice of course or major, you can make about $ 10- $ 16 per hour.
Placements
Indian students used to the implementation of the concept of campus and on campus recruiting for jobs. There is no concept of investment in the United States. Most US universities have a cell called the Career Services Center to help you get a job and help you prepare for the interview. Recruitment on campus is always determined by the interests of students. Recruiting Companies by the University does not offer a job directly. The fact that they offer an internship or co-op. Companies would like to see his work for several months before you hire full time.

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