Study in US, United States of America
The US is the ultimate destination for higher education, with more than 50% of Indians studying outside India headed to one of the country’s 4000+ universities and colleges.
A majority of Indian students (56%) in the US are studying at the graduate level and a total of 58% are studying at Master’s colleges and/or doctorate-granting universities.
In the United States, university campuses are like melting pots, attracting students from different backgrounds and aspirations from across the country and the rest of the world.
US: Robust growth in Indian students in 2017
India is now the second leading place of origin for students coming to the US, comprising 17.3% of all international students.
According to the 2017 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange released on November 13,2017 by HE and the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the number of Indian students in the United States has, once again, risen to a record level – over 186,000.
This is the fourth year in a row to see double-digit growth, an increase of 21,000 learners over last year, and a growth of 12%, which is one of the highest rates of growth in the world. Further, the number of Indian students in the US has doubled over the last 10 years, meaning India is now the second leading place of origin for students coming to the US, comprising 17.3% of all international students.
The report confirms the value Indian students continue to place on a US education. Karl Adam, Deputy Cultural Affairs Officer at the US Embassy, remarked on some of the reasons why. “American universities provide unparalleled access to instructors, and provide a wide variety of internship and research opportunities,” he explained. “The American higher education system introduces international students to networks and contacts that provide benefits and advantages over a lifetime.”
A majority of Indian students (56%) in the US are studying at the graduate level and a total of 58% are studying at Master’s colleges and/or doctorate-granting universities. There was a 13.9% increase in undergraduate representation as well, though, continuing a trend that has been developing over the last few years.
In total, the number of international students in the United States increased by three per cent over the prior year, and the number of American students studying abroad increased by four percent from the prior year. For the second consecutive year, US colleges and universities hosted more than one million international students, reaching a record high of 1.08 million. This also marks the eleventh consecutive year of continued expansion of the total number ol international students in US higher education.
A majority of Indian students (56%) in the US are studying at the graduate level and a total of 58% are studying at Master’s colleges and/or doctorate-granting universities.
The top places of origin for international students studying in the United States were China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, and Brazil. The top host states were California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. Each of these states saw increases in international students in 2016-17.
The US Department of State values the contributions Indian students make to academia in the United States and looks forward to welcoming even more students from India and elsewhere next year.
“We are always excited to see our two countries coming closer together in the best way possible,” Adam said. “We strongly support educational exchanges because of the shared benefits, not just in economic terms, but in our mutual understanding of each other,” he added.
— US Embassy Public Affairs Section
Inside the United States
From cultural nuances to food and travel – here’s a handy primer for students who wish to study in the US by Kavita Mehta, CEO and Co-founder, The Red Pen.
The United States is the ultimate destination for higher education, with more than 50% of Indians studying outside India headed to one of the country’s 4000+ universities and colleges. If you are considering a US university education, there will be new experiences to enjoy, friendships to forge, as well as cultural faux pas to avoid. Here are a few tips to help.make the most of studying in the US.
University campuses are like melting pots, attracting students from different backgrounds and aspirations from across the US and the rest of the world, while the ethos and personality of every university may be different, campuses and their surrounding communities strive to embrace diversity, respect cultures and socio-economic differences. Take this opportunity to interact with a wide cross-section of people – be it students, faculty, staff or coaches.
Generally speaking, Americans are polite and friendly. The American way of greeting everyone with a “How are you doing?” or “What’s up?” is a way of acknowledging people. So non-Americans may feel that they have many new friends as they walk across campus when, in reality, they are the recipient of a culturally expected gesture. Simply smile back and ask, “How do you do?” Also, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and include a “please” or “thank you” in any request.
Be discerning about what you hear and how you interpret it. In every culture, there are nuances and signals that become apparent over time. When unsure of a comment or phrase, make a note to ask a trusted friend later. Americans can also be quite direct and upfront with their opinions. While this can be jarring at first, just be aware that it is a cultural style and not necessarily personally directed.
Many Indian students are initially surprised by the informal interactions between faculty and students. On some campuses, students address professors by first name, stop by office hours for extra help or enjoy a meal with teaching assistants in the university cafeteria. This can be mistaken for release from accountability for academic performance. On the contrary, American university professors have high standards for students and expect them to communicate appropriately and take personal responsibility for their studies.
The concept of ‘physical space’ or personal boundaries is often confusing to Indian students. As they relate to physical space, Americans will keep a comfortable distance on public transit, pass on the left (not the right), and stand politely in line, waiting tfieir turn. When it comes to conversation, stay away from religion and politics and definitely do not ask anyone how much they weigh, the value of their house or their annual salaries. Finally, personal hygiene is paramount, make sure to wear clothing appropriate for the season, launder clothing regularly and use deodorant on a daily basis.
INDEPENDENCE AND SELF SUFFICIENCY
Living alone as a student in the US (or for that matter, any country), being away from home and a reliable support system, can be a time of tremendous adjustment, in India, there are layers of support—parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, second cousins and so forth—to ensure children don’t go astray and stay on track, in the US, students are expected to be independent and manage tasks such as meeting their academic advisor, scheduling courses, paying fees, getting flu shots or turning in an assignment. At the same time, universities emphasise teamwork, where students need to collaborate on projects and assignments with classmates, helping build communication, negotiation and consensus building skills in the process. It is important for students to learn to plan their time and resources so they don’t miss opportunities, take unnecessary risks or spend money recklessly.
Be mindful and respectful of commitments, if you commit to meeting a classmate for a study session at 8pm, do not show up at 8:30pm, do not “forget” and avoid cancelling at the last minute. When it comes to deadlines for class assignments and submissions, it is your job to remember the dates and have your materials ready on time. And make sure to build in buffer time for unexpected hiccups such as snowstorms or computer glitches.
Since Americans pride themselves on being hands-on and resourceful, and because hiring labor can be expensive, they attempt tasks that in India we would simply outsource. This includes things like doing laundry, painting a room, assembling a desk, hanging pictures on the wall or fixing up a broken down car. While you might turn up your nose at such “menial” jobs, step back a moment and consider the value of developing skills that require you to use your hands as well as the satisfaction that comes from doing things for yourself.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERYTHING
Take the time to meet people from outside your ethnic group or major course of study. One first year student at the University of light Southern California initially questioned his decision to live in the freshman dormitory versus the more luxurious international student apartments. But once he settled in, he realised that by choosing the dormitory, he had the opportunity to interact with a wider cross-section of people and learn how to manage life (and differences) on a busy dorm floor with shared bathrooms and common study areas. It also enabled him to immerse himself in the traditional US undergraduate experience, which is something that you can only really do once in life. He also learned about American football, which is often an experience that goes beyond the game itself; depending on your campus, there can be extensive rituals related to game-day parties, dress codes and spirit building activities.
Many Indian students are wary about heading to small towns for college, fearing that they will be isolated or lack resources. On the contrary, small towns offer a terrific opportunity to imbibe campus life without the distractions or expense of big city living. Further, small towns in America have most of the same high quality amenities such as grocery stores, movie theatres, restaurants and malls as bigger metros; so don’t fret about not having access to essentials.
Once you decide on a university, research opportunities to become involved. There are hundreds of clubs, groups and teams to join. Embrace this golden chance to learn new things, build leadership skills, indulge a passion or engage in meaningful dialogue. Ensure that you include time for adequate sleep and exercise; life is a holistic experience, make sure to nurture all aspects of yourself.
The US economy operates primarily on plastic, with credit and debit cards used to purchase almost everything. Cash is rarely used, especially on campuses, where most transactions are completed using a student ID card that is linked to an account with the university, while in India parents usually open and manage bank accounts, in the US, students will need to setup their own accounts, which typically have minimum balances, cheque-writing privileges and an ATM card.
American culinary options are delightfully influenced by the diversity of ethnicities and cultures of the country. You might find Peruvian, Greek, Ethiopian, Southern Barbeque and Korean food trucks or restaurants on the same block. Embrace this opportunity to try a range of delicacies and perhaps find a new favourite. Remember to be very specific when ordering vegetarian food; Americans consider eggs to be vegetarian and fish is not considered “meat”. And ice is always served in drinks so if you don’t want it, make sure to tell your server.
“Big, big, big” is an American mantra and that couldn’t be truer than when it comes to food. Americans expect large portions of everything from French fries (not “chips”) and dessert to soda (not “cold drinks”) and nachos. Pay attention and moderate your intake, lest you find yourself putting on the famous “freshman 15” pounds during your first year of college.
Finally, meal times are much earlier than in India; breakfast is eaten between 6am and 9am, lunch between 11 am and 1pm and dinner between 5pm and 7:30pm.
When a student has friends and relatives abroad, it can be easy to think they will be supervised in the same way they have been at home. Students’ schedules are jam packed with academic and social events, especially on weekends. So while jetting off every weekend to a new city or destination may sound appealing, know that this is rarely a reality.
At a Glance
University campuses are like melting pots, attracting students from different backgrounds and aspirations from across the US and the rest of the There will be new experiences to friendships to forge, as well as cultural faux pas to avoid.
Since driving is synonymous with American culture, secure a driver’s license before departing from India. Having a license will come in handy when using a car sharing service such as Zipcar or when borrowing a friend’s ride. If you don’t want to drive, know that taxis are not ubiquitous and can be rather expensive. Other ride platforms such as Uber and Lyft, however, are widely available, especially in college towns. Learn to use public transit – it’s usually faster and cheaper than private transport. And, as a bonus, it’s often free for students.
Email is the preferred form of digital communication in the US. Americans check email regularly, using it as the primary way to plan or events or share information. WhatsApp, while headquartered in the US, is not widely used or even known; text messaging is more prevalent. Americans typically avoid calling others before 8am or after 9pm. So, if you do need to speak with someone, text first to check if it is okay to call. And, get used to voicemail; as annoying as it is to leave a message, voicemail is still a tool widely used in the US.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Banks, technology giants, retailers and other companies are eager to target and hook new customers, especially college graduates (or soon-to-be graduates). Scoop up the marketing freebies – food, t-shirts, cups and other merchandise – regularly given away on campus.
During orientation, many banks will approach first year students with unbelievable credit card offers. While a credit card is definitely a must, be careful to read the fine print – cards targeting the student population often come with low spending limits, high interest rates and many other restrictions. Be a smart consumer and shop around for the best deal.
Finally, when making a purchase, especially a pricey one, don’t jump at the first offer or product you see; do some research and you’ll discover that there is often a cheaper or more valuable option.
Studying in the United States can be an incredible experience for the student who plans ahead, has an open mind and is willing to ask for help. Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture for a few years to gain another perspective on life.
Abhineet Gupta, who received his Master’s in Structural Engineering from – Stanford University, US, on what a course in his chosen discipline involves.
I completed my undergraduate (UG) studies in civil engineering at IIT- Kharagpur. A degree in civil engineering includes structural engineering, hydraulic engineering, waste water engineering, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, and construction management.
Students who complete a UG degree in the field can opt for an internship or a job before joining a Master’s programme in Structural Engineering, a specialisation area of civil engineering.
As an undergraduate, I became interested in courses related to structural engineering, given structural engineers’ ability to impact the environment. I thus went on to pursue my Master’s in structural engineering at Stanford University in the US. At the Master’s level, universities and faculty have considerable autonomy in the choice of courses. Different universities have different focus areas. Students often select universities based on this focus. However, for structural engineering, the core courses at all universities include at least one advanced course in steel or concrete design, as well as an advanced course in structural analysis.
The West Coast is more prone to earthquakes, so the courses here tend to focus more on earthquake-related engineering. The institutions usually offer programmes in performance-based structural engineering, which is the state-of- the-art methodology for structural design.
On completion of a Master’s degree, the person can work with structural engineering firms to design and analyse buildings and other structures. S/he can also work with risk assessment firms or join a software engineering firm.
Financial aid is competitive in the US, given the reduction in federal funding in the country. Students can seek financial aid through research assistantships (RA) or teaching assistantships (TA) where students are paid for a certain number of hours they work for. Fellowships, on the other hand, do not generally require the student to work, but instead, require a regular progress report of a student’s research project.
After completing my Master’s degree, I am now pursuing a PhD in structural Engineering at the same university.
As an undergraduate, I became interested in courses related to structural engineering, given structural engineers’ ability to impact the environment. I thus went on to pursue my Master’s in Structural Engineering at Stanford University in the US.
USA: The ultimate MBA destination
MBA schools in USA, employ a dynamic approach to education, adapting their curricula to meet emerging trends and equip students with progressive skills.
The US is today considered as the top educational destination globally. It offers some of the world’s most prestigious universities and an excellent education, with a huge variety of degree courses at all levels, it is especially popular for international students wanting to study Master’s degrees. Applicants are usually required to hold a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent academic qualification. However, some Master’s courses will accept applicants with alternative qualifications and experience. Here, Master’s degrees are studied at graduation schools, unlike in Europe where they are usually studied at universities along with Bachelor’s degrees.
Education institutions in the US can be divided into three different types: State Universities, Private Universities and Community Colleges. Within these types, each college or university has a number of schools, for example, a School of Arts or a School of Business. Admission requirements vary between universities and colleges. Examinations are usually given once in the middle of the term and once at the end. Sometimes, students have to write a research paper or complete a project assignment towards their final grade. The Grade point average (GPA) is a common measurement of grade in universities and colleges in the United States.
Applying for a graduate degree in the US involves applying to the graduate school directly. One has to check the particular school’s website for the application procedure or contact the school directly.
SPECIAL FOCUS: MBA
As per the QS TOPMBA.com Applicant Survey 2013, nearly 65% MBA aspirants mentioned USA as their top choice. MBA schools in USA, employ a dynamic approach to education, adapting their curricula to meet emerging trends and equip students with the progressive skills necessary to succeed.
There are a number of factors that make USA an attractive MBA destination. There are ample career and growth opportunities for international students once they complete their degree.
TYPES OF MBA DEGREES
- Two-year Full-time MBA: These are suitable for participants with one-to-two years of work experience. Credits required for completion vary from college to college.
- Accelerated MBA: It is a variation of the two-year programme with a higher course load and a more intensive class schedule.
- Part Time MBA: It is suited for working professionals. Classes are held only on weekends or on weekdays after working hours. They usually last three years or more.
- Online MBA: Participants can study in the comfort of their own home and apply it immediately in their everyday work. There are only virtual classroom sessions, featuring exhaustive online and offline study material, online assignments and examinations.
- Executive MBA (EMBA): Suitable for experienced working professionals (with minimum 5 years experience), who cannot afford to take a prolonged period of time away from their career, it is delivered in a part-time format, over a period of 12 to 24 months, allowing participants to study while they work.
- 16 years of undergraduate education
- Average GMAT score: 724-732
- Minimum TOEFL score: 87
- Work experience: 2-3 years (some colleges may accept without work experience too)
- Average GPA: 3.30.
POPULAR/COMMONLY APPLIED COURSES OR SPECIALISATIONS
- Information Management
- International Management
TOP BUSINESS SCHOOLS
- Stanford University GSB
- Harvard Business School
- University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School
- University of California Berkeley Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
BEST ONE-YEAR MBA PROGRAMMES
- Johnson School (Cornell University)
- Kellogg School (Northwestern University)
- Goizueta School (Emory University)
- Marshall School (University of Southern California)
- HULT International Business School
There are a number of factors that make USA an attractive MBA destination. There are ample career and growth opportunities for international students. MBA graduates get much higher salary packages in comparison to students belonging to other fields. The diversity of the classroom helps international students to learn about business management activities of various countries. Excellent internship opportunities with local companies are an added draw.
Friends across frontiers
Fulbright grantee Farida Begum, pursuing her PhD at University of Michigan is researching how Bengali women interacted with each other even after partition.
I grew up in New York City and went to Barnard College for my undergraduate degree, where I double majored in history and Asian and Middle Eastern cultures, before joining University of Michigan for my PhD in History.
I have always been interested in gender history, and the more I studied South Asian history, the more I became fascinated with the region’s women who shaped histories. I first became interested in women in Bengal during an undergraduate class, a third of which focused on gender issues in India. Bengal was a central region in many of these debates. For my research, I am focusing mostly on the 20th century, from 1905-1965.
To fund my dissertation research, I applied to the US government’s Fulbright programme through the university. Fulbright grants fund recipients research or teaching abroad for six to 12 months. The application was fairly straightforward, and asked for a research statement, personal statement, and letters of recommendation.
The initial process included meeting with a Fulbright committee at the university where a diverse group of professors provided suggestions on how to improve my application before it was sent for the national competition.
Currently in India, I have been collecting and reading Bengali women’s memoirs and autobiographies, while conducting oral histories with other women who lived during the period of my study.
To fund my dissertation research, I applied to the US government’s Fulbright programme through the university. Fulbright grants fund recipients research or teaching abroad for six to 12 months.
So far, I have discovered many fascinating women who have fallen through the cracks of histories since they were not necessarily from a prominent family or part of nationalist movements in Indian history. The women who patiently share stories of their past with me have been my favourite aspect of this journey.
My initial project was to trace women’s social interactions through letters. However, once in the field, I realised not many women saved their personal letters. Moreover, this kind of written material was not easily available in established archives. The difficulties of finding archival material for a historian meant I had to turn to other methodologies.
Oral history gave me the chance to both meet women who lived through the time period of my study and ask questions about their everyday lives that would not usually be visible in many books and archives.
One thing that constantly reaffirms my interest is the number of women who mention that their friends were often girls from communities different than theirs. Recently, a Hindu woman in her 90s told me she had few female friends, because most of her school friends moved to East Bengal/Bangladesh in the 1940s making it hard to stay in touch. She insisted that she and her Muslim friends freely visited each other’s homes and shared meals, something not always common for everybody in Bengal during that period. Another woman whose memoirs (published in the 1990s) I recently discovered, mentions that even though her family lived in Bangladesh after partition, she continues to be in touch with a school friend—whose family moved to Calcutta— from their days at Eden College in Dhaka in the 1930s. I hope I can one day present their lives and experiences to a broader audience.
After completing my research in India, I will conduct research in Bangladesh to write my dissertation so I can obtain my PhD in History.
The difficulties of finding archival material for a historian meant I had to turn to other methodologies. Oral history gave me the chance to meet women who lived through the time period of my study and ask questions about their everyday lives that would not usually be visible otherwise.
The Liberal Arts way
Andrew Martin, Dean, College of Literature, Science and the Arts, University of Michigan, on how Liberal Arts education is gaining importance globally.
The US universities have been doing the Liberal Arts education for several years and now the model is being picked up around the world and also in India.
A Liberal Arts degree offers students the tools to adapt to new conditions. Studying the Liberal Arts means studying all of the ways that humans try to understand the world.
For the first couple of years, students take classes across the fields getting the breadth of Liberal Arts education. Then they take a deep dive in their third year in a subject of their choice and specialise in that subject. The top three majors at our school are Psychology, Biology and Economics.
The classes across the different academic fields encourage critical and interdisciplinary thinking. Doing this means that students can develop the skills to excel at whatever career they put their minds to pursuing. They develop the kind of mental flexibility that enables them to adapt as their fields shift and evolve, or to successfully change tracks and embrace new careers.
Liberal Arts students aren’t just prepared for their first job, they’re prepared for their eighth, or even their eighteenth.
The Liberal Arts give students some core competencies: clear and compelling communication skills, critical thinking, creative problem solving, and the ability to look at an issue from multiple angles. It expands their horizons and makes them more receptive and explorer kinds.
The numbers show that the Liberal Arts give graduates the skills they need to become innovators and leaders. Not surprisingly, a third of all Fortune 500 CEOs hold Liberal Arts degrees, and 55 per cent of world leaders hold degrees in either the humanities or the social sciences.
Our goal is to help international students to fully explore their interests and passions, and to give them an even greater advantage to thrive after graduation in work and in life.
At the end of the day, it’s the student who has to decide what she or he wants to do in career. Flence, it is important to give them the skills to do that, wherever that journey takes them in the future.
Freedom of choice
Kunal Kaushik, pursuing civil engineering, with minor in Computer Science and German at Vanderbilt University, US, shares his reasons for choosing a country that best suits his purpose of pursuing higher education abroad.
The US was my destination of choice since it is a place which made me feel more at home because of its diversity, if l kept USA universities on priority, it is also because of the sense of independence that one finds on campus. I have the freedom of pursuing my own interests and not feel under pressure to follow popular options. Also, American education emphasises not just on academics, but on sports and extra-curricular activities as well, for an all-around development. In addition, USA was more financially feasible for me, due to the competitive yet generous scholarships that American universities offer students, unlike other countries. There are also more opportunities to work at various on- campus jobs, which are fairly easy to get.
The focus is more on activity-based education, and that is the reason why many students start internships in their interest areas, right after the freshman (first year in college) year. Most importantly, there is a variety in the jobs that are offered to students, mainly because of the variety of interests that students have in the US. So everyone gets a chance to pursue jobs in their field of interest, rather than working simply to earn.
Throughout my process of applying to the US universities, EducationUSA was of immense help, providing me important information regarding the application and US universities in general. Eventually, I was offered admission at Vanderbilt University with a full scholarship.
American education emphasises not just on academics, but on sports and extra-curricular activities as well, for an all-around development. There is a sense of independence that one finds here.
A taste of the world
Shveta Raina, alumnus, Harvard University, and Founder and CEO, Talerang, on interning away from home and why it’s worth it.
The internship ecosystem in India is still nascent. Interns are often not taken seriously or given real, structured projects. They come and go as per their convenience, often secure internships through connections and are rarely paid fairly for their work. An internship here is often more of a resume building exercise than real work experience.
Things look different abroad for interns. When you’re working abroad, you will be given a structured role and a project to complete with deliverables. I first went abroad to study when I was 17, to Brown University in the US. Despite the temptation of home food and family time during my summer break, I was vehement about wanting to intern abroad. I ended up one summer in Paris at Euro RSCG C&O, a PR and Communications firm. Another summer was spent at New York at Goldman Sachs, working on the trading floor. Later on, during my MBA at Harvard, I interned at a Social Venture Capital firm called Endeavour in NewYork.
Despite the challenges of securing and completing the internship abroad, I would encourage students to step outside their comfort zone and fight for an internship outside India! Here’s why it will be worth it:
CONSIDER IT A TEST-RUN:
You can do a ‘test run’ both for the company and for yourself. It will allow you to figure out if the job is the right fit for you. I had to go through over 14 gruelling interviews for the Goldman internship, slept barely 4 hours a night all summer. I realised at the end of the summer that perhaps financial trading wasn’t for me. on the contrary, my internship at Endeavour was incredible and helped me realise that I would like the social enterprise space a lot! Additionally, getting a full time job abroad is not easy, with visa issues and increasing competition, securing a job internationally is only becoming harder with time. An internship allows you to prove yourself at a company so that they are convinced about hiring you.
As an intern, you will be at the bottom of the work hierarchy and have to do a variety of tasks, some enjoyable and others not. This humbles you and makes you tougher. Interning abroad also requires you to manage your living, food and stay along with long working hours. Since the environment is unfamiliar and the culture is new, it will be more challenging and gives you a true taste of the real world. This will train you to deal with a variety of situations, preparing you not just for your career but for life ahead. In a foreign country where not too many – people know you, you start building your reputation from the ground up. You won’t always have a family member or best friend to reach out to for help and will have to figure things out on your own. I recall when I was living in Paris at 18, I had to figure out the public transportation system and communicate with locals in broken French to get around. There was a day when I took the wrong bus and had to eventually walk home. It surprisingly made me stronger because I did eventually find my way and doing so in a foreign country gave me an added sense of confidence.
OPEN UP TO EXPOSURE:
Interning abroad allows you to interact with people from diverse countries and cultures. It forces you to adapt to a different environment and new ways of working. I recall my time at Goldman Sachs NewYork as one of extremely fast-paced learning. It felt different being at a head office, surrounded by the decision makers of a global firm. Keeping up with them was a huge challenge and for the first time I felt like I was truly being pushed outside my comfort zone! For most multinationals, strategy is often defined abroad and then implemented at their offices across the world, interning at their global headquarters gives you exposure to best practice systems, processes and innovations, if you happen to be in an international hub like NewYork, London or Paris, you will likely also be surrounded by global leaders who are shaping the future of their organisations at a very large scale.
My internships abroad taught me that a 6-8 week stint with a company should be about more than just sitting around, interestingly, research shows that skill and competency training along with internships and practical exposure is they key to preparing students for the work world. I’m hoping that over time we create a strong internship ecosystem in our country too, and all the reasons to intern abroad are valid back home.
Interning abroad allows you to interact with people from diverse cultures. It forces you to adapt to a different environment and new ways of working. You are actually pushed out of your comfort zone and given immense exposure.
Mastering the computer
Students who wish to make a career in computer science can opt for a Master’s degree upon completion of a graduation in the field.
After completing a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, one can opt for a Master’s degree to hone their skills and knowledge. A Master’s degree also gives you an edge in the job market. Students who wish to make a career in the same can opt for a Master’s degree in Computer Science at the Missouri State University, US.
The programme for each candidate will be structured by the candidate’s committee or advisor in consultation with the student, and will include at least 30 semester hours of graduate credit from courses numbered 700-799 inclusive. Students will get three options to choose from – thesis or project or course, only.
Students who opt for the programme can complete the same by writing a thesis or by undertaking supervised research or by undertaking qualified elective courses.
Students who have completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited university in computer science will have an edge over others. Those who complete their undergraduate programme in related fields like Computer Engineering, Math, Electrical Engineering and Software Engineering will also be given preference. Candidates with an undergraduate degree in other fields can also apply with the stipulation that the course is completed prior to registration into a graduate course.
A GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.00 scale) for the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate work and a 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA is required along with a combined score of 305 on verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
Students also require a minimum score of 550 on the paper version, 213 on the computer-based, or 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL or a minimum score of 6.0 on IELTS.
The course opens many avenues for the students. After the completion of the course, students can pursue a career in web developing, database administration, software developing, mobile computer application, software quality assurance or computer systems analysis.
Fees: $17,679 for international students
Scholarships: Students can apply for a MOGO scholarship or apply for student exchange programme.
With thousands of accredited US, colleges and universities in the United Stair”, how do you find the one that is right for you? EducationUSA Advisers around the world offtt Information, orientation, and guidances*you search for higher education institutions in the United States that fit your needs.
Your 5 Steps to U.S. Study
- Research Your Options
- Define your priorities
- Learn about U.S. degrees and shortlisting criteria
- Finance Your Studies
- Develop a budget
- Search for scholarships and other financial aid
- Complete Your Application
- Follow the application timeline
- Fulfill application requirements, including tests
- Apply for Your Student Visa
- Understand the visa application process
- Prepare for your visa interview
- Prepare for Your Departure
- Gather information about pre-travel requirements
- Know what to expect on campus
Live the American dream
Looking for a higher education experience in America? Dharmvir Gehlaut, an educator based in New York shares a few things to keep in mind.
Every high school student in India dreams about an American education and imagines completing higher education in North America, whether it is USA or Canada. Both countries have several thousand colleges and universities; however, admission processes are different from one country and school to another.
As a prospective international student, maybe you’ve been thinking about studying abroad for some time, but’haven’t decided yet which country to go to. There are, of course, many countries with top-notch universities. However, there are some ways that the US universities differ from those in many other countries, especially when it comes to undergraduate admissions process.
The US does not have a centralised admissions process. As you may already know, you can apply to any university you want, and to as many universities as you want, in the US. Unlike many countries, the US does not have a centralised admissions process, which can be both, a good and a bad thing.
It’s a good thing because it gives you more freedom in choosing which schools to apply to, but it also means much more work on your part, because you then need to prepare different applications for different universities.
If you are looking to study somewhere with a wider variety of opportunities, then the US could be the right place for you. Not only do you get to meet people from all around the world, but you also can become a well- rounded person.
Many colleges give the ability to apply early decision. Applying early decision is another concept that is foreign to students outside of the US. Basically, if you really like a university and are set on that university as your top choice, early decision gives you the opportunity to apply and be accepted at an earlier date to that university. However, there are certain restrictions. You can typically only apply early decision to one university, and are required to attend if you are admitted. The chances of getting accepted through early decision are higher than applying through the normal admissions processes, and getting accepted through early decision helps you avoid waiting for admissions decisions.
US colleges employ a holistic admission process. Unlike that of universities in some other countries, the admissions process for US universities is rather difficult. Students need more than just good grades to get accepted into top-notch universities such as the Ivy League – the oldest and most prestigious schools in the country, or some of the excellent public or private schools in America.
Most US college admissions’ committees believe that students need to do well academically as well as participate in extracurricular activities. And even if you are a chemistry major, you will still need to take classes in subjects like history and sociology.
This requirement to be well-rounded means that US college admissions offices typically ask students for several things as part of an application, including SAT or ACT scores, TOEFL results, recommendation letters and personal statements and essays.
The personal statement is a type of essay where applicants can highlight traits or information that might not be expressed on a transcript, it’s a chance to show a different side of yourself, and a chance to differentiate yourself from the crowd. You can ask a variety of people to write a letter on your behalf.
Although this makes the application process somewhat more difficult, it can also make it easier. Maybe you didn’t do as well in terms of academics, but showed passion and dedication through related activities outside of the classroom. There is still a possibility that the university will show interest in you and give you a chance.
US colleges offer a variety of majors and don’t require students to declare immediately. Students at many US colleges can attend university as an ‘undecided’ major up to the end of their second year, in some cases. In contrast, the education system in other countries ask that applicants most definitely have a concrete idea of what they want to study and what they want to do with their lives by the time they apply.
The US universities give students the first two years to experiment with different courses and see what they are most interested in which means students are less likely to waste money doing things they don’t enjoy. There is also an incredibly wide range of courses and majors to choose from at the US colleges. This can be overwhelming at first, but on the other hand, it lets you explore many more fields. It also gives you the opportunity to learn things you would never learn outside the US, and how to think through different perspectives. Ultimately, this approach allows you to choose and declare a US college major that you have the most confidence in completing.
Many students and their parents have very minimal or no information about the US colleges and should ask important questions. What is the end goal of your education? What types of experiences are most important? Once you have answered those questions and have researched your schools of interest, visit their websites. Read about their courses, programmess as well as their faculty members. Contact admission counsellors and professors of these programmes to help answer questions you may have. They can also explain which specific exams and admission requirements are necessary for their school.
Make sure that you identify yourself as an international student. Some colleges and universities may have different applications and requirements for domestic students and international students.
Students who follow above recommended steps can get ahead of the competition. If you want to apply for next September 2018 (Fall) then you now. Don’t wait for your CBSE board exams or results, it will be too late if you wait for that. Start early and give yourself a strong advantage. The recommended timeline for the admissions process for international students is to start at least one year in advance.
Those students who consider completing high school in USA have an even greater chance at rising to the top of international competition and are closer to a guaranteed admission in a US college or university.
You can apply to any university you want, and to as many universities as you want, in the US, Unlike many countries, the US does not have a centralised admissions process.
|Rank||Institution||Percentage of International Students|
|1||New York University||31%|
|2||University of Southern California||34%|
|4||Arizona State University||14%|
|5||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||26%|
|8||University of California, LOS Angeles||27%|
|9||Michigan State University||18%|
|10||University of Washington||18%|
|12||Pennsylvania State University||17%|
|13||University of Michigan||18%|
|14||Ohio State University||14%|
|15||University of Texas at Dallas||43%|
|17||University of Minnesota||15%|
|18||University of California, Berkeley||19%|
|19||University at Buffalo||27%|
|20||Texas A&M University||13%|
|21||Carnegie Mellon University||52%|
|22||University of Pennsylvania||30%|
|23||University of Florida||12%|
|24||University of Wisconsin-Madison||15%|
|25||University of Texas at Austin||12%|
‘Feels like home’
Avani Dave, studying MBA in Business Analytics at Hofstra University, New York, US, shares her student experience.
Studying in the US is not merely about framed degrees and certificates. It’s about the experience. I set foot in Philadelphia, US, to study a Bachelor’s in Business Administration at Drexel University. What I love most about the US is practicality, in studies and life. All the courses are based on simulation and real cases. This gives you a glimpse of how life will be when you graduate.
After graduating from the university, I planned to gain some experience before pursuing an MBA. So, I moved to New York to work at American Express, where I worked on a rewards programme that required analysing the data being generated daily on consumer behaviour and purchase pattern.
Tracking, understanding and analysing this behaviour to promote different products interested me the most. That is when I decided to study business analytics. I was happy to be accepted to Hofstra University for an MBA in Business Analytics.
I chose an MBA since it would prepare me for various managerial positions and a specialisation in business analytics would help build my decision analysis skills and give me a strategic perspective to solve business problems.
The good part about these courses is, they are not just textbook-based, but require a level of practice with real data and systems. These experiences with real data are what interest me the most about studying here.
My experience so far has taught me that working and living in New York is fun but studying here is a challenge. I have two jobs and work for nearly 35 hours as a control compliance intern at a healthcare products company, Henry Schein, and as a graduate assistant at university. I attend classes in the evening, three days a week, sometimes till 11 pm. The schedule leaves me with only one choice, to stay disciplined with time to cope with work, classes and homework. But this has never discouraged me from doing other things that I love. A national-level synchronised swimmer, I still swim three times a week.
Upon graduation, I wish to work for a Fortune-500 company that analyses consumer trends and buying pattern to increase its profits.
THE RIGHT CHOICE
I chose an MBA since it would prepare me for various managerial positions and a specialisation in business analytics would help build my decision analysis skills. These courses are not just textbook- based, but require a level of practice with real data and systems.
The US memoirs
Manasi Kirloskar, who completed her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design in 2012, speaks about her experience as an Indian student in the United States.
I have graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts, from the Rhode island School of Design, having had a most unique experience, enriched with interesting and absurd conversations with intense artists and neurotic professors.
My first observation was that the country is home to a large number of students, each with a clearly defined personality, and clothing style. Every person I spoke to had a separate way of interpreting situations. The environment here at the US, encourages constant discussion and debate, not only during class hours but also while having meals and sitting out in the sun with friends. There is always opportunity to learn about something you never hoped to have existed.
Apart from this, the student-professor relationship in the US is a little more casual than how it is in India. Professors are always open to argument. I would question my professors often, if I didn’t agree with a comment they made. My peers would step in, adding interesting view points. Class discussion sometimes go into frenzy, and end up talking about topics that were far from what it originally started with! Another point of difference is that students here refer to professors by first name. This reduces the student-professor hierarchy. It is almost like speaking with a friend, bearing in mind that he/she has authority.
While interacting with people, I realised that they do not know much about India. This difference in culture gives Indian students the chance to spend a lot of time educating friends about India and making them watch Bollywood music videos! As an Indian, studying outside the country, I strongly believe that it is very important for us to make others aware of our great lineage.
Apart from spending time with friends, work hours at school are extremely intense. In fact, one would spend most of their time with each other while at school. Since I went to an art school, we spent 90% of our time in the ‘studio’.
For me, and most other students here, entertainment was catching meals with classmates, taking a nap and spending time with friends on a Friday or Saturday night.
The only tough adjustment that Indian students have to make is the weather. Most importantly, if you love what you are studying, you gradually learn to live with it and sometimes, even enjoy thg snow. That is exactly how I dealt with it.
To end with, for those who are entering the unknown college world, be excited, eager and curious. Take classes which contain subjects that you have never engaged with before. Make lots of friends and don’t be afraid to debate and argue, for you will always have something new to learn.
International education counsellor Karan Gupta takes you through the US student visa application process.
Setting a US student visa appointment is probably harder than getting the visa itself. You have to apply for two appointments – one to submit your biometric information and another to attend an interview with a US consulate visa officer. Before taking an appointment, you need to have your offer of admission and I-20 (your official acceptance from a US university) and should have paid the $200 SEVIS fee. When you visit the visa application centre for your first appointment, make sure to carry your passport, application form submission confirmation page (DS160), your visa fee payment, I20 and SEVIS fee receipt. Keep in mind that the centre and the US consulate will not allow mobile phones, food, or even travel bags in their premises. It is best to keep a friend or family member waiting outside.
When arriving for your main visa interview with a US consulate visa officer, carry your original transcripts, mark sheets and all academic documents. Also have readily available your standardised test scores including the SAT, GRE, GMAT, or ACT and the TOEFL/IELTS. You must be able to show that you can afford to pay for your entire education and have ready funds for at least the first year of study. This can be demonstrated by bank account balances, fixed deposits, shares and mutual funds or any other liquid asset, it is prudent to carry your and your parent’s income tax papers as well. In most cases, carrying property papers is not recommended.
The most important part of your US student visa application process is your ability to answer questions asked by the visa officer. You should be able to confidently explain your reasons to study in the US, why you have chosen a particular university, your academic background, financial plan, how you plan to pay for your entire education and your goals after completing your education. If you are able to answer these questions to the satisfaction of the visa officer, your passport will be retained and you can collect it with the visa stamp in a few days. Though all US student visas are granted for a period of five years irrespective of actual course duration, keep in mind that your visa will be valid only till you maintain your F1 student visa status i.e. while you are enrolled at a US university for a full-time course.
If your visa is held for security clearance, you receive a document stating that your visa is denied under section 221 (g). However, this does not mean that your visa is denied, but that your visa is on hold and will be issued once the consulate receives security clearance, if you are, however, denied the visa under section 214 (b), it means that you have not satisfied your visa officer about your true intentions of visiting or studying in the US. In such cases, you can apply for your visa again.
US higher education: “Oh, the places you’ll go”
Anubhooti Arora, EducationUSA Adviser, United States-India Educational Foundation, New Delhi, talks about the distinct factors which clearly set apart US education from the rest.
Oh, the Places you’ll go,” a famous quote by Dr Seuss, a legendary American author, and cartoonist, sums up the limitless opportunities that a US higher education can offer! According to the 2016 Open Doors Report, over 1,078,000 international students studied at US colleges and campuses. India accounts for one in every six of these international students in the US (HE New York, 2017).
In academic year 2016-17, there was a 14% increase in the number of Indian undergraduate students, continuing a steady rise in these numbers (HE New York, 2017). it is impossible to fully quantify the value of studying in the US, but there are three distinct factors which clearly set it apart from the rest: quality, flexibility, and diversity.
BEYOND THE NUMBERS: OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDY
A variety of institutions offer undergraduate education in the US – community colleges, public universities, private universities, liberal arts and sciences colleges and specialised institutions. Community colleges offer 2-year associate’s degree which can be applied or practical in nature. Community college graduates can transfer to a four-year institution to complete their final two years for a Bachelor’s degree. Public and private four-year institutions are more academic and offer a variety of majors ranging from Computer Science to Cognitive Science. The liberal arts and science colleges provide students exposure to a range of disciplines as well as the depth of knowledge. Liberal Arts colleges offer an intimate learning environment and are focused on the student learning and growth. Contrary to widely-held belief, students with liberal arts and sciences background can work in diverse fields like finance, management, bio-medicine, international affairs, scientific research to name a few. And finally, for students interested in specialised fields, such as, game design and development, animation, arts, music, there is a range of institutions in the US that offer specialised programmes in those areas at various levels of study.
An Indian alumnus of the University of Chicago, Madhav Seth, summed up what many find so helpful in a US liberal arts undergraduate programme, “My education in the United States allowed me to explore so many different academic disciplines, from physics and biology to creative writing and art history, and in the process, helped me to zero in on the subjects I was interested in pursuing. The opportunity to interact with people from different countries also enriched my experience of going to college in the US.”
INTERNATIONALISATION: HOW CAN STUDENTS BENEFIT
International higher education helps prepare students for global careers. The US higher education ecosystem provides a welcoming environment that helps to attract students and faculty from around the world. The US institutions consider it important to build a diverse class and this is especially true for business schools.
The diversity that exists in academic settings leads to the cross-pollination of ideas and learning which are vital to a good study experience. International students can study abroad in another country for a semester or even a year at partner university campuses around the world. It is common for students enrolled at a US institution to opt for study abroad for a semester at a university overseas. Many US universities have branch campuses or centres of learning located across the world. This exposure helps students learn the skills required to work in a multicultural environment, collaborate with colleagues from across the world and become competent professionals who can connect the local with the global.
Vaibhav Jain, a student from India currently pursuing undergraduate studies at the George Washington University, in Washington DC says, “One experience that stands out from my time as an undergraduate in the US is when I got the opportunity to work as an independent researcher with the University’s Department of Statistics to interpret data collected from the forests of Peru. We analysed the data to identify the best period to harvest forest products to maximise the earnings of the native indigenous tribes. The research award I received for the project was the icing on the cake!” it is the experiential nature of an international education that helps students get ready for the workplace. American professors and pedagogy seek to help students apply theory to practice and develop critical thinking and analytical skills. The exhaustive and rigorous accreditation system of American education enriches the quality of the education and training that the student receives via a US degree, in addition, the US University graduates have access to global alumni networks and lifelong learning opportunities that help in professional development.
THE EXHAUSTIVE ACCREDITATION SYSTEM OF AMERICAN EDUCATION ENRICHES THE QUALITY OF THE EDUCATION THAT THE STUDENT RECEIVES VIA A US DEGREE. IN ADDITION, THE US UNIVERSITY GRADUATES HAVE ACCESS TO GLOBAL ALUMNI NETWORKS AND LIFELONG LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES THAT HELP IN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The steady increase in the number of Indian students going to study in the US is a testament to the strong partnership between the two countries.
The American education experience prepares students with skill sets which help them to meet the changing needs of the workplace.
Students need to carefully understand their own learning style and personality before making decisions pertaining to the type of university and location they want to study at.
For further information and guidance, students can contact EducationUSA’s centres across India. EducationUSA is the official source for information on US higher education and supported by the US Department of State.
EducationUSA provides accurate, current and comprehensive information to students interested in applying to US universities, visit our website to know more about how to connect with an EducationUSA adviser near you – educationusa.state.gov and www.usief.org.in
The steady increase in the number of Indian students going to study in the US is a testament to the strong partnership between the two countries. The American education experience prepares students with skill sets which help them to meet the changing needs of the workplace.