Study in United States

About USA

The United States of America (USA) is a country located in North America. After WWII, it was the first option of students from all over the world who wanted to pursue higher education. It offers a higher-quality education system that draws students in. Furthermore, the friendly atmosphere and relatively accessible labor market are drawbacks. The United States of America is now the preferred destination for the majority of international students. The top 10 states in the United States that draw the majority of international students are California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.

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The United States of America has a total size of 9,833,520 square kilometers, with Washington DC as its capital. Although English is the national language, there is no official language at the federal level. Its currency is the US Dollar (US$), which is the world’s most powerful currency. Although the census of 2010 reported a population of 308,745,538 people, the country’s estimated population is 327,167,434 people. The majority of people (73 percent) are Christians, while 21.3 percent are unaffiliated, 2.1 percent are Jewish, 0.8 percent are Muslim, and 2.9 percent are from other religious organizations. New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Orlando, Chicago, New Orleans, Miami, Washington DC, Houston, and Seattle are the country’s largest cities, while Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, and Montana are popular states.

Top universities of US:

1. Harvard University

The oldest institution of higher learning in the US is Harvard University, which was established in 1636. There are about 21,000 students enrolled, with about 25% coming from other countries.According to the Times Higher Education Reputation Rankings, Harvard University is arguably the most well-known institution of higher learning in the entire globe. Harvard’s financial endowment makes it possible for students to receive a lot of financial aid even though tuition is pricey. The biggest academic library system in the world, the Harvard Library system consists of 79 libraries. Eight US presidents, 158 Nobel laureates, 14 Turing Award winners, and 62 living billionaires are just a few of Harvard’s notable alums. Harvard is at least as well-known for the arts and humanities as some of the other top universities on the list.

2. Stanford University

Many faculty members, students and alumni have founded successful technology companies and start-ups, including Google, Snapchat and Hewlett-Packard. Of the 16,000 students, most of whom live on campus, 22 per cent are international. Based in Palo Alto, right beside Silicon Valley, Stanford University has had a prominent role in encouraging the region’s tech industry to develop. In total, companies founded by Stanford alumni make $2.7 trillion (£2.2 trillion) each year. The university is often referred to as “the Farm” because the campus was built on the site of the Stanford family’s Palo Alto stock farm. The campus covers 8,180 acres (3,300 hectares), but more than half of the land is not yet developed.

With its distinctive sand-coloured, red-roofed buildings, Stanford’s campus is thought to be one of the most beautiful in the world. It contains a number of sculpture gardens and art museums, as well as a public meditation centre.

As might be expected from one of the best universities in the world, Stanford is highly competitive. The admission rate stands at just over 5 per cent.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Of the 11,000 students, 33% are international students from 154 different nations. Famous previous students include scientist Richard Feynman, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and former UN secretary general Kofi Annan. Strong entrepreneurial culture at MIT has helped many of its graduates launch well-known businesses like Intel and Dropbox. Unlike most universities, MIT offers several courses that can be taken at either the undergraduate or graduate level.

Only 8% of applicants are accepted into the country’s most selective undergraduate program. The most popular undergraduate programs are those in engineering and computer science.

4. California Institute of Technology (CalTech)

CalTech’s six faculties are centered around science and engineering. Numerous prominent alumni and affiliates of CalTech include 39 Nobel laureates, six Turing Award winners, and four Fields Medalists, among other honors. About 2,200 students attend CalTech, which has a 124-acre main campus in Pasadena, close to Los Angeles (about 50 hectares). Nearly all college students reside on campus. The CalTech graduate community comprises a number of legislators and public advisers, particularly in the fields of science, technology, and energy, in addition to Nobel laureates and leading scholars. As part of the university’s alternative to fraternities and sororities, each first-year student is a member of one of four houses. Each house has a number of customs and occasions that are specific to it.

5. Princeton University

One of the oldest universities in the US is Princeton University. It is a member of the esteemed Ivy League of colleges.

The university is well-known for its gorgeous campus, which includes several structures created by some of America’s most renowned architects, in addition to its excellent teaching and research output.

The physicists Richard Feynman and Robert Hofstadter, as well as the chemists Richard Smalley and Edwin McMillan, are notable alumni who have received the Nobel Prize.

James Madison and Woodrow Wilson, two US presidents, were both educated at Princeton. Other notable graduates include Michelle Obama, Brooke Shields, Jimmy Stewart, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and Pete Conrad, an astronaut from the Apollo program.

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Document checklist for Students applying to USA


A Form I-20, or “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” is required for all F and M students who are studying in the United States. International students will receive a Form I-20 from their designated school representative once they have been admitted to a university certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).

For any qualifying dependents you intend to bring to the US, a Form I-20 is also required. Please take note that the type of student visa you may apply for from the U.S. Department of State and the status you must uphold in the country will depend on the name (for example, Academic and Language students vs. Vocational Students) on the Form I-20 an SEVP-certified school issues you. The Form I-20 must be signed by both you and your DSO. Your parents must sign the Form I-20 on your behalf if you are under the age of 18.

Form I-20 Uses

The Form I-20 is an important document that you should keep safe, as you will need it throughout the international student life cycle.


Paying the I-901 SEVIS Fee

You must get the Form I-20 from a DSO at the school you intend to attend before paying the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee. To pay the cost, you will require information from the Form I-20. Prior to entering the United States, you must pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee.

All prospective F and M students will be required to provide their: in order to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee.

Name, residence address, birthdate, and email address.
country of citizenship and country of birth.
School Code as it appears on the “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status” section of the Form I-20.
The Form I-20’s SEVIS Identification Number is used.

Applying for a nonimmigrant visa

Your program start date, which you are permitted to enter the country 30 days prior to, is listed on the Form I-20. Student visas for F-1 and M-1 categories may be issued up to 120 days prior to the start of your term of study. Your Form I-20 must be for the same purpose as your type of student visa (e.g., F-1 or M-1). At your visa interview, you must bring the original Form I-20. In specific situations that call for the issuance of a visa before you receive the original Form I-20, the consular officer may accept a copy of the Form I-20.

Entering the United States

As you enter the nation, you must have the Form I-20 in your possession and signed. Avoid putting it in your suitcase. You will be instructed by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent to show your Form I-20 at the port of entry. The start date on your Form I-20 can be up to 30 days in the future; or

Changing status to F or M while in the United States

You need a Form I-20 if you are already in the United States as another type of nonimmigrant and you are applying to USCIS to change your status to F or M.

Applying for benefits

Your Form I-20 serves as documentation that you are legitimately registered for a course of study in the US. As a result, it might be required if you want to apply for the F and M student benefits. Remember to bring your Form I-20 with you if you are qualified to apply for a driver’s license or a social security number.

When to Get a New Form I-20

Students may obtain a new Form I-20 from their DSO in the following situations after receiving the initial Form I-20 upon program acceptance:

if the original, physical copy of the form is lost or damaged.
for endorsing travel.
Changes to the student’s SEVIS status (e.g., from Initial to Active).
Whenever there is a significant change to a student’s information, such as when their personal details, course of study, optional practical training, etc., are modified.

Redesigned Form I-20

As of July 1, 2016, the updated Form I-20 is necessary for all F and M nonimmigrant visa applications, as well as for applications for nonimmigrant benefits and entry into the United States. The Form I-20 with a barcode from earlier is no longer valid. Please be aware that all F-1 and M-1 students at your schools should have received an updated hard copy of the Form I-20 with original signatures from your DSOs.

US Student Visa checklist

1.       APPLY


Sign and date the front page of your I-20/DS-2019 in blue ink

Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an F-1/J-1 student visa appointment. See list here: U.S. Embassy Website

Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and review the student visa information on the U.S. Department of State webpage

Complete a student visa application form. If completed electronically, print the confirmation page to bring to your interview.

Pay any additional fees that may be required for your home country to obtain a student visa.




Gather all required documents. A valid passport

The Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 The application fee payment receipt

A passport photo

A Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1/J-1) Student Status (Form 1-20/DS-2019)

Gather additional documentation if required.

Some countries may be required to submit additional documentation. Ensure you carefully review the instructions provided by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your visa appointment will take place. Some examples of additional documentation include: academic transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates. Test scores such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, or GMAT as well as proof of your intent to depart the U.S. after your program is complete and

proof of your financial stability.

Review “10 helpful points for applying for a US Visa”* on the UCM website.

1. Ties to your home country

You must be able to show reasons for returning to your home country that are stronger than those for remaining in the USA. “Ties” to your home country include: a job, family, financial prospects, investments, etc. If the Consular Official believes that it is your intent to immigrate to the U.S. rather than return to your country after your studies are completed, your visa may be denied. This is one of the major reasons for visa denials.

2.  English

The interview with the consular officer will most probably be conducted in English and not in your native language. If you are entering the USA only to study English, you should be prepared to explain how English will be useful to you.

3.  Speak for yourself

You should not take family members along to the interview. The consular officer wants to interview only the visa applicant, and a negative impression may be created if you are not prepared to speak on your own behalf.

  1. Know your program and how it fits your career plans

You must be able to articulate the reasons for studying a certain program in the US and the significance this program has to your to career plans upon returning home. The consular official will be looking for specific information about how you decided to attend UCM. What process did you follow? Why did you choose UCM over other institutions?

  1. Be concise

Consular officers are under pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview. Keep answers short and concise.

  1. Supplemental documentation

It should be immediately clear to the consular officer what documents are being presented, and what they signify.

  1. Not all countries are equal

Applicants from countries suffering economic problems or from countries where many students have remained in the USA as immigrants will have more difficulty getting visas.

  1. Employment

The main purpose in going to the USA should be to study. You must be able to clearly articulate plans to return home after graduation.

  1. Dependents remaining at home

If you are leaving dependents behind in the country of origin, you should be prepared to explain how the family will be supported in your absence.

  1. Maintain a positive attitude

Do not engage a consular officer in argument. If a student visa is denied, you should request a list of documents that should be presented to overcome the refusal, and try to get the reason for the refusal in writing.

*Adapted from NAFSA publication “10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Student Visa” 2016

3.       INTERVIEW


Arrive on time to your interview. Promptness is expected.

Your F-1/J-1 visa interview will determine whether you are qualified to receive an F-1/J-1 student visa for the U.S. Your visa may be approved or denied at the discretion of the consular officer.

Be prepared to:

Pay visa issuance fee if required Be fingerprinted

Show your passport and have it collected for visa issuance. You will be informed when you can get it back, either by pick-up or in the mail

·         Remember, if the Consular Official believes that it is your intent to immigrate to the U.S. rather than return to your country after your studies are completed, your visa may be denied. This is one of the major reasons for visa denials.

·         You should not be discouraged if you are denied a visa. If you are denied, the Consular Official is required to tell you why in written form. You can then reapply for a student visa after you are able to address your original denial reason and/or show additional documentation.