STUDY ABROAD

NIC Educational Academy & Overseas Educational Consultants

ADMISSION TO FOREIGN UNIVERSITES U.S.A, U.K., AUSTRALIA, NEWZEALAND ETC

Education in US

Academic Excellence

The United States has one of the world's finest university systems, with outstanding programs in virtually all fields. At the undergraduate level, excellent programs exist in traditional disciplines as well as in professional fields. At the graduate level, students often have the opportunity to work directly with some of the finest minds in the world. U.S. degrees are recognized throughout the world for their excellence. Having more foreign students helps create this high quality experience.

The higher education system in the United States has something for everyone. Some U.S. colleges and universities stress broad educational priNICples: others stress practical, employment-related skills; and still others specialize in technical fields, the arts, or social sciences. As a result, if you are looking for an institution where you can study a particular field - no matter how unusual or specific - you can usually find several from which to choose in the United States.

About GRE & TOEFL

What is a good TOEFL score or a good GRE score that a typical U.S University expects? That depends. Some Universities look at only V+Q, others look at Q+AW and some look at V+Q+AW. Then of course, the perception of what is considered an acceptable score varies from University to University depending on its competitiveness. Even within the University, various departments may set their own standards. Typically the CS and EE departments are very competitive and may set higher standards for admission and f-support compared with the other departments. But, in general, for a 2nd tier (mid-level) Universities, a V+Q+AW of 1100+,Aw=3.5 is considered acceptable, 1200+with 4.5 in Analytical Writing section is considered very good and a score of 1400+ with5.0 means that you stand an excellent chance for an assistantship in the first semester itself, if you have 80% in your academics. Low GRE scores can be compensated to some extent by excellent academic records, and vice versa.

A TOEFL score of 250+ with 4.5 in Essay writing is considered good and 230+ with 3.5 is considered average by most Universities.

The US Education systems and funding

Post-graduate education in the US is known just as graduate studies. The bulk of Indian students reaching the US are of graduate types. They either clear GRE or GMAT; these tests are mandatory by the US universities for Graduate studies. A good score in GRE necessarily need not guarantee admission to a good US university. Criteria for admission depends on reference letters, statement of purpose, experience if any and above all the marks obtained in earlier degree.
FinaNICal assistance in the form of assistantship, scholarship and fellowship, are very much possible in many US universities, especially the state owned ones. But most of them are reluctant to offer help, before the students prove their worth. Again, it all depends on the field of study chosen. Funding for Aerospace studies may be lavish but for MBA it may be non-existent. Students can make enough to support the venture, from all kinds of odd jobs, still available in plenty. A will to do any kind of work is the only required skill.

The cost of education and the cost of living in the US

Well, excluding tuition, the cost of living varies from $250 a month (in small cities/towns) to $ 450 a month (large cities/towns).It depends on where the University is situated, whether the University has subsidized housing for students, and whether you need a car to commute. Tuition and fees for international students range from $5200 to $ 25000 per annum, depending on whether the University is a private University or whether it is a state-supported institution. Usually, Universities award scholarships at the graduate level to defray tuition expenses in full or part. Such awards may also cover the cost of living in full or in part.

Types of finaNICal aid and scholarships

The basic difference between a scholarship and an aid is that the student works when given an aid, but scholarships are offered purely to extra ordinarily talented candidates with no extraction of work. Aids are of three types - Teaching assistantship (TA), Research assistantship (RA) and Graduate assistantship (GA). The department offers TA, where as RA- the faculty allots. TA may involve teaching in some universities, but mostly involves assisting the faculty by preparing slides, grading, keeping track of records, handling UG labs etc. In RA the student assists a faculty in his/her respective field of research. GA the easiest of the three involves working for other departments with jobs like maintaining data base, web pages, libraries and could work in admission cell etc. Every office is a potential employer (for GA)! These assistantships cover a full tuition fee waver plus a stipend to care of the living expenses in most cases. In some cases they result in partial wavers, maybe 50 to 80%. These assistantships are usually offered in the beginning of the year in the fall semester. In some universities students are supposed to take the TSE (this could also be substituted by the speak test conducted on campus) in order to get TA. The policies in some universities are such that TA is given to international students only after one semester. Scholarships are very few and are offered to only few deserved ones. US students are eligible to for most of the fellowship programs.

On-Campus jobs

The basic difference between a scholarship and an aid is that the student works when given an aid, but scholarships are offered purely to extra ordinarily talented candidates with no extraction of work. Aids are of three types - Teaching assistantship (TA), Research assistantship (RA) and Graduate assistantship (GA). The department offers TA, where as RA- the faculty allots. TA may involve teaching in some universities, but mostly involves assisting the faculty by preparing slides, grading, keeping track of records, handling UG labs etc. In RA the student assists a faculty in his/her respective field of research. GA the easiest of the three involves working for other departments with jobs like maintaining data base, web pages, libraries and could work in admission cell etc. Every office is a potential employer (for GA)! These assistantships cover a full tuition fee waver plus a stipend to care of the living expenses in most cases. In some cases they result in partial wavers, maybe 50 to 80%. These assistantships are usually offered in the beginning of the year in the fall semester. In some universities students are supposed to take the TSE (this could also be substituted by the speak test conducted on campus) in order to get TA. The policies in some universities are such that TA is given to international students only after one semester. Scholarships are very few and are offered to only few deserved ones. US students are eligible to for most of the fellowship programs.

Funding of studies in case aid is not available

In case aid is not available it will not be possible to meet all expenses with on campus employments. In such a situation students could opt for a loan, which could be repaid within two years of graduation. To get such loans (at US) a US permanent citizen or a Green card holder should sign a guarantee certificate showing adequate funds to meet the expenses in case of default. The students could also fund the education with personal funds. Yet another possibility is obtaining loans form banks in India, but this can be done only when a valid VISA is produced.
Note : This loan could be sought from any nationalized bank and the maximum limit is 6 lakhs. The policies vary from bank to bank, but in most cases this money has to be repaid in priNICple in installments after 2.5 years on dismissing interest basis. It is necessary to produce a collateral (which may be in the form of land documents) equal to or double the value of the borrowed sum. In some banks the policies are so flexible that the student could get a loan sanctioned for the maximum possible extent and use only the required amount. This money shall be enough to take care of first semester expenses.

Specialization in the chosen field

The specialization varies from university to university, for example in electrical department (in most universities there is no specific electronics department and shall all come under electrical) in some universities solid-state electronics could be a field and VLSI could be the specialization. But in some grad schools VLSI would be a field as such and the specialization would be some thing like CAD, IC fabrication, Design and testing etc. In yet another university CAD would be a field. Moreover, there is no specific line of demarcation between Computer science Engineering and Electrical Engineering, because in some universities the same VLSI is offered under Computer department. Make sure to note such idiosyncrasies of each university.

What is an I-20?

I-20 is a document issued by the university to the students who have been granted admission. It is a strictly confidential document and in most cases it is issued only to the student directly i.e., it will not be handed over to any relative or friend of yours in the US. Only after receiving this I-20 you are eligible to appear for VISA in students category (F-1 Visa).

Note : Students who visit US on exchange programs (usually for a very short period) to study shall get an IAP-66 instead of an I-20 and can appear for VISA under J-1 category.

Student and Exchange Visitor information System (SEVIS)

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is a government, computerized system that maintains and manages data about foreign students and exchange visitors during their stay in the United States. SEVIS increases the ability of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to maintain up-to-date information on foreign students and exchange visitors in order to ensure that they arrive in the United States, show up and register at the school or exchange program, and properly maintain their status during their stay.



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