by Ali Emerson
Engage Your Sense of Adventure
Postgrad study in the USA can be an incredible, life-changing experience. Spanning six time zones the USA is huge – and you could be taking in an entirely new culture, as well as visiting some of the world’s most awe-inspiring destinations while getting a world-class education. And, with at least 15 US universities rating in the world’s top 20 every year, a respected degree from one these can give you the edge when it comes to finding your dream job. If you are wondering where to start your USA postgrad adventure then check out these inspiring study destinations.
Choose Your University
So, how will you find the right university for you? Start by finding institutions that are well known in your area of study, and then make sure it is Student Exchange and Visitor Program endorsed to avoid visa difficulties later on. Search faculty members for staff whose work you feel would complement your own. You can out how your chosen university compares in the rankings here . Finally, check out the accommodation and local area – after all, you want to have an excellent time off campus too.
Apply For Your Course
Applications for postgrad study should be made directly to the US university, usually via their website. If you are invited to interview, organisations such as the Fulbright Commission, can save you the price of a plane ticket by arranging a Skype or telephone interview.
Fund Your Study
The options for international students funding a US postgrad degree include savings, a loan from your home country, or a Fulbright Scholarship. If you have an F1 visa you will be able to work on campus for up to 20 hours, but permission to work off campus is very unlikely.
Get a Visa
As soon as your place is confirmed, you will need to apply for your F1 student visa. Your university should be able to help with this, and fees are around $200. An interview at the US embassy is required, and you will be expected to prove that you have the financial resources to support yourself, and are intending to return home after your course. Student visas allow you to remain in the US for up to 60 days after your course end date. For more information on visas, see here and here.
Live Your Dream
You made it through the paperwork, and now it’s time to live the dream. But what should you expect? Prepare for a bit of a culture shock, say previous international students. Professors in the US often expect more interaction than UK students are used to, and courses can be more in depth. You may find your new city very different, and don’t forget to prepare for a new climate – from the 1.5m of snowfall in Colorado to the 37-degree heat in Phoenix, the US weather has the power to surprise visitors. Most importantly, before your adventure begins, don’t forget to teach your parents how to Skype!