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, and visiting some of the world’s most awe inspiring destinations, while getting a world-class education. Additionally, 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 check out these inspiring study destinations follow our five steps to getting ready, and then it will be time to start your new adventure!
1. 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 your favourites are ‘Student Exchange and Visitor Program’ endorsed to avoid visa difficulties later on. Search faculty members for staff whose work you feel will complement your own. You can check out how your university compares by checking it in the rankings here. Finally, check out the accommodation and local area; after all, you want to have a rewarding time off campus too.
2. Apply For Your Course
Applications for postgrad study are made directly to the US university, usually via their website, but make sure you get your application in in plenty of time. 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. Most US universities should offer the chance for a remote interview anyway.
3. Arrange Your Funding
The options for international students funding a US postgrad degree include savings, loans from your home country, a Fulbright Scholarship, another kind of bursary or scholarship, and even part time work. 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.
4. Get Your Visa
As soon as your place at the US university is confirmed, you should 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 ends.
5. Enjoy the Experience of a Lifetime
You made it through the paperwork; now it’s time to live the dream. But what should you expect? Prepare for a bit of a culture shock! But in a good way… US professors often expect more interaction than UK students and other international students are used to, and courses can be more in depth. You may find your new city very different to your hometown, and don’t forget to prepare for a new climate – from 1.5 metres of annual snowfall in Colorado, to 37 degree summer heat in Arizona, the US weather can surprise visitors. Most importantly, before your adventure begins, don’t forget to teach your parents how to Skype!