The United States universities are pioneers of top quality education and are in the forefront of cutting edge technology. Approximately 3600 institutions in the US provide the world's best education with an excellent and large variety of programs in both traditional courses as well as professional courses. The US degree is well sought after and is recognized worldwide. US education provides you with the needed understanding, the right attitude and skills to be effective professionals and leaders in the international, interdependent and diverse society and economy. Your education stay in the US, apart from giving academic excellence, also enhances your independent thinking, cross cultural communication skills and self-confidence.. The academic system provides flexibility to the students by offering not only a variety of programs but also giving an opportunity to design their own majors and programs of study.  

Studying in the USA requires a student visa (F1-Vsa). The application documents are to be submitted personally at the US Consulate in your home country. A personal interview is part of the application process.

To obtain a student visa for the United States you are required to submit a financial statement as proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay. You can provide this evidence by submitting a declaration of surety or a bank statement. Your personal ESC student advisor will provide the required templates.

International students are allowed to work on campus with an F1-Visa. It is possible to work for up to one year in the USA after you have completed your academic degree.

Since September 11, 2001, the United States has increased security at all of its borders and increased scrutiny for all visa applications to the U.S. Visitors must meet stringent criteria to obtain a visa prior to entering the country, including documenting financial capabilities to support the program of study and demonstrating compelling ties to the home country. Visas are issued by the State Department (DOS) at U.S. embassies and consulates.The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) oversees both Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agencies. CBP inspectors are responsible for admission of travelers to the U.S.at the port of entry, for a specified status and period of time. ICE is responsible for immigration enforcement and matters within the U.S.

International students pursuing degree programs generally need an F 1 (non immigrant) or student visa.After being accepted to study at an authorized institution,the student will need to apply with the Department of State at an U.S embassy or consulate for an F-1 (student) visa.There are visa fees to be paid,an interview to schedule,and an application to fill out.The authorized school will issue a SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)I 20 form, which will also be needed to apply for the F 1 visa.Those coming for cultural exchanges or those who are financially supported by their home government may qualify for a J1 exchange visitor visa. International students must have insurance to cover accident, illness, medical evacuation, or return of remains in case of death. They must be able to support themselves financially during their stay.

An F1 visa student is permitted to work part-time on-campus (20 hours per week) but not off campus during the first year of study. After the first year of study, permission to work off campus may be granted by the school in cases of curricular work requirements (those in co-operative educations programs or with required internships or other work needs necessary for degree completion).The DHS/ICE may grant permission for off-campus employment after the first year in cases of demonstrated economic hardship.F1 students are also eligible for 12 months of optional practical training. Students in science, technology, engineering,or mathematics fields may be eligible for up to 29 months of optional practical training. J1 students are eligible for 18 months of academic training (three years if completing a doctoral degree)

Important US visa processing units for US

DOS (Department of State): Issues visas at US embassies and consulates.

DHS (The Department of Homeland Security): Oversees ICE and CBP

ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcements): Responsible for enforcing immigration and customs laws in the US.

SEVIS (Student Exchange and Visitors Information Systems): Online student tracking system.US institutes uses the SEVIS system to issue form I 20 for students.

Admissions test requirements vary from institution to institution. Most institutions request an English language proficiency test like IELTS or TOEFL. You may need to take other standardized tests, such as GMAT, GRE and SAT, depending on the program you are applying for.

There are generally two options for students looking for accommodations in US. Dormitories on campus or apartments or condos off campus.

On - Campus Housing:

Dorms in an American college or universities are large buildings equipped with the latest facilities where the majority of the students share a room, bathroom and a common area with a roommate. Dorms vary hugely in design,but typically,two students share a room in a hall of about forty students;there are separate bathrooms for men and women and an area where you can all cook and hang out together.Some Universities have pods,in which 6 or so students have their own room,but share a bathroom and common area.Honestly, dorms come in all shapes and sizes,so until you see it it is hard to know exactly what you are going to get.Many colleges and universities provide on campus housing for freshman,and some can provide it throughout all the academic years of your studies. Your university should provide more information on dorm life during your orientation.

Off – Campus Accommodations:

Off campus accommodation is a great option for international students,since it gives you the chance to really make space of your own,become part of a wider community,but also get some peace and composure whenever you might need it,unlike the crowded dorms.Living away from campus gives you the chance to build your perfect home away from home.The students can either use UA admissions for procuring such off campus accommodations or have university liaisons officer to help you out to find a new place and settle down.As off-campus housing is a popular option,especially with larger universities it is advisable to start your search early. Contact your universities International Student Office and ask for their advice on how you should go about your search. Do not be afraid to ask for help. People will understand that you are new to the process and will want to make it easy and transparent for you. Prioritize your needs,such as proximity to campus,a nice pool,budget, and then stick to it.Do not be afraid to be picky but it is advisable to be realistic.Finally do not be panicked, even if you do not have something set up by the time you arrive,keep in touch with your university officers and university admissions US,let them know where you stand and you will be always assisted.

For getting admitted into a US education program,especially for higher studies a prospective international candidate may have to submit the academic transcripts as part of the admission process into the colleges or universities.If the education is within US,then your GPA will be considered. Scores are commonly graded in percentages and later converted into alphabetical grades.The grading system and GPA in the U.S. can be confusing, especially for international students.The interpretation of grades has a lot of variation. Forexample,two students who attended different schools both submit their transcripts to the same university.They both have 3.5 GPAs, but one student attended an average high school,while the other attended a prestigious school that was academically challenging. The university might interpret their GPAs differently because the two schools have dramatically different standards. Hence the following points should be kept in mind, especially for an international student to evaluate and comprehend the US grading system:

An international student should always find a US equivalent last level education to be completed in the home country.

Pay close attention to the admission requirements of each university and college, individual degree programs, as each of them may have different requirements to be qualified.

Meet with the education advisor and the guidance counselor to make sure that you are meeting the requirements.

Your educational advisor or guidance counselor will be able to advise you on whether or not you must spend an extra year or two preparing for U.S. university admission. If an international student entered a U.S. university or college prior to being eligible to attend university in their own country, some countries’ governments and employers may not recognize the students’ U.S. education.

Academic year for education programs in US

The normal tuition for an academic program in US commences by August or September and continues till May or June. The best time for the international students to commence their education in US would be autumn,around the period that is mentioned above. Besides, many courses are designed for the native and international students in such a way that it allows them to select the course in sequence, starting in autumn and continuing throughout the year.Depending on the schools,universities or institutions the courses are divided into semesters or trimesters. Normally there would be two semesters for a course around an year, each lasting for around 6 months respectively. In the case of later, each trimester would be for a period of 3 months respectively. Still,there are courses with institutions which are further divided into quarter system of four terms each,including an optional summer session. But normally with US institution, the students have a lot of option to customize their schedule for studies,to make it more convenient.But such customizations will never compromise with the grades they need to clear each academic year.

The United States,as a whole is the native of many cultures,comprising of a wide variety of ethnic groups,traditions, beliefs and values.Apart from the native Americans, Hawaiian and the Alaskan, rest of the population is contributed by their ancestors or migrants settled here for more than last five centuries. American’s majorly following a Western culture, derived from the European immigrants and travelers.There is a recent mix of Asian as well as Hispanic or Latin American cultural mix in the recent centuries in US.American are quiet renowned for their work culture and ethics.This has always projected in their level of productivity and growth around the world. They have always been well known for competitiveness, individualism and mostly for emphasizing on liberty, equality, private property and limited governments.

American Arts and Literature

The American art and literature took shape since the early 18th and 19th centuries. Artists like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry David, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickson has made their mark in their respective fields when it comes to American literature. The great American novels like Moby Dick, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mocking Bird, has made their way into the greatest novels in the history of American literature. When it comes to art, American have showcased their proficiency since 18th century.Some of the famous names include Thomas Eakins,Georgia O Keeffe,MarsdenHartley,AndyWarhol,Roy Lichtenstein etc.


The American music was earlier influenced by the African sound mixes.The major league of rhythmic and lyrical styles where also influenced into the creation of a new style of American music.This was witnessed,majorly in the 20th century.Since then a lot of features from blues and old time music were mixed into the American upcoming genres and was highly promoted. This marked the beginning of blues, country music, rhythm and blues in the early 40s.Then came the Rock and roll era marked by Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry during the 50s, which eventually lead to the funk genre of music developed by James Brown. Then as American passed into the 70s, 80s and 90s the rock genre became more solid and a bit of pop music started getting its fame with Michael Jackson breaking all the records in the history of music.In the recent decade the American music has witnessed a new diversion consisting of Hi Hop, House music, electronic etc.This has given rise to stars such as kattyPerry,BritneySpears,Beyonce,Eminem,kanyewest,Calvin Harris etc.

The history of America can be described from the early ages of colonization to the modern,developed and super power US has become in 21st century as different eras passed by. Over here you can go through a periodic description of different stages of American history that has lead to what America is now.

1500-1600 (Colonial America)

It was the Spanish who established the colonies in North America. This happened in the 1526 under the supervision of a European named Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon. The first colony that was ever tried to establish was Carolina. However the attempt was labeled to be a failure as the slave trade he tried to pull off using this venture didn’t work out quiet smoothly. In the same era Pedro Menendez de Aviles discovered a new settlement, Florida. This was originally the first European successful settlement in USA. The English also tried to make colonies in US. This was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth and has resulted in the discovery of Virginia. This era also lead to the creation of James town and Massachusetts Bay Company.


This period marked the era of American revolutionary wars.It is also designated as American war of independence or the Revolutionary war) This war lasted from 1775 – 1783, which eventually lead to industrial revolution and the whole scenario with manufacturing, productivity and resource utilization changed with US forever. This war, actually secluded US form the arms of Britain.


During this era, President Thomas Jefferson purchased Louisiana, there by adding more lands to the Americas. This purchase was made from France. There was a purchase spree by the president and Meriwether Lewis for a year and a half, before they reached out to west coast. These years also embarked the US on the civil war journey which lasted from 1861 to 1865. This bonded the United States together and ended slavery for good.

Extremely renowned for providing an optimum learning atmosphere,world class amenities,reputed faculties and facilities makes United States a well sought out place among the aspiring candidates around the world to pursue a post graduation. With more than 1900 colleges and institutions or universities offering Post Graduation courses in a wide number of subjects,US is still the best destination for fulfilling the dreams of an aspiring candidate. Every year more than just a thousand students from different corners of the world converge in top class American universities to do a PG of their choice. State of the art facilities with world famous institutions providing very productive and constructive study environment,always contributes to such students personal and social growth immensely.Students enrolling themselves in a graduate degree course in a US university undergo a study structure, different from any other country.Unlike other universities and colleges wherein students have to submit their thesis and researches to obtain the degree,the graduate coursework in US is a blend of research and taught courses. On successful completion of the curriculum,the degree, so earned,allows the students to pursue their choice of profession and fulfill their dreams of making it big in the industry they have longed for.

PG Degree Recognition from USA

A student procuring a graduate degree from United States is the biggest honor, pride and recognition irrespective of the university they graduate from. It is recognized in every corner of the world. It is widely acknowledged and rewarded accordingly in any industry the student choose to work with once such courses are completed.

PG Degree Structure

US universities offer a postgraduate degree, or simply graduate degree, where in the students have the option of doing a Master degree in any of the two types of programs




Depending on the subject chosen by the student,the course can last from one to three years. Academic courses provide the student with an entry into a career in academia or research,while professional courses provide the student with an entry into a particular profession of choice. On completion of a Master degree,the candidates can either explore the job opportunities in the market or pursue higher studies with an intention of PhD. PhD programs are normally scheduled to be completed between four to eight years, depending on the student course, his ability, and complexity of the research work allocated to him. However, the course structure is quite different from the rest of the world.A graduate degree course in US does not follow pure research work. Both postgraduate and PhD programs comprise of research work and classroom lectures. A student performance for the PG courses in US is assessed with a combined evaluation of classroom participation, examinations, and papers.

Academic Calendar

American universities follow a slightly different academic calendar compared to other universities and educational institutions. The academic year followed in all US universities lasts for nine months, beginning in the late August or early September and extends until mid to late May or June. The year it is split into two, three, or four terms, called as semesters,trimesters,and quarters, ending with a long summer vacation. The most common is the semester system, breaking the academic year into two terms,namely fall and spring. Certain universities also run a summer school, extending from May to August, where in students can remake for any underperformances or study additional modules for earning extra credits.

Admission requirements for International Students

All American universities demand a minimum of 16 years of formal education,inclusive of a four year Bachelor degree. Thus, if you have completed your graduation in three years,it is advisable that you pursue a post-graduate degree program for one year.This will make you eligible for applying to a postgraduate program in US.

Universities in US follow the GPA (Grade Point Average) system, based on the 5 points scheme.Thus, it is advisable that you get your marks converted into the GPA system.

Students applying for particular graduate courses,like MBA and MS, should submit an official transcript from each college or university they have attended after secondary school,indicating complete details of the subjects studied and other details, such as correspondence courses, diplomas, and so on. Most universities also demand the transcript to be sealed in an envelope, signed, and attested across the seal of the registrar. Get this done beforehand from every institution you have attended.

In case your transcripts have been prepared in a language other than English, have them translated in English by the issuing authority or university.

All educational institutions in the US require the students to qualify standardized tests,likeGRE,GMAT,along with English proficiency tests,such as TOEFL,TWE,and TSE. The minimum TOEFL score required for applying to a graduate course by most universities is 570 for paper-based test and 230 for computer-based test.

For admission in management courses,students should take the GMAT test,for courses other than management GRE test, for law LSAT, for medicine USMLE, and so on.

Prepare a detailed resume of your professional work,including all information and details,like positions held, achievements,and range of work. Relevant work experience is important for admission to many professional and vocational courses, such as MBA and master’s courses in information studies.

Letters of recommendation are another essential part of your documents while applying for a master degree or doctoral degree course in the US.Unlessspecified,it is advisable that you include at least two letters of recommendation in your application.

Personal essays or statement of purpose play a vital role in the evaluation of application for both admission and financial aid as this gives an initial impression of you as an individual to the university. A personal statement illustrates your reasons for choosing the particular course, suitability of your education, experience for the course chosen, personal interests, and career goals..

Health Insurance: Mostly, health insurance is a mandatory requirement by US universities for international students. Thus, students are required to have adequate international student health insurance protection, as universities do not want to bear the medical expenses of international students. Health or medical insurance in USA can cost about $300-$400 per year.

Copy of your passport


A student who has not earned a bachelor degree yet while pursuing their courses or if he or she is in the process of learning is called as an undergraduate. Normally the course duration for a bachelors program in US is four years. An international student always has the option to pursue a bachelor degree in a community college, or a four year university or college.Your first two years of study as an international student will generally require a wide variety of classes in different subjects,commonly known as prerequisite courses; literature, science, the social sciences, the arts,history, and so forth. This is so you achieve a general knowledge,a foundation, of a variety of subjects prior to focusing on a specific field of study. Many international students normally choose to study in a community college with an intention to complete the first two years of the prerequisite courses.They will earn an Associate of Arts (AA) transfer degree and then transfer to a four year university or college program. A major is the specialization in which your entire course will be focused. You will be required to take a certain number of courses in this field in order to meet the degree requirements of your major. You must choose your major at the beginning of your third year of school. A very unique characteristic of the American higher education system is that you can change your major multiple times if you choose. It is extremely common for American students to switch majors at some point in their undergraduate studies. Often, students discover a different field that they excel in or enjoy. The American education system is very flexible. Keep in mind though that switching majors may result in more courses,which means more time and money.

Two Year Programs

There are over 1500 two year colleges in US. They are either known as Junior high or community colleges.In most of the states,community colleges are run by a division of State University or by local special districts subject to guidance from a state agency.Students who choose a two-year program route in higher education study to earn an associate degree or intermediate degree.Such degrees indicate that you have completed a program of study with a broad base in general education and a concentration in a specific area. For the same a student will require 60 semesters of credit hours,which typically takes about two years.

Such programs generally consist of three parts

General education

Major Study (Focused area of study)

Electives (Subject chosen by the candidate)

Under graduate Degrees (2+2 programs)

Such degrees are designed to help the students get transferred to a four year university or college. Some community colleges have automatic enrollment agreements with a local college,implying that the community college will provide their first two years of academic education and the university will provide the remaining years of study, may be in the same campus or in a different location. Associate of Applied science degree are designed to prepare students to get into a job as soon as they finish their education within the two years. These degrees, also called occupational or vocational,are sometimes preferred by employers in science and technology related industries for mid level jobs.

Four Year Programs

More than 2,500 colleges,universities and educational institutions in US offer four year programs where in students earn a bachelor degree.In 2015,over 1.5 million people in US earned this degree.Commonly designated as a college degree,it typically takes four years to complete and is comprised of 120 to 128 semester credit hours. 60 of which may be transferred from an associate degree at a community college as mentioned above. The four years dedicated by a student as an undergraduate with a university is typically known as freshman,sophomore,junior and senior respectively in different phases,distinguished by each year they progress.The curriculum of many undergraduate programs are based on liberal arts philosophy, under which students will be required to study courses from different range of subjects,to form a broad educational foundation. Such general educational courses include study in English composition, social sciences, humanities, history,mathematics and natural or physical sciences Once the students have met the core curriculum requirements, they will be asked to choose a specific field of study, also known as the major.Your major should be in an academic area that is of great interest to you, and one in which you are likely to seek a career in the future.The final two years will be spent on taking more courses that are directly related to your major. Other four-year colleges and universities emphasize on preparing for special professional areas like fine arts,pharmacy,engineering,business,agriculture,and other specialized fields of study.Degrees in law and medicine are not offered at the undergraduate level in US.Instead,they are completed as a professional study after receiving the bachelor degree.Neither law nor medical schools require a specific undergraduate major,although medical schools do have a set of prerequisite courses that should be taken before enrollment.Undergraduate students who are preparing to attend medical school following their undergraduate careers are known as pre-med.

Four Year Undergraduate Degrees

If you choose to earn a B.A., the majority of your coursework will typically be in arts,such as social sciences,humanities or even fine arts.Students who earn a B.S.degree take the majority of their courses in life, physical or mathematical sciences.Students who major in certain fields such as business,engineering or science find that the curriculum is often more tightly structured than it is in the humanities or socials sciences. Business,science and engineering majors may have to take more courses related to their major field of study and have fewer electives,or optional courses.

Just like in any other system of education,with US as well you need to follow various steps that can help in perfectly placing the candidate with a very feasible and optimum choice enabling their essential objectives and aspirations to cross paths.Few of the steps involved with applying to US involve:

Researching the options

Financing the education

Filling the application

Applying for student visa

Gearing up for departure


The first and the foremost step to pursue your studies in US would be, researching on your options to find a college or institution that perfectly fits your needs. You should always be finding choices of schools that can match your interests, rather than taking it the other way round. This ensures that you are in line with your priorities and long term goals. This should typically align with your academic, financial and personal goals. Whilst researching for options, it is essential that the student need to keep in mind that there is no official ranking system for colleges and universities in United States. The best one is the one that meets your needs and requirements. Such research should essentially be conducted at least 12 to 18 months prior to commencing the academic year. Also while choosing a graduate or undergraduate program; the candidate must essentially scrutinize the institution for its authorization with relevance to student exchange programs


Investing for education abroad should be considered as a self investment.The cost of living in US varies from place to place.With proper planning and research,pursuing a higher education in US can be made affordable and a lucrative option for the candidate in the long run.This can actually give you high returns on what you invest for your education services in US. For the same we,at University Admissions,highly recommend the students to start the financial planning as early as possible. There are various options by which the students can actually finance their education in US,which includes student scholarships,grants,education loans etc.But with each year the competition for such finance options except for educational loans have been significantly increasing, with the rise of number of US educational aspirants.Such application for financial aids,made by the students should generally go along with the application for admissions.We at UA,highly recommend this since we rationalize the fact that, just like any other investments, one needs to evaluate what best for one educational and career goals and how much one would be willing to spend for the same. The US institutions offer wide array of programs with varying amounts of tuition fees. US happens to be a big country and there are places where in you can lead an expensive life or on the other hand an affordable one. So for the same reason the student should be able to assess their funding and how much you would be able to spend for your education and living expenses.


Another important step that needs to considered by the students is filling the application and processing the same. This step covers the general application requirements for the colleges in US. This is a task that needs to be done diligently, consuming time effort and energy from the student side as it may involve activities like collecting recommendations, generating essays,routing the results of required standard examinations etc.With proper planning and effort,this step can be completed with significant results.Also students need to keep in mind that different institutions have different application procedures, and they need to study them carefully before venturing to do so.


This part of the application process should cover and help the candidate to apply for different kinds of visa with US like F, J and M pertinent to their choice of education. Such detailed application procedures can be found with Bureau of Consular Affairs Website, department of Homeland securities or in the visa processing section of this website.


This is the final step for a student that can help them to embark an educational journey to US.The major components of this step include making the essential travel arrangements,attending pre departure orientations online or offline,gathering the pre departure materials,docs and reporting to the school,if necessary attending their orientations as well.The UA admission offers pre departure orientations for students gearing up to depart to US. University admissions and their US alumni help the students with information and resources that can assist them to prepare for a whole new experience and enhance their skill sets to take up new challenges that they are likely to face during the course of their travel and studies.Under such orientations we cover topics like cultural differences, motivation,changes from your home environment, academic systems,expectations,accommodations and the essential advices to ensure that you fit in properly.

Foreign nationals thriving in US will not be able to work unless they have an explicit permission under the terms of their visa or resident status or have applied and received a work permit.A work permit in US is something that serves the purpose of a photo ID, issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).It can also be called as Employment Authorization Document or EAD. It resembles more or less like a drivers license. A holder to such permits can show it to prospective employers proving their right to work in US. Normally all the employers in US request the immigrants to showcase such a document before the actual hiring process.

People who do not require a work permit in US

All the people in US with Green card or a citizen does not have to show a work permit.Immigrants who go on to become U.S. citizens can,ofcourse,work,and will be able to show their U.S.passport or naturalization certificate to employers. Foreign nationals who have obtained work based visas,which have been sponsored by U.S.employers, are also eligible to work in the United States.Such visas might include an H-1B (for specialty workers),an L-1 visa (for intercompany transferees),an E-3 visa (only for Australians),or an E treaty trader or treaty investor visa (for employees of companies registered as treaty traders or treaty investors in the United States).

People Eligible to apply for work permits in US

K-1 fiancé visa holders

People seeking asylum

People with a pending application for adjustment of status (a green card),

Spouses of various visa holders.

People with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)

F-1 students experiencing economic hardship or seeking optional practical training (OPT)

The above mentioned are only a few prioritized one who can apply for a work permit while in US. More are listed out in the USCIS instruction cum application form and the website.

How to apply for a work permit

The application for EAD is quite simple. All one have to do is to verify if they belong to one of the categories mentioned in the USCIS application form I-765. If so fill that up and attach the essential IDs, documentations and photo. Make sure that the essential application fee is also remitted along with this process and the application can be submitted via mail. The normal turnaround time for a reply from USCIS is 3 to 4 weeks.


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