5 Important Study Guides to Prepare You as an International Student in the US

5 Important Study Guides to Prepare You as an International Student in the US

5 Important Study Guides to Prepare You as an International Student in the US

This article highlights 5 important study guides to prepare you as an international student in the US. Being an international student in the US is not so easy, but if you arm yourself with the right information before embarking on your study, you will likely find most things easy as an international student. You should  bear in mind that no two countries are the same, different countries and institutions have things that set them apart from other institutions and countries, therefore it is paramount that you have this information handy, assimilate and keep it as a reference material while you make your plans to become an international student.


Information, they say, is powerful and those who are not well informed may likely become deformed. That being the case, before you embark on your journey to study in the US., you need to arm yourself with the right information so that you don’t get stuck along the way. In this article, we have highlighted 5 important study guides to prepare you as an international student in the US.


1. Make research about your program


Our first guide to helping you prepare as an international student in the US is to research your program. You need to know what it takes to study the course you are applying to study. In the US, Postsecondary education has six degree levels which are associate, bachelor, first professional, master, advanced, intermediate and research doctorate.


The United States of America also offers a postdoctoral degree but does not offer a second or higher doctorate degree. As an international student, you want to be sure of all the available options before making your choice.


While researching to see the options you have available, you should consider looking for an educational advising center in your country . These centers are responsible for giving advice to international students on higher education. They can also help students find study opportunities in the United States. You can also look up colleges by type of institution, locations and key programs.


Another area of focus during your research should be to know if the School you’re looking to study in the United states, is Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified. Also find and listen to the experiences of other international students and learn a thing or two from them.




2. Fund Your Studies

The next step after research is for you to fund your studies. When planning to study in the US., you must bear in mind that the US. Government does not provide loans, grants or help with scholarships to international students. You will need to find alternative sources of income to gain financial aid during the course of your study. We have listed some options you can try in preparation to fund your fees as an international student in the US.


One of the options you can try when seeking financial aid as an international student is to try exchange programs administered by the U.S. Government, though these exchange programs only render help to qualified international students. These programs are available for all levels and you can look up to see if you are qualified to benefit from this program here.

 In addition to this, there is also the Fulbright Program. This program is led by the US. Government and is in partnership with over 160 countries worldwide. The Fulbright Program offers international educational and cultural exchange for passionate and accomplished students, scholars, artists and many other professionals to study, teach or pursue important research and professional projects. You can look up this program to see how to qualify to get financial aid for your studies through it.


Option two is to try your home country education authorities. Most countries offer financial aid to their own nationals studying in another country. Inasmuch as these authorities offer financial aid, these students must meet up with two criteria before the authorities can help. One of the criteria is, they have to be qualified for the program they have applied for.


The second criteria is they must already be admitted into an approved program or institution abroad. If You meet this criteria, you can look up your home country’s educational sites or visit their offices in your location to find out how they can help you with funds to run your international program in the US.


A third option is The International Admissions Office. Every school in the US has an “International Admissions Office”. This body coordinates international student admissions for undergraduate and graduate programs and also provides advice and assistance to students.


They also ensure that admissions procedures comply with immigration laws and regulations. Since this body provides advice to international students, they will likely let you know what scholarship options you have in their institution and guide you on the process to apply for it. Once you find a school, check their International students admission desk and find out how and if they have available financial aid to help you fund your studies and also see if you are eligible for any sort of financial aid.


The last option I can think of is Scholarships and Grants. As much as the US Government does not give scholarships to international students except on very rare occasions, many organizations offer scholarships and grants for study research. These organizations range from private foundations, businesses and nonprofits organizations. You need to do extensive research to learn about these organizations and how you can benefit from their study grants and scholarships here.


3. Finalize your Application

Universities and colleges in the US. establish their own requirements for admission. Some of these requirements are minimum scores on third party standardized tests. You are advised to follow whatever requirements the admissions office of the school you are applying to has set. Below are some of the requirements your school of interest may likely need in order to determine if you will be admitted or not.

  • Test of English as a foreign Language: Otherwise known as TOEFL, is a test which is used to measure the English language skills of an applicant. You will need to check to see if the school you have applied to, do this TOEFL test so that you can prepare for it in advance.
  • Beside the TOEFL, there are other tests which some schools require to determine the admission eligibility of applicants. Some of these tests are used to measure an applicant’s general academic ability, comprehension of scientific information, and analytical information which measures the readiness for graduate-level study. 


You are advised to at least take the appropriate test one year ahead of your application. These tests can be taken more than once incase your first result is low, to increase your scores. However, be advised, that this test varies according to your course, level of study and institution, therefore do an extensive research to find out which of the tests suits you depending on your course, level and chosen institution. Find out more about these tests from their individual websites. DAT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, LSAT.



4. Apply for your visa

Another thing worthy of note is that you must be accepted by Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified schools before you can start applying for your visa. You can find a list of certified schools SEVP here.

After the SEVP approved school accepts your application, you will be registered for the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) and pay the required fee. After this,the school will issue you a formI-20, after which you can proceed to apply for your visa at a US embassy or consulate for a student. You can carry out extensive research to learn how you can prepare for your US visa appointment and things you need to do before then. You are advised not to get any tickets till your visa is out.


This is because, if you book a flight ticket before your visa is out, they may be time discrepancies which may cause you to loose all or part of your ticketing fee, therefore, wait till your visa is out before booking for your flight.


5. Get Ready for departure


After successfully getting through the visa application process, you need to find out how to start life in the U.S. You need to find out how to live there and also learn more about their holidays, the states and places there. Also, if you desire to work  while studying there, you need to look up information for international students who wish to work during the period of their study in the U.S.


There are training opportunities available for international students and new graduates. This is an on-the-job training that adds to the knowledge gained during their academic studies. Also important is to learn about what it takes for a foreigner to drive in the U.S so as not to break any rules.


As a foreign resident in the U.S, some states will require you to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) and also a valid driver’s license from your own country and also a valid driver’s license from that state before you will be qualified to drive in that state. You will need to contact that state’s motor vehicle department to know all about their requirements. 


If you are not very fluent in the English Language, you want to immerse yourself in learning the Language so as to be able to communicate effectively, also improve basic reading, writing and listening skills so as to be able to communicate effectively with natives on your arrival.

After going through these steps and you need to speak with someone who can give you a one to one consultation on this subject matter and other related traveling matters, speak with our travel experts here and book an in-person consultation and be properly guided on how to go about becoming an international student in the United States of America.

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