The USA is a country of top-notch educational institutions to get the profession of your dreams. Before you apply for one, you should know a few things about getting there in the first place. That means, obtaining a student visa.
Most In-Demand U.S. Universities
Here is a partial list of the popular universities:
- UC Berkeley
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Stanford University
- Harvard University
- Yale University
- Princeton University
- Cornell University
- University of Pennsylvania
They feature the most favored fields of study, from arts to engineering and mathematics. Being prestigious institutions, they accept only the most gifted talents. If you have been enrolled at one of them, it’s an impressive achievement in your life. And a great challenge, too. But before you finally get there, you need to pass an interview at the U.S. Embassy and get a visa.
Select Your Visa Wisely
There are 3 types. Each is clearly defined and fitting for different circumstances:
- F1 – to undergo academic studies
- J1 – to get the practical training required to complete the studies
- M1 – to attend non-academic or vocational schools
The latter forbids you to work during your studies in the country. Have a look at the educational institution of your dream once again to understand which type you should apply for.
This is a shortlist of the documents you’ll need:
- Form I-20 (the proof that you’ve been enrolled at one of the institutions)
- An I-901 SEVIS confirmation (a fee of $350 USD you pay to get into a special web-based system)
- A 2×2″ color photograph matching the U.S. passport photo specifications
- A DS-160 form confirmation (an online application that is submitted to the U.S. Department of State)
- An International passport (valid 6 months after your expected return from the U.S.)
- Invitation for the interview (apply online)
Follow this link to learn the particulars.
Tips for a Smooth Interview Process
- Make the right first impression. It’s not a casual meeting. Dress neatly, wear formal clothes.
- Give brief and exact answers to every question. Show off your English communication skills if you can, it’s always a plus. But if you can’t articulate well enough to answer, ask an interpreter for help. It’s totally normal as most people go to learn the language in the USA.
- Memorize the details about your university, as well as its location. Be ready to explain why you’ve chosen this department and this profession. Show that you know what you’re doing.
- Prove your eagerness to study. If you don’t have the best grades in your transcript of records, explain why you think you’re worthy of studying in a U.S. educational institution.
- Try to read the consular officer. Be swift and brief if you see that they are in a hurry. Otherwise enjoy the talk if no one’s in a rush.
- Be open-minded and honest. Don’t lie, dawdle, or evade answers. It’s a great idea to get prepared for the interview. But don’t remember the answers by heart.
A-List of Questions You’re Likely to Be Asked:
- What Universities did you apply for?
- Which ones admitted you?
- Why have you chosen to study in the U.S.?
- What do you know about the institution that has enrolled you?
- Will it be your first trip to the USA?
- What will you do after graduation?
- Who will cover your expenses?
- Are there any relatives in the States?
Interesting Facts and Important Tips about the Embassy
- Arrive 15-20 minutes before the meeting
- Bring a few things with you as you can. All your personal belongings will be left in a special locker
- Flash drives, wires, headphones, aerosols, large bags, and perfume are forbidden
- Sometimes, the security asks to show a domestic passport to walk into the Embassy territory
- They’ll get your fingerprints
Common Rejection Reasons
What can go wrong for you, and why can the officer deny your visa application:
1. The consul has doubts that you’ll return after graduation.
It’s their primary goal to detect such cases. So, avoid any suspicion by showing a job offer in your country or real estate certificates. It will convince them that you have important reasons to come back.
2. Not enough money for the trip
Provide evidence that you have the financial means to pay for the trip for the whole period of your stay. The sum varies, but it must cover the tuition, accommodation, and $125 per week for the living.
3. Relatives in the USA.
It’s an argument you want to stay. So, take your proof of intentions to return sound as solid as possible.
In any case, remember to remain chill. It’s just a conversation, not an exam. Follow the tips above and you’ll get a U.S. student visa with ease in no time.