How to Go to America for Graduate Studies – A Primer For International Students

For many international students, the United States of America is a popular destination for further study. How does the US attract thousands of international students? The reason is clear: the US is a world leader in many fields – from computers to medicine to engineering. Of course, foreign students flock to US shores in droves to broaden their knowledge, skills, and careers.

Getting started: There are more than 1000 universities and colleges in America. So how do you choose a university/college? Base your decisions on your academic profile, test scores (more on this below), financial aid opportunities, study budget, and others. Are you interested in pursuing postgraduate studies only in top-rated universities? Do you want to study at a university in a big city or enroll in a university in a quiet town? Does cold weather bother you? The answers to such questions can also play a role in the selection of a university.

Eligibility to apply for a graduate program: A majority of US universities require international students to have a minimum GPA (Grade Point Average) of 3.0. Almost all graduate schools require TOEFL. It tests your knowledge of the English language. Several universities also require a GRE/GMAT, which tests your high school-level math, verbal reasoning, and analytical writing skills, among other things. Note that the test format of GRE and GMAT is different. Visit and for official and up-to-date information on TOEFL and GRE or GMAT.

Before taking the TOEFL and GRE/GMAT, select a few universities following the guidelines in “Getting Started” above. Why Choose Graduate Schools Before Taking the Tests? When you take the test, you can nominate up to four universities to receive the official test results without paying an additional fee. If you want to send official results reports to more universities, you can do it by paying an additional fee for each report.

How to apply: Many American universities allow students to apply to graduate programs online through their website. Applying for admission online is faster, more convenient and cheaper.

Pay the registration fee with your credit card. Next, fill out the online application form and upload your letter of intent/personal essay, transcripts/grade card and other required documents.

Ask your professors to nominate you for admission. Ask them to upload their letters of recommendation through the university’s website instead of sending them through the mail. Again, speed, convenience, and cost savings are the benefits of online referral.

Financial proof: US universities require international students to demonstrate they have the funds to pursue a graduate program. Evidence usually comes in the form of a bank statement certifying that your account or that of your sponsor – parent, relative or others – has specific funds. It must cover the costs of higher education.

Some universities require applicants to send/upload the financial certificate along with their graduate program application. For other schools, you only need to submit the bank statement if your application is approved. In any case, proof of finances should be with the university before they can issue you with the I-20 form required to obtain the student visa.

Financial help: Graduate Assistantship (GA), Teaching Assistantship (TA) and Research Assistantship (RA) are the three types of financial aid available for graduate students. GA, TA and RA are competitive and limited for international students. American universities will consider, among other things, your academic degree, GRE/GMAT scores, and letters of recommendation to provide you with financial aid. The mantra for getting financial aid from a university is “The better the academic profile and test scores, the better the chances of financial aid.”

If you are in your third or fourth year of your undergraduate studies, strive to achieve as impressive an academic record as possible. Achieve top grades/percentages and improve your chances for financial aid through hard and smart work. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, work towards getting as high a score as possible on the GRE/GMAT and TOEFL.

Employment on campus: International students often work on campus, which helps cover a small portion of their overall graduate education costs. You may work a maximum of 20 hours per week. Most jobs on campus pay minimum wage. It’s currently $7.25 an hour.

Final note: With good academic performance, high test results and meaningful letters of recommendation, among other things, you can fulfill your dream of a master’s/doctoral degree at an American university.

Thanks to Sid Wood | #America #Graduate #Studies #Primer #International #Students

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