Studying in America is a dream for many Indian students. Here are some tips that might be helpful:

Build your experience: The US universities put equal importance on your academic and non-academic experiences. Therefore, learning to balance this scale is critical. Ideally, these extracurricular activities show diversity from your academic focus. You needn’t change the world but be a key factor in the change you seek.

Don’t copy your statement of purpose: Your SOP plays a pivotal role in of your application. It is a virtual narrative of ‘your story’ and what made you choose the specific path you seek — university, course of study, professional and personal aspirations. Reveal distinct anecdotes and experiences from your life that have helped shape you. This is your chance to carefully modulate your answer to the best possible outcome and present it.

Exams and Applications: While preparing for exams (GRE, TOEFL, etc), it is important to‘research’:

  • Universities and short-list your top preferences
  • Programme of study (analyse if the university specialises in the field you are interested)
  • Acceptable scores. The application process at each university may vary and ‘research’ is important. Universities are happy to answer questions and help students, so do not hesitate to contact them.

Learn about different visas: When studying on an F-1 visa, you have two status options that permit you to work, Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Under CPT you can work off-campus in your field of study. Under OPT the USCIS allows an F-1 student to work for 12 months (plus extension, if on STEM course).Once you have a job, you can apply for an H-1B visa. However, with the changing visa rules, many international students aspiring to secure jobs post-graduation are considering the E-5visa.

EB-5 visa provides a platform for applicants to secure a Green Card by investing $5,00,000 in a new American business that creates 10 jobs. Firms like ours have been successful in working with many Indians (and individuals globally) to invest in this program.

Many seminars and tours are organised across India to address the concerns of international students who prefer to obtain a Green Card while applying to schools to secure a strong career in the US.

Indian clients’ main concerns are the changing H-1B regulations and long waiting period for Green Card processing.  The EB-5 program has proven to be the fastest path to secure a Green Card and the freedom that these individuals are seeking.

Finding a job: Finding a job as an international student is challenging. Start by attending career fairs, network, and importantly meet routinely with your university career advisor.  These counselors can assist in developing your resume and structure your job search.

The writer is Suresh Rajan, CEO, LCR Capital Partners
Read more at: The Pioneer

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