7 Reasons to select USA as your destination for Higher Education

The competition for education and stress level among students in India is much higher than most other countries. Some of the students have their minds set to study in specific Indian Universities , meanwhile others think about flying to foreign countries. Today I will tell you people a few reasons to why you should select USA as your destination for Higher Education.

See the source image
source:www.statueoflibertytickets.com
  1. Grants and Assistantships– Most Indians prefer to study abroad with the help of Fellowships or Scholarships unless you are super rich and can pay for everything with your pocket ( even then I mentioned below a few reasons to select this country). Most countries and their Universities will provide you with a grant , if you are selected for it. Assistantships are also available ,but they are not a common occurrence among different subjects. What I mean to say is for fields of Engineering, Medical ,Designing, Business, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Math there are multitude of grants everywhere , but if you are a student of suppose Philosophy or History the grants would be seldom. Here in USA though, most of the Universities try to provide Assistantship for eligible students for almost every subject.

2. Expenses of Commodities– What I like the most here is the expense of basic living commodities including food is pretty less here. They prepare the ratings in such a way that even the poorest people will be able to buy those products.

3. Helpful Communities– In USA there are numerous communities and organizations who try to help and extend friendship towards International students. There are food pantries where you can get basic grocery items for free every week for students. It does not involve any fee at all. The University also from time-to-time arranges trips for the students for a minimum fee. If you are someone who likes to travel with strangers and make new friends or if you could make your friends sign up for that you would be able to join it.

4. Flexibility in Education– The education system in USA is pretty flexible unlike India or most European countries. You can select the subjects that you would like to study. For example you might be a Math major , but you could still take a class in French if you think that would be helpful for you. American professors are very understanding, it does not matter which country you come from, once you are a student of the University they will try to help you develop your academics in every way possible.

5. Language Barrier– English might not be the first language for most of the Indians , but we still have a total population of 125 million speakers (according 2001 census). You might be thinking , why did I suddenly point that out. Well most of the countries have something called language requirement for students who apply in their Universities. Speaking of English, since most of you are either familiar with it or really fluent with it; this should not pose as a major threat. Think of having to learn different Latin based languages, forget about the Asian languages if you are not familiar with it. Mind you, these language requirement tests are not really cake walks, they can be intimidating sometimes.

6. Financial Situation in VISA– This reason might not be very important for some people, but for others this might be a breaking point. In most of the countries of the world whenever anybody applies for a VISA they have to provide proof of their financial situation or should have a copy of their assets . Depending on the type of VISA and country (I only know about the Schengen VISA, UK , Canada and US VISA) they have a requirement for you to show an evidence of enough money to stay there for a year including your living and school fees in their currency. Which for all of these cases above is worth much more than Indian currency. You can do it through the grant or assistantship that you would be receiving. If your grant or assistantship does not cover it all , you might have to show an evidence of finance of your own or through any of your family member.

7. Safe Environment– Again this point might not interest most of you, but for people who are health conscious and might want to enjoy studying and living in a country which has better air quality than most other nations, you might want to come and study here in USA. On top of mostly pollution free air, they also have good sewage disposal, better water quality than most places in the world. If you are thirsty and want to get some water, you can drink your fill from sink. American sink is lot more filtered than most of India’s expensive filtered systems.

These were some of the points I figured were interesting, what are some of your experiences ; if you are living as an international student here in USA or some other country. Would definitely like to know, so please write about it in the comment box. A last piece of information, here is the link to a previous post , which is a prequel of this post.

That is all that I have to say for today. Have a wonderful weekend folks and happy blogging :-).

6 Reasons to think twice before coming to US

I would like to present a disclaimer before starting with the post.

Disclaimer- I mean no disrespect towards anyone with this post. It is only for Indians (middle-class). It is not for engineers, doctors only for students who belong to Humanities and Social Sciences. Someone whose Grant or Assistantship would be less than $15,000 a year.

Lets begin this journey of getting to the crux of it all. Indians (specially students and service holders) always feel in a way that staying in USA would be better than being in our own country. After this post today, you might all get a second thought.

  1. Public Transportation- In most websites you will find how US has better road quality than India and there are more motor vehicles on the road than in India. What they do not tell you is out of those motor vehicles almost 70% is private and the rest 30% would be public. In public transportation I would consider transit buses, passenger railways, passenger boats, subways, metro, airways. Only select cities in the USA have good public transportation which means you will be able to travel from one city to another or properly within the city without having to book a cab, most of which are in the North or East Coast, excluding Chicago (Illinois), Miami (Florida), New Orleans (Louisiana).
looping #gif #metro #station | Cinemagraph, New york subway, Cinemagraph gif
Source:Pinterest.com

Your University might have their own transit system, but you must not rely on them if you would like to travel to a neighboring town, which I guarantee you is far, they will not take you there . So one must have a car here, also cars can be expensive (second hand cars good quality starts from $4000 or higher) if you get something cheaper than that you will have to spend more on fixing it, on top of that there are some costs which you might have to pay for every 6 months. Unlike India you cannot ride a scooter in a highway or you could buy a bike (bicycle). Ubers can be pretty expensive too for inter-city rides ( will go up to $40 round trip) .

Finally coming to airways, travelling within USA through flights is very expensive. So if you are planning to be here please try to make friends so that you can travel together and it would not be convenient for you.

2. Health Care- You must have a health insurance to be here in the US. There are health insurances for dental care and eye care and a seperate one for a total body health care. According to websites like healthsystemtracker.org and investopedia.com, USA spends 16.9% of their GDP on their health care. So if you are an international student here you will have to expend more so, than domestic students in health insurance. For six months it might roughly end up to $1000 which sometimes is partly paid by the grant or assistantship that you received. So somehow if your grant or stipend is less than $1000 you might want to think twice before coming here.

How Preventive Healthcare Services Reduce Spending for Payers
Source-healthpayerintelligence.com

3. Taxation- All your grants and stipends will be taxed here. So be cautious if in the payroll paper you see the earnings to be suppose $500 or so it will not exactly be that , student or not you will be taxed.

What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Sales Tax
Source:debt.org

4. Food- As Indians we grow up with a variety of spicy food. A meal or thali consists of every taste possible i.e. Sweet, Salty, Bitter, Hot and Sour. Once you are here in US you will want to cook your own food because buying meals every single day can be a tad bit expensive , just like in India. Some of the largest grocery stores nationwide are Walmart, Kroger, Target, Ahold Delhaize and even Amazon (it’s pretty big here). Based on the community or city population , suppose if you have a large Asian community there you might get some spices which are Indian otherwise no. By chance if you are a vegetarian, you will have to start making new recipes because lots of tropical vegetables and fruits are not available here in US unless you are in some Grand city.

Indian Cuisine Indian Food GIF - IndianCuisine IndianFood Chapati -  Discover & Share GIFs
Source:tenor.com

Living in an Asian community or area can also be useful at times as there might be little grocery stores owned by Asians, where you would be able to get the ethnic food ingredients.

5. Housing- Please do not book university housing here in USA. Unlike India in US University housing is much more expensive than living off campus. It is definitely fun living with a community but you can have fun living off campus too.

Head Scratch GIFs | Tenor
Source- gifsoup.com

(Feel like it should be included with ” 6 things to remember while coming to US, but you still must know this).

6. F1-VISA- If you think that the stipend you will be receiving is not enough to maintain a life here and are planning to do a side job, well take a double look at the F1- VISA rules. When you apply for F1-VISA , you are basically telling the Homeland Security that you have enough money on your own including the scholarship or grant or assistantship amount to live here for whatever number of years you applied for. So you will not be allowed to do any job outside your University.

Eyes Popping GIFs | Tenor
Source:tenor.com

If you have an assistantship you can work for 20 hours per week or less, during summer holidays it might increase up to 40 hours per week. But even then you would still be allowed to only work for the University.

Side Notes:-

  1. The Assistantship if you are receiving one will mostly cover your tuition fees, you would still be expected to pay some other miscellaneous fee including- library fee, sports fee, health insurance fee and a few others in the beginning of every year.
  2. None of the Assistanthsips or Scholarship will pay for your VISA application which can be up to a total of Rupees 24,000/- and Flight fare a bare minimum of Rupees 50,000/-.
  3. Most of the Universities will basically expect you to have attempted TOEFL which can be roughly Rupees 13,200/- and some Universities ask for a GRE score as well Rupees 14,699 approximately.
  4. In US there is something called the city tax which you might have to pay in some cities for your grocery.

These are some of the points that I felt like , needed to be presented. If you guys have any questions or would like to add more to it, please speak about it in the comment section.

Have a good weekend and an awesome week ahead.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – Review

Source : Amazon.com

I have always wanted to watch this movie. After having experienced the other movies of this series , it was kind of an obvious desire. The wish unfortunately came true today.

Unfortunate because I have never felt as insulted as after watching this film. It is a 1984 movie and sad to say very "racist". 

I know , I should be using that term after serious thoughts these days. But right from the period when Dr.Jones visits India and he is promoted as a White-savior of the brown Indians, I started anathematizing Director Spielberg. Starting with a little village , poor Indians; oh wait we did miss a cow or two ?

Are Indians even complete without cows? lolz.
Then we have the famous meal consisting of the monarch, a couple of royals, a British officer, Indiana , his side-kick and the singer he picked up from China. Anyways they indulge in non- vegetarian dishes eating fried bugs, eyeball soup and monkey brains. For most Westerners that is a representation of what India is, right?

But that's a misinterpretation of what the country is. You might say that , it is possible that somewhere in India they eat those things. I can assure you, at least Indians do not eat any of the dishes shown in the movie. No doubt it was banned in India. Apparently the movie was about to be shot in Indian locations, but the Government did not approve of this after Spielberg did not make the changes to the film script they were asked to do. So they did their shootings in Sri Lanka.

Thirdly, Goddess Kali , who is actually a harbinger of positivity , shown as a cult Goddess.

There are a lot of things that I do not know- like why did Amrish Puri decide to act in this movie?

I do not know if they have done any research before writing the story or finished the whole story while smoking weed. Are the Gods Shiva, goddess kali just names for them ? Do they even know what Hinduism is ?
Its probably "Don't care, don't know, what can you do about it?"

Not sure if this post will be read by anybody or any Western individual will care about it. A fact will always be a fact. I am sure the directors and movie-makers in the present era are doing a better job at researching. "Extraction" is a whole other story though.



More time for ourselves

These are one of the most fearful situations we are having to deal with. Chaotic times. But does it mean that we cannot set fresh goals for ourselves.

Image result for new goals gifs
Source- giphy

Yes, we are all quarantined but that doesn’t mean that our lives have come to an end. I believe people must try to live their lives in an active fashion and accommodate it very much with social distancing. I am willing to share my recent goals with all of you here. Also i would like for you guys to tell me about any of your plans to ensconce with the present condition.

Image result for dumbledore gifs
Source- Giphy

1.Learn a new language- I am a Graduate student working through the Ph.D. coursework, normal school hours and academic work does not leave me with ample amount of time to work on a new language. For the time being. I want to develop my intermediary skills in German to an advanced one, even though that too will particularly help me with academia.

2. Develop my English Vocabulary- As you all know by now, English is not my first language. I am willing to develop it as much as possible though. With help from certain software and apps the task does not seem to be a lot testing and with the extra time I would definitely like to focus on that.

3. Meditate Everyday- I guess this is the one closest to my heart. I learnt meditation at a very tender age, but practiced it seldom. It is not tiring believe me. Only people having issues ( getting bored) to sit out in the same place for more than fifteen minutes and stare out at empty space, to make it generalized might not like it much. I want to try it out again.

4. Eat healthy and delicious- Lots of people have this notion that healthy food cannot be delicious or simply have to eat certain salads to lose weight or maintain one that you like. Tell you what , your healthy food does not always have to be salads. I am a preferable vegetarian person and during this period while I stay at home everyday , will try to cook various dishes which are vegetarian , delicious and made from ingredients easily accessible. But man, don’t forget about exercises and ample amount of sleep. Those two play an important role in maintaining your health.

5. Reading – There are some books long left books in my shelves getting dusty over the last few months. I am planning to go over them , as well as some journals which I must finish reading.

That is all for today folks! I would hope if you are reading it , to try and comment about the latest hobby that you picked up or a fresh set of goals for this year.

How can an Indian student apply for PhD in USA?

First of all I would like to wish all of you a happy new year. I hope you guys have a prosperous , safe and healthy year ahead.

Image result for Happy New Year gifs
Source: Giphy

Coming to the million dollar question… okay well, I am joking . But this is a question I have been asked by some of my friends and juniors who are Indians and want to pursue a Doctoral degree in Anthropology. I will not say the whole process is a piece of cake, because it is not.

What you first need to do is start researching . Yes, you saw right Researching, because that is the key for you to know what you would like to work on, in the near future. Unlike India, when you want to pursue a doctoral degree in USA , you don’t really have to have a proposal prepared. A topic or abstract of your ideas though is necessary, so that you can work on that to find out the current Anthropologists working on those areas. This is true for both biological and cultural Anthropology.

Once you make a list of the professors or may be professor whose research you are interested in , you must mail them confirming if they would accept any students for PhD that year. This should be done during the months of September to October. This is because most professors are busy with the beginning of Fall session in August and also most schools have their deadlines for Graduate application submission from November to December.

I would suggest you to start the whole process from the month of August.

Image result for why gif
Source: Giphy

While some universities do not ask for GRE scores , almost 90 percent of the American Universities do. So you will have to appear for both TOEFL ( English Requirement Test) and GRE ( Graduate Record Examination). TOEFL ibt INTERNET is a test of a total 120 and the GRE is out of 350, both these exams have four different sections. I will further write a post on that later. You must take these tests within mid-October because both these tests share their results with the preferred universities within a period of two weeks. Sometimes it exceeds that period.

There are two other important documents which are necessary. The schools ask for a statement of purpose, where you are required to express your interest related to the subject , a little bit of introduction of your background and you might as well brief them the topic you would like to research on. You will also need an standard academic CV and Work samples. During your Master’s or Bachelor’s you might have worked on a dissertation or two. You will have to provide them with a sample of the written work and if it was published in a journal , you can provide a link of that too. Lastly, the Schools will ask you for reference letters from professors. Generally they ask for three references. These references can be from any of your professors related to the field.

Once you submit the application you will have to wait until March or April first week. If you are selected you will be able to apply for assistantship or fellowship. Also you must remember that assistantship is not a grant , it is a stipend , so Departments can provide that only if they have funding.

Some important points:-

You must take care that your Master’s Grades are an A or GPA of 3.0 in US standard.

Collect your marksheets, certificates and transcripts from your previous University because you will have to scan and upload them for the University you will be applying to.

To receive an assistantship your grades in TOEFL are really important.Most schools accept students with TOEFL score above 80.

That is basically all the information you need. If you have any questions please write them in the comment section. Also I am planning to write posts on Ways to apply for a PhD in UK and Germany as well. If any of you are interested , I could write a post on Fellowships and stipends as well.

P.S.- I might have mentioned school in some of the sentences. In USA school and university are synonymous words. Graduate students are those who are pursuing Master’s or their Doctoral Degree.

Anatomy Courses in Andhra Pradesh

Life after high looked bleary for me. I did know that science was what would be my future, but the subjects and the colleges were baffling . Fresh out of high school, I was an architecture aspirant but later due to various reasons it turned into a foggy dream.

Without any proper idea about the upcoming subjects, I was more focused on the traditional branches of Biology. This is something I would like most of you to avoid, which is one of the main concentration of this post and the ones impending. Every post will include a subject, the colleges and institutions where it is available in a particular state of India and various other details.

Let us start with Anatomy courses in Andhra Pradesh. There are five institutions in total offering the course

  • GVP Institute of Health Care and Medical Technology , Vishakhapatnam
Image result for 1. GBP Institute of Healthcare and Medical Technology , Visakhapatnam
Source- gvpmc.in

This college was established in the year 2008 and they only have MBBS courses approved by the Government. It has been affiliated under Dr NTR University of Health Sciences. They offer Anatomy as part of their MBBS course.

  • Narayana Medical College, Nellore
Image result for Narayana Medical College, Nellore
Source- narayanamedicalcollege

Established in 2006, the college is private and has been affiliated under Dr NTR University of Health Sciences. They offer variety of Anatomy courses for UG and PG level- B.sc , MBBS, BPT, BDS, B.Sc Nursing, General Nursing, DMLT, DMIT, Diploma in Anaesthesia, MD, MDS and M.Sc.

  • Sri. Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences
Image result for Sri. Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences
Source- collegedunia

It is an autonomous university established in 1995 and is situated in Tirupati. They offer MBBS course in Anatomy.

  • Santhiram Medical College
Source- Edufever

A college recognized by Medical Council of India and Govt. of India and has been affiliated to Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences. It was established in the year 2005. They offer MBBS and MD course in Anatomy.

  • Chalmeda Anandrao Institute of Medical Science, Bommakal
Image result for Chalmeda Anandrao Institute of Medical Science, Bommakal
Source- Collegedunia

It was established in 2003 and run by Arihant Educational Society. They offer MD course in Anatomy. It has been approved by Medical Council of India.

For all these course you must remember to start checking their website from the beginning of March to be extra cautious. These are once in a life-time chances. Not everyone has the capability to wait a year and apply later. So better safe then be sorry about it.

Talkative and Emotional

“Why does she have to talk so much and be emotional at the same time. Can she not understand, that I am frustrated, or I may need some lone time? I wish she would be quiet for a while.” I think all of you guys must have gone through this at one moment or other.

Source: clipartmag.com

First and foremost, you do know that she loves you, and probably you are the only person she is comfortable with to share her feelings openly. Let us take into the consideration that your girl is talkative in nature, but that’s good right because you don’t have to keep on guessing around her. And sometimes if it becomes too much for you to bear, you can politely change the course of conversation. Might even ask her to talk later with you.

Emotions are a part and parcel of every woman and if by chance you don’t get to see it then you must know that she has either been hurt badly by someone else and has been wary of everyone else since then. There is unfortunately another reason, which is- this particular lady might not be completely in love with you.

So, it is up to you to decided whom you want and how much of her affections could make you cringe, inwardly of course.

Please post comments, would love to hear from all of you.

How would you know if he is the ONE?

It is not really easy you know, going through all those confusing occasions when you can feel that the person who is laughing at your jokes or is trying to get close to you ,just doesn’t want to get in your pants. I said that out loud ( smilingly sheepishly) , well it’s the truth anyway. A man might be handsome, charming , with all the qualities that you want in your dream man , but there’s no guarantee that he will be the one. Every turn in our life is made up of a twist, the moment we understand the rhythm or pattern , it changes the wave.

Image result for i knew it funny gif
source : tenor

I am going to tell you one thing before we move further that there is no assurance that any one of the traits mentioned below will match with your future partner, but it did work for me personally and some of my friends and colleagues , whom I have talked to before writing this blog post.

Clapping Kaian GIF - Clapping Kaian Kaian523 GIFs
source: tenor

Without further delay lets begin listing out the characteristic features that you must start searching in your boyfriend/partner/husband.

  • Desirable Qualities–  Searching for the ONE is not like a talent hunt show, where you are ready to grade according to the various parameters. But subconsciously every women creates a checklist of desirable qualities that she wants in her man. Some of us focus more on the physical attributes than the mental ones, others give equal importance to both outer appearance and intellect. If you ask me, I would say both are an integral part of a person. A man’s look as well as his thought process, behavior , personality; makes him likable . There are women who like rough and tough appearance while others love suave individuals. It is up to you to decide what you want, no body can decide for you. The first thing though that you must know is how you exactly want your partner to be.
Danielcraig Bond GIF - Danielcraig Bond Smirk GIFs
Source: tenor
  • Your feelings– Once you have decided on the desirable qualities of a man, you must wait. This can be a bit excruciating but it totally depends on your fate and luck. Among Hindus it is believed that meeting your life partner or soul mate is a matter of destiny and I obviously second that. So suppose you have met a guy, who you think is lovely and perhaps meets most of your demands . I mentioned ‘most’ here because no individual can be 100% perfect.  You will have to figure out your feelings for this person. Is it just infatuation, or you like him or is it love? Take your time and observe him, think about your future, can you really not see the years ahead without him or is it only a bit of fun for a couple of days.
Cute Hearts GIF - Cute Hearts Wholesome GIFs
Source: tenor
  • His Intentions–  Falling in love with a man , doesn’t necessarily make him the ONE. He should have equally strong feelings for you. If he finds you undesirable or thinks of you only as a friend or colleague you might have to think or probably wreck your brain about the situation. Okay, well no brain wrecking but you might want to find out his intentions for you. May be talk to him subtly , if you can handle that well. If and when you find out he is interested , the next thing you need to know is whether the attraction towards you is his lust or love. Girls easily fall prey in these kind of situations.  There are few indications you can look for :-
  1. Does he support your decisions?  A man might not support all your decisions , he has a different way of thinking after all but at least he will be giving you advice or probably a shoulder to lean on when you need to think.
Image result for lean on a guy
Source: girlasksguy.com
  • Is he possessive? This can be baffling, some guys are not too possessive about their girls but every man has a tiny bit of this ancient streak within him. The way they express it might be different , some of them remain quiet or completely silent, some argue, while others might have occasional outbursts.  And if he doesn’t care at all then you have your answer there.
Cat Possessive GIF - Cat Possessive Mine GIFs
source: tenor
  • Is it only hook up for him? Well there’s another way to find out about the man’s intention . You should try to understand and properly notice the way his thread of conversation is moving. Does he promise a lot of things , right from the beginning or are his feelings developing gradually. For a man to speak a lot referencing towards future activities and incidents is not normal. Even if you have known each other for a long time,  you cannot expect him to start making promises and giving you assurances right from the next day. Believe me, he too would be naturally fearful of this new development of feelings. But if things are moving too fast, you need to hold up your Sherlock Magnifying glass, because THAT SCREAMS FISHY.
Holmes Has Hobbies GIF - SherlockHolmes Ant Detective GIFs
source: tenor

So once both of you have decided on your feelings for each other , you have to be strong and be there for him, while he looks after you. It is not only his duty to go through hardships for you, the path  you walk on, will have to be overcome by both of you.

That is all for today folks! See you guys soon. Oh and before I forget there are going to be some major changes in the blog. I think its been going a bit bland for my taste.

Finally , Auf Wiedersehen mein lieblings

Your crush

Dear sisters,

I know it’s difficult to forget him, the one person with whom you are not in love with; but who is your perfect match. The man who made you happiest and let butterflies stir inside your stomach on your first meeting. Who made you smile throughout the date. The face from which you couldn’t glance away, someone you kept on staring the whole time you sat there.

Yes, I know you have got a crush on him and want to talk to him. But did he tell you how grateful, he is because of the time you spent there or that he is glad to have met you. Did he complement on your looks or your conversational style or any of your features. If not my dear girls its time to move one from this guy.

Remember girls have got more options than boys because the population of females is much less as compared to that of males in India. The guy might not be really interested in you. The reasons for which will be forever unknown. You might have spend days thinking about him, for him you could be a wink away from being dissolved into a far memory.

Well we can be happy by thinking that he was intimidated by your presence or he knew instantly that you are of a higher league, somewhere he wouldn’t be able to reach mentally.

Lovingly yours,

Meloheart