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.

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.

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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.

Heathrow to Atlanta and Further to Arkansas

I do not really have any substantial excuse for why I did not write this post earlier. But today since I am in my part-time writer mode again, I decided to do it soon. One never knows when I turn back to my non-writing lazy persona , lolz😂😂😂.

So the next morning I woke up early at around 6 am , wanted to cherish and enjoy the English morning and watch Brit shows for a while. Did I tell you , that I started writing the prequel to this post while sitting on the bed thinking about the journey. Nope. As most of you know , yours truly was not able to finish her job and had to rush towards the airport.

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source:giphy

I packed my hand rucksack , booked a cab ( well the people in Mariott did that for me 😁😁) and reached Heathrow again.

Here’s what you should know the London black cabs are more expensive than other cabs.

Back to airport , since both of my check-in baggages were already moved I just had to go through security, whiiiichhh ….. was not a piece of cake. Common it’s Heathrow I am talking about guys , one of the busiest airports of the world. They had strict restrictions against bottles more than 100ml , deodorants and other stuff ( threw my deodorants 😢😢). I had a different experience while boarding the flight this time because 90% of the passengers were American and British and only few Indians or Asians. The feeling of going far away from home had slowly started to seep in. My co-passenger was a very kind American , who offered to help me anytime I needed him , while being here in the US.

It was a long 8.5 hours flight and as soon as the flight landed , we all moved through the immigration area. This was my third time during the journey , so I knew which documents to pull out and not to feel very nervous. Point -to-be-noted “not very nervous” I was still N.E.R.V.O.U.S. , who would not be standing in front of the Border and Homeland Security. Well, I went through it eventually. The officer was very polite, he asked me the purpose of visit, checked my I-20, VISA and I was asked to move forward. The baggage collection centre was completely thronged with passengers. I was one of the last passengers to get my bags , so imagine this girl who is on her first international trip to US and her bags take almost 20 minutes to come down. I would panic if it would be a few more minutes late, already having taken a round of the baggage collection belt 😂😂😂😂.

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source: gfycat.com

The best part though is about to begin , as soon as I start moving with my bags one of cops stopped me and asked me to follow him. I do that and once we are in his office, he informed me that he would check my bags . I was fine with that ….externally, had to maintain the calm facade . Unfortunately I had an uneaten apple from Heathrow and he picked on that, cops and their way of suspection. After he was done I started walking in search of terminal I ,my flight was scheduled there. My baggages were already taken care of land crew members , but I could not find a way to go to the terminal. There were these stairs people were walking through downwards and found that the terminals were all connected through subways . Once in the proper terminal, I moved around for a bit and then started dozing .

The long journey did take a toll on me. For the next few hours I kept myself awake through coffee, but once I was aboard the flight to Arkansas, sleep took over.

Image result for sleepy girl gif
source:K.I.D.

I do not remember anything about the journey, besides it was late at night by the time we reached XNA.

This is where my journey ended , but literally it just began.

NOTE: For those of you , who has not read my previous post on this topic, the link is https://meloheartsite.wordpress.com/2019/08/24/delhi-to-heathrow-london-a-first-timers-experience/ .

Life so far is doing good for me and I hope all of you are well.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

copyright meloheart

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.