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.

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  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 :-).

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.

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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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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.