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studying abroad
Last Updated 20 May 2015, 16:29 IST

Dear Madam,
I have been offered admission for MS in one of the top universities in the US I need your advice on how to proceed with my visa application and what kind of questions to expect at the visa interview.

Dear Suraj,
The first step is to accept your offer and request for an I-20 (which is mandatory for all F1 student visas) from your university. When you submit your request for the I-20, you should send them a copy of your passport, financial documents like six months’ bank statements or capability certificate from the bank and sponsor letter from your parents ( if they are paying for your education). Once the university receives this, they will send you the I-20 form.

The next step is to apply for your F1 visa. You have to complete the DS-160 form online, pay the visa application fee, schedule a visa appointment for the interview as well as the biometric test ( i.e. to give your finger prints and have your photo taken).
The documents you need to take with you for the visa appointment are:

A printed copy of your appointment letter.
Your DS-160 confirmation page
Your current and all old passports
A Form I-901 SEVIS fee receipt indicating the payment of SEVIS fees.
Supporting documents: Documents demonstrating strong financial, social, and family ties to your home country that will compel you to return to your country after your programme of study in the United States ends.

Financial and any other documents you believe will support your application and which give credible evidence that you have enough readily-available funds to meet all expenses for the first year of study and that you have access to funds sufficient to cover all expenses while you remain in the United States. Original copies of bank statements or original bank books.

If you are financially sponsored by another person, bring proof of your relationship to the sponsor (such as your birth certificate), the sponsor's most recent original tax forms and the sponsor's bankbooks and/or fixed deposit certificates. Academic documents that show scholastic preparation. Useful documents include official transcripts, GRE, TOEFLscores etc.

The visa interview will last for about three to four minutes. You have to be confident and impress the visa officer in that short time.
The questions they are likely to ask are why you wish to study in the US and more importantly, why that particular university; Did you apply to any other university; What about this university appealed to you more than the others, your career goals and plans after you complete your MS.

They will want you to be completely aware of what the course and the living expenses are going to cost you. You need to show them proof that you have sufficient funds to take care of your financial needs. You also need to convince them that you will come back to India after your MS.

Dear Madam,
I am now in II PUC and am very keen on pursuing my engineering in the USA at university like MIT, Stanford, but I really don’t known the procedure for an Indian student. What exams should I be writing and how to apply for those exams. Kindly guide me through this and also about how to prepare for the exams and if there are any scholarships I can avail.

Dear Aniket,
Entry requirement for universities like MIT and Stanford are a high GPA (you should have excellent academic record from classes IXto XII), SAT score of 2000 or above, three Subject SATs, TOEFL, a strong statement of purpose and a well-drafted résumé which includes academic, sports and extracurricular awards and achievements, internships, research work carried out, publications, summer school, community service etc. Need-based and merit-based scholarships are available for high achievers.   

Dear Madam,
I have completed my BE in 2014. I am presently working in a private company. I wish to do an MS in Germany, but I have an average score in my engineering career (overall aggregate 66%). Can I secure admission in German universities with this score? I am quite dull in Mathematics.

  Also which subjects are important while doing MS? I have done a 3-year graduation after completing my Diploma in Mechanical engineering.

 Am I eligible for an MS with this qualification? I heard that universities only admit candidates who complete 4-year degree courses. Kindly let me know about these matters.
Sanjay L

Dear Sanjay,
Generally, universities would want students with a 4-year Bachelor’s degree like BE or BTech. In your case however, since you have been working for a year after your BE and you have also completed a diploma in Mechanical Engineering before pursuing a 3- year BE, you will be accepted by universities. Your score of 66% is still a first class, so, don’t worry too much.

Students who wish to pursue an MS after BE in Mechanical engineering pick courses like Aeronautical, Aerospace, Material Science, Applied and Solid Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Thermal Sciences, Engineering Physics, Dynamics Systems and Controls, Environmental Engineering, Biomechanics, Design etc. You would require Maths for all these courses. If you are not good at the subject but willing to put in some extra effort you can certainly cope. However, if you wish to drop Math entirely, you can pursue your MS in one of the areas of Management like Project Management, Business Analytics, Operations Management, HR, Marketing etc.

Uma Aswani is an experienced educationist and consultant. Send in your queries to Education, Deccan Herald, 75, MG Road, Bengaluru-560001 or e-mail us at dheducation@deccanherald.co.in.

(Published 20 May 2015, 16:29 IST)

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