Your 5 Steps To Study In US In ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Your 5 Steps To Study In US In ENGLISH LANGUAGE
RESEARCH YOUR OPTIONS
The first step to English language study in the United States is researching your options to find a program that best fits your needs.
The United States is the most popular destination for international students interested in learning English or improving their English skills. Consider a variety of factors and make sure you find the right Intensive English Program (IEP) for you.
Courses range from a beginning level for those who have never studied English, to advanced courses for students who are preparing to enter a college or university in the United States. The typical curriculum is designed to improve your understanding and use of English in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
Some language programs focus exclusively on English for academic purposes. Other programs concentrate on preparation for examinations such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) and the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic.
If you are accepted into an SEVP certified U.S. university or college degree program, it may not be necessary for you to find a separate IEP. In this case, your host institution will assess your English skills (either through a standard exam, such as those listed above or by using their own English language assessment) and offer English language courses to you if you need them before the start of the program.
Some IEPs offer “bridge” options into degree programs. If you plan to continue on to a college or university degree program in the United States, be sure to research options for continuation before deciding on a program.
Finance Your Studies
Start your financial planning for English language studies as early as possible to assess what you can afford. As you work to develop a budget for your studies, keep in mind that your overall costs include tuition, fees, and living expenses. Many programs require an application fee, which is often nonrefundable, and a tuition deposit. Be sure to find out the total cost of a program before you apply.
Assess Personal Funds
Start out by evaluating how much funding you or your family can provide for your program.
How can you reduce your educational costs?
- Research a wide variety of schools, from public to private
- Think about applying to colleges in areas of the United States that have a lower cost of living, such as in the South or the Midwest or in rural areas of the country
How can EducationUSA Advisers help you plan your expenses?
Advisers can help you research the variety of English language programs available so that you can make cost comparisons. Advisers have access to resources that help inform you about the range of programs that fit your schedule and budget.
Complete Your Application
When considering an Intensive English Program (IEP) in the United States, the best piece of advice we can offer is to plan ahead!
Apply For Your Student Visa
You’ve now reached Step 4! Applying for your U.S. student visa. This next step will cover F, J and M student visa types.
Information pertaining to visas and travel can be found on the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Study in the States.
Choose your level of study to learn more about applying for your student visa.
The United States government offers three student visa types including F, J, and M.
- F Student Visa: for study at an accredited U.S. college or university or to study English at an English language institute
- J Exchange Visa: for participation in an exchange program, including high school and university study
- M Student Visa: for non-academic or vocational study or training in the United States
Before you can apply for an F, J, or M student visa, you must first apply and be accepted by a U.S. institution of higher education that is certified by the Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP).
Even when an institution is SEVP-certified and able to issue I-20 and DS-2019 forms for use in visa applications, it may not hold national or regional accreditation. The U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation databases list accreditation status for all U.S. institutions. Institutions designated by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to place participants in Academic Exchange programs (J visas) must be accredited. Recognition of course credits and degrees by other institutions and by U.S. and international employers is linked to an institution’s accreditation. To learn more about accreditation talk to an EducationUSA Adviser in person or online.
Once accepted at an SEVP-certified school, you will receive a Form I-20 or DS-2019 from the institution’s international student office to present when you apply for your student visa. Once you receive your form, visit:
1. U.S. Department of State – Consular Affairs (Student Visas)
2. U.S. Department of State – U.S. Embassies and Consulates
3. U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Study in the States
It is important to note that two separate U.S. government agencies are involved with international student arrival and status while studying in the United States. The State Department is responsible for the visa application process and issuing the visa. Once a visa holder arrives in the United States, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security then takes over as the responsible agency for entry into the country, as well as issuing and enforcing international student regulations. Please read information from all three sources above before applying for a U.S. student visa. The sites address employment, maintaining your status, and other vital topics.
Prepare For Your Departure
You’ve made it to Step 5! Preparing for your departure is the final step to Your Five Steps to U.S. Study.
Studying in the United States is a memorable and rewarding experience. Congratulations on taking this exciting step towards your future!
In planning your move to the United States, you may want to ask for assistance from an EducationUSA advising center in your home country and from the international student adviser at your chosen college or university. The more that you prepare for your study experience, the more you will enjoy it.
Make Travel Arrangements
Before making travel arrangements, confirm with your institution when you are expected to arrive on campus to comply with visa regulations. Finalize your health insurance, communication plans with family and friends, emergency plans, and other travel-related items. Remember that you may not enter the United States more than 30 days prior to the start of your I-20 or DS-2019.
Attend a Pre-departure Orientation in Your Country
EducationUSA advising centers organize pre-departure orientations for students as part of final preparations to depart for the United States. EducationUSA advisers and students who have returned from their U.S. studies provide information and resources that will prepare you for new experiences as you focus on strategies to adjust to new challenges. Topics discussed include cultural differences, motivation, changes from your home environment, academic systems and expectations, housing, and handy tips for settling into your new community.
Gather Necessary Documents for Arrival
Everyone arriving in the United States passes through an inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Learn more about arrival and the documents required for entry.
Report to Your School and Join On-Campus Orientations
U.S. institutions offer a special orientation for international students, in addition to a regular student orientation. New students should attend both as they cover different information. At these orientations, you will meet your Designated School Official (DSO) to check in, complete your required visa information session, and learn more about the institution’s international student policies and procedures. Attending these orientations is crucial for all new international students on campus.
Key components to this final step include making your travel arrangements, attending a pre-departure orientation at your local EducationUSA center or online, gathering pre-departure materials and documents for arrival, as well as reporting to your school and attending orientations.
Check your new institution’s website for additional pre-departure information that will be more specialized and have information about health insurance, average local temperatures throughout the year, local transportation options, housing, and more.
Attend Pre-Departure Orientation
EducationUSA advising centers organize pre-departure orientations for students getting ready to depart for the United States. EducationUSA advisers and U.S. alumni provide information and resources that will help you prepare for new experiences and develop skills to adjust to new challenges. Topics discussed include cultural differences, motivation, changes from your home environment, academic systems and expectations, housing, and coping in a new cultural setting. Contact your closest EducationUSA advising center to attend a pre-departure orientation.