Studying in US
Today, the USA has the world’s largest international student population, with nearly 600,000 students choosing to continue their education and broaden their life experience in the United States. Nearly 4% of all students enrolled in higher-education are international students, and the numbers are growing. From the mid-1950’s, when international student enrollment was only just reaching 35,000, international education in the USA has come a long way.
About Studying in the US
In the United States, there are different types of schools, such as Vocational/Technical Schools, Colleges, Universities, State Schools, Community Colleges, Liberal Arts Schools, Research Institutions, etc.
The top-ranked schools look for well-rounded students, those students that not only do well academically, but also are involved in their communities and within the schools, and show that they have passion and interests. These fields are judged differently for international students because often in different countries there is not the same emphasis on community service and extra-curricular involved. Because of this difference is the setup of school systems, it is not necessary to be worried if you do not seem to fit this well-rounded profile. Schools are also looking for personality. However, these things vary from school to school. State schools tend to place more importance on test scores and quantitative factors.
Application deadlines are very important. Also, there are different application pools for each year. Early Action is offered by some schools. It allows you to apply early to a school and to then receive the college’s admission decision early. This may be important to you if you really like a school or simply want to know early. Sometimes there is also Early Decision. Early Decision is like Early Action. However, Early Decision is binding; this means that if you apply Early Decision, you are stating that that particular school is your first choice and if you are accepted you will definitely go there. Early Decision is sometimes difficult because you may be accepted and then realize that the financial aid award that you receive is simply not adequate. This is grounds for you to have a discussion with the admissions office, in which case your award may be increased or, in some case, you will be released from your obligation to attend that school. Regular Decision is the last chance to apply and it is the biggest pool. Early Decision tends to give you a higher chance of being accepted, but it is only for you if you are absolutely positive of the school which you would like to attend.
Some schools also have rolling admissions. This means that they make their admission decisions as they receive the application, rather than deciding all at once, and this allows you do submit when you are ready and to receive you’re the school’s decision soon after that.
Applying to US Universities
Many universities in the United States require a common application as well as individual supplements specific to each universities. It is necessary to create an account, but it is free. commonapp.org
You can find admission requirements for each university by going to collegeboard.com or princetonreview.com and searching for the name of the institution. It will then supply you with a range of basic information about that school. Some possible additional requirements include standardized tests such as the SAT1, ACT, SAT2 (SAT Subject Tests), as well as letters of recommendation, interviews, etc. The Common Application website can also give you some of this information once you add the school to your list. The above websites can also help you find a college or university which fits your personality or desires, by taking into account certain attributes such the numbert of students, available majors, class requirements within the university, accessibility of faculty, location, etc.
Many universities also require that you pay an application fee, which is a fee for your application to be entered for consideration. These can range from 50-70USD, but, depending on your income and need, this fee can be waived, and you will not have to pay.
Some universities do not accept the Common Application. In this case, you will have to do a different application that is created by that school.
To find information about requirements, you can easily go onto the website of any university to which you would like to apply and look for a section for Prospective Students. This space is geared to help applicants in making sure that they know what is necessary to apply, and often the application forms will be available there.
Most U.S. colleges and universities will require international undergraduate and graduate students to demonstrate their knowledge and English language proficiency as part of the admissions process through standardized tests. These tests are valuable as a common measure of the skills and abilities of people from different educational backgrounds. Your scores on these tests will play a role in determining whether or not you are admitted to your schools of choice, so learn as much as you can about them before you have to take them.
Types of Standardized Tests
Most undergraduate and graduate programs will require the TOEFL exam for all international students to ensure that they have adequate proficiency in English to succeed in U.S. colleges. All standardized tests listed here are given in English.
For undergraduate admissions, required standardized tests usually include:
1. Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)
2. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
For graduate and professional admissions, required tests usually include:
1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
2. Test of Spoken English (TSE)
3. Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
– for liberal arts, science, math
4. Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
– for business schools/study for MBA (Master’s in Business Administration) programs
5. Law School Admission Testing Program (LSAT)
– for law schools
6. Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
– for medical schools
7. Dental Admission Testing Program (DAT)
– for dental schools
8. Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)
9. Optometry Admission Testing Program (OAT)
Some schools may also require additional admissions tests not listed above, placement tests to determine where to place you in the program of study (introductory-level classes or advanced), or tests that they have developed locally for their institutions.
Once you know which tests you have to take, it is important to find out when and where they are offered in your country. Telephone numbers and Web site addresses for each of these programs can be found online through google.com.
Millions of students are tested each year, so it is important that you register for your tests as soon as you know which ones are required. Early registration will ensure that you get a testing appointment, and that your scores will arrive in time to meet your application deadlines.
Regardless of which tests you are required to take, it is essential that you become familiar with the test itself. Important questions to which you need the answers:
1. How much time is allowed to take the test?
2. What is the test format—paper or computer?
3. What sorts of directions are provided?
4. How many questions are on the test?
5. What types of questions are there (multiple choice, essay questions, etc.)?
6. Are you allowed to bring in a calculator?
Free publications and sample practice tests are available to help you become familiar with the questions used in the tests. First use the practice material included in most test bulletins before you determine what additional test preparation you may need. Sample questions are also available on some test Web sites, including:
In addition to the practice material included in most test bulletins, a variety of test program materials are available for purchase directly from the testing companies during registration, on the Web sites, at local bookstores, from participating USIS offices, and educational advising and bi-national centers. Test preparation materials produced by commercial publishers are also available at many bookstores.
Additionally, many local educational institutions, American schools, and English-language speaking schools offer test preparation courses, as do commercial test preparation companies.
Self-study materials come in books, audiocassettes, or CD-ROM versions. Courses usually involve a book and practice tests, as well as classroom instruction. For some computerized tests, like the GMAT, you can make an appointment to visit a testing site and take a practice test for a fee.
If you score poorly on a test, you can take the test again. Some tests send out all previous scores on a score report to an institution, but some do not. You can find out the score reporting policy for the test you are taking and if it is possible to cancel a poor score. Some schools average all of your scores, some just look at the highest score, and some consider only the most recent. Contact the university directly to determine their policy.
Each testing center charges a fee to take a standardized test. In most cases, payment of the fee allows you to send your test scores to a limited number of schools. For an additional fee, you may have extra copies of your reports sent to other institutions. Test fees vary by programs. They usually range from $22.50 (USD) to $160 (USD), but are subject to change each year.
Each standardized test is different, and it is important that you understand the appropriate strategies for taking each test. This information is available in testing bulletins and on the testing Web sites. Whether you are a taking a paper- or computer-based exam, the same general strategies apply:
1. Prior to taking the test, familiarize yourself with how the test works. What kinds of materials, questions and directions are contained in it? Most exams are broken down into separate sections with different subject matter and/or question formats. Become familiar with the formats and requirements of each section of the test.
2. Read all test directions carefully. The directions explain exactly what is required in order to answer each type of question.
3. Read each test question carefully and thoroughly. Before answering a question, determine exactly what is being asked. Never glance over a question or the possible answers, as superficial reading, or skimming, may cause you to miss important information.
4. Time management is key. Pay attention to the number of questions and the amount of time remaining during the test session. You will obtain the best score possible if you consider each question carefully before answering. If you are running out of time at the end of a section and there are still unanswered questions, eliminate as many answer choices as possible for each question, then select the answer you think is best. Taking several practice tests prior to your real exam will be helpful to you in practicing time management.
5. Be sure to read the test bulletin to determine whether to guess or pass on a question when you don’t know the answer.
A Reminder About Score Reports
Testing centers in Serbia
Most U.S. colleges and universities have admissions deadlines for the fall semester that run from November through February. Paper tests are given on set days at set locations. Sending test scores to the institutions for paper tests may take 2 to 8 weeks, depending on the test. Computer-based tests are given year-round by appointment in most metropolitan locations worldwide and in temporary sites elsewhere. Score reporting for computer-based tests can take 10 days to 3 weeks.
* Many test takers mistakenly wait until the last minute to sign up for their tests. Never make that mistake—your scores need to arrive in time for your application deadlines. Register early!
Unfortunately, there are no authorized testing centers in Novi Sad. The only officially recognized TOEFL test centers in Serbia are in these cities:
The International Academic Center in Belgrade is a part of the Education USA network of educational information centers, approved and supported by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The Center, which provides accurate, unbiased information concerning accredited higher educational opportunities in the United States, serves communities throughout Serbia and Montenegro through the promotion of a full range of US higher education and international exchange opportunities in the United States.
The International Academic Center is an approved ETS® Certified Test Administration Site for TOEFL® iBT and the authorized Pearson VUE testing center for GMAT® and other exams.
The Center is open to the public and offers professionally staffed services Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 2.00 to 5 p.m. In addition the Center is also accessible to all citizens of Serbia and Montenegro via its interactive website in order to provide equal access to accurate, unbiased information concerning accredited higher educational opportunities in the United States.
In addition, the Center holds seminars and workshops on educational topics and offers courses in international test preparation. The Center has a fully-equipped resource library of printed and multi-media material, computers with internet, and staff to help students research educational opportunities.
The application timeline will help you plan out your 18 months leading up to studying in the USA.
18 months before U.S. study
• Research various colleges and universities programs
• Register and prepare for required entrance exams
12-14 months before U.S. study
• Choose the schools to which you will apply
• Obtain all necessary information and forms for each school
• Take required entrance exams
10-12 months before U.S. study
• Request any forms and information again, if necessary
• Identify your references and supply them with required reference forms
• Request transcripts from your school/s
• Write your application essay (also called a “personal statement”)
• Retake entrance exams if scores were unsatisfactory
10 months before U.S. study
• Complete and mail applications
• Electronic Applications: An Additional Note
3 months before U.S. study
• Apply for your student visa
• Research health insurance options for your time abroad
• Make travel arrangements for when you arrive in the U.S.
Preparation for Studding in USA
Careful planning is one thing that you will have to do in order to make you time abroad a success. With so much to plan, you need to start early and use a timetable in which to do things. As with your application process to select a school you need to make a list with everything you will need to make your time abroad easier. Before you leave your country, you will need to plan for the following:
Student VisaYour student visa is extremely important for your studies in the USA, so please visit our student visa section which will provide you with information on various types of student visa, how to apply for your visa and more.
Health CareThe US health care system is the most advanced, and the most complex in the world - our health care advice center will provide you with information about how to use the system. CommunicationsKeeping in touch and staying connected to friends and families around the world is important so that you do not feel cut off - learn about ways you can keep in touch and call people around the world.
Travel ArrangementsYou will need to make sure you have some temporary accomodation and plan ahead for when you first get to the USA. Information taken from the web site www.internationalstudent.com
During the application process, it is necessary to apply for financial aid of some sort, as tuition amounts are rising and can be as high as more than 50,000USD per year.
Almost all schools require the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) which will be used to calculate how much money you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education. For international students, federal aid is not available, but some schools will still ask you to submit the application because they may want to use it to access your financial need and to decide how much school-based aid you will be offered. You should ask every school to which you apply whether or not they require that you submit the FAFSA and ask what other financial forms are required. The website for FAFSA is: www.fafsa.ed.gov
Here are some general tips for how to reduce the amount of money that you will have to pay for college: studentaid2.ed.gov
Here are some other websites where you can look for scholarships, money which you can use to cover your tuition costs which you do not have to play back. For scholarships, you must complete some form of application, often including a response to an essay prompt.
Some specific scholarships for Serbian Students.
1. "The Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships"
Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships
2. American Councils
A-Smyle: American - Serbia & Montenegro Youth Leadership Exchange
Serbia Youth Leadership Program
The Junior Faculty Development Program
American University in Bulgaria
Kraljice Natalije 68/8,
11000 Belgrade, Republic of Serbia
Tel:+381112657 354, +381 11 2657 362
3. The Open Society Institute
OSI awards grants, scholarships, and fellowships on a regular basis throughout the year. Applicants can determine their eligibility and view relevant initiatives and application guidelines.
More information you can find here
4. FORECAST EXCHANGE PROGRAM
The scholarship provides for one academic year of undergraduate, non degree study in the United States in all fields except students of medicine, law, or other faculties that are only offered on the graduate level in the U.S.
More information you can find here
Working in US
Requirements for Working in the USA
Entry into the U.S.
Work and Travel Agencies
Green Card Lottery
An American resume format is similar to other resume formats popularly used. The only difference lies in the presentation and content. Usually, American employers want to see only the details that are relevant to the position that you want. Like any other resume intended for different cultures, an American resume format must reflect the work ethics of the country.
For example, emphasis is placed on work performance and progression rather than on education. This is the reason why it is presented in the first section after the objective and career profile. In writing the work history, you must employ a reverse chronological format. Highlight your job title and list the company name and dates. This is followed by detailed account of your main functions in each job. Next, discuss your competencies or skills that have been developed in your years of experience. This shows your flexibility and the range of your capabilities. American employers need to see that you are going to be a valuable asset in their company. Last, discuss your educational background to support all your other entries.
Moreover, you may also include your personal information and interests if they will help you boost your resume. Adding preferences specific to your work, such as locations, is also advisable.
Information taken from the web site www.resumeformat.org
The Immigration and Nationality Act provides several categories of nonimmigrant visas for a person who wishes to work temporarily in the United States. If you want to work in the U.S. temporarily, under immigration law, you need a specific visa based on the purpose of your travel and type of work you will be doing.
Applicants for temporary work visas should generally apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence. Visa applications are now subject to a greater degree of review than in the past so it is important to apply for your visa well in advance of your travel departure date.
More about applying for the temporary work visa you can find here
Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee admission into the United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority to deny admission at the port of entry to any applicant who is inadmissible under the INA, even if the applicant has a visa. Also, the CBP, not the consular officer, determines the period for which the bearer of a temporary work visa is authorized to remain in the United States. At the port of entry, CBP officials issue Form I-94, Record of Arrival-Departure, which notes the length of stay permitted. The decision to grant or deny a request for extension of stay, however, is made solely by the USCIS.
The purpose of the Summer Work/Travel program is to provide foreign post-secondary students an opportunity to become directly involved in the daily life of the people of the United States through travel and temporary work for a period of up to four months during their summer vacation.
The regulations governing the Summer Work/Travel program are found at 22 CFR §62.32.
With CIEE's Work & Travel USA program, you can experience the US way of life while earning money to cover your living expenses.
Discover the United States firsthand by working alongside US citizens in temporary employment.
Work for up to four months and then take a month to travel around the United States. You'll get a genuine “US experience” and your work will help you cover your travel expenses.
If you are looking for a respected work and travel agency you can always rely on a network as a good source to start with. On the Council on More about applying for the temporary work visa you can find International Education Exchange website you can find some agencies from Serbia and numerous other countries.
American Corner or the American Embassy cannot guarantee the quality or the efficiency of any agency but recommendation from experienced people is the best way to inquire about and find quality agencies.
These are the web sites of agencies that American Corner Novi Sad is familiar with:
Global Project Agency
Work and Travel
More about W&T Agencies you can find here
What is the U.S. Green Card Lottery?
There are three ways to become a permanent USA resident:
* Family based
* Employment based
* Green Card Lottery or DV Lottery Program
The Diversity Lottery program is an annual lottery run by the U.S. Department of State. The DV Lottery offers up to 55,000 permanent resident visas each year to randomly selected applicants from eligible countries. The Lottery is run once a year, usually in October, and qualified applicants are randomly chosen by computer.
The program is administered directly from the U.S. Department of State Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky. The Kentucky center was established in the year 2000 by the U.S. Department of State to take over administration of the Diversity Visa Lottery program from the National Visa Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. KCC has continued the excellent tradition of quality service to all applicants of the DV Lottery program.
Who is eligible to apply?
The law and regulations require that every diversity visa entrant must have at least a high school education or its equivalent or have, within the past five years, two years of work experience in an occupation requiring at least two years' training or experience.
To learn more about qualifying occupations, see the Diversity Visa Instructions Frequently Asked Question #13 and the List of Occupations webpage.
Second requirement is to fill in the application form witch you can find here . For this you need to have a good internet connection.
Where can I apply?
There have been instances of fraudulent websites posing as official U.S. Government sites. Some companies posing as the U.S. Government have sought money in order to "complete" lottery entry forms. There is no charge to download and complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form. The Department of State notifies successful Diversity Visa applicants by letter, and NOT by email. To learn more see the Department of State Warning and the Federal Trade Commission Warning.
There are a lot of web sites that are offering services to help you apply for Green Card Lottery Visa. Most of them charge these services. Nevertheless, the procedure for applying is very easy so you do not need to search for this kind of help. If you have any problems with applying please contact American Corner in your or closest city and we will help you without charge.
To be sure here is the simple advice:
If you goggle in “DV Lottery” the only eligible web sites that show up are ending with .gov (not com or org).
There are 2 types of form:
* standard one
* so called “SSL Entry”
Both of them are eligible but the SSL is more reliable but requires better Internet connection.
Before applying you need to read the instructions. Each year there can be some changes you need to know about in order to fill the application correctly.
The instructions translation is available at the American Embassy Belgrade web site which you can find here.
The entry submission period for 2011 Diversity Visa Program is starting from 12:00PM EDT (GMT -4) on October 2, 2009 to 12:00PM EST (GMT -5) on November 30, 2009. The entry form will only be available for submission during this period and this period only. Entries through the U.S. Postal Service will not be accepted.
Some tips for filling in the application form:
* Serbian people do not have second name and do not have to fill it in
* Serbia is eligible country for the year of 2009
* Mailing address option does not require the address from your ID. It can be any reliable address, e.g. work or home resident address
* Leaving the cell phone number is much better
* The most reliable browser for the application is Internet Explorer
After filling in the application form print out the confirmation page and keep it at the safe place.
What Happens After applying?
DV Lottery 2010 Status Check is available. Until June 30, 2010, entrants (who previously completed online DV entry through the official website at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov) are able to check the status of their entry through the E-DV website at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov. Entrants need to use their own confirmation page information from the time of their entry (October 2, 2008, to December 1, 2008), to check the status to find out if their Diversity Visa Lottery entry was or was not selected. To review applicable instructions for DV 2010 entrants, see 2010 Diversity Visa Lottery Instructions.
Diversity Visa lottery applicants selected are notified by mail between May and July of the next year, following DV Online entry. Lottery entrants selected are provided further instructions, including information on fees connected with immigration to the U.S. Those selected in the random drawing are NOT notified by email. Those individuals NOT selected will NOT receive any notification. The Diversity Visa Lottery Instructions "Selection of Applicants" section provides information about the DV timeframe and process.