International Student to Student: Studying in the States
Hi! My name is Priyadarshini and I’m from India.
And my name is Geoffrey and I’m from Kenya. Going to college and studying in the United States has been a dream come true for us. It has been an amazing cultural exchange and provided us with wonderful experiences. As current F status international students studying here in the United States, we know first-hand all the great things an American education can provide, not only for us, but to our countries and our families back home. I found out about studying in the United States through the Study in the States website. There are many U.S. government agencies involved in the F and M international student process, and this website provides you with all the information. For example, the Study in the States website told me to go to an EducationUSA Advising Center to get guidance on finding and applying to a U.S. college or university. Once you’ve been accepted to the school you would like to attend, you’ll need all of your paperwork ready before you come to the United States. This includes your visa, valid passport, your I-20 Form or DS-2019 depending on your status. Remember – check your information. Make sure all your information is correct and consistent throughout all of your documents.
It’s probably a good idea to have your proof of school enrollment or acceptance letter too. You’ll also be able to enter the United States 30 days before your program start date, which is great as it gives you plenty of time to get settled in.
After you arrive in the United States it’s always a good idea to keep copies of your official documents with you, Keep copies of these official documents with your family back home just for safekeeping.
Once you arrive on campus, make sure to meet with your international student advisor or designated school official. They will be your point of contact and are helpful in making sure that you follow U.S. immigration regulations. They can provide guidance and be your advocate at your school. You should always make sure you talk with them about changes to your classes, living situation; if you want to transfer to a different school, take time off, or even take an extended trip home. If you have any questions during your time at school remember, your international student advisor is there for you. For example, I wasn’t sure if I could legally work while I was here in the United States, so I asked my international student advisor. Turns out, you can’t do any unauthorized work. There are certain opportunities to do education-related job training, but it depends on your status and school. You must go through your school for all job opportunities and authorization. I’m glad I talked to my international student advisor about this.
Although the United States offers so much to see and do, remember that your primary reason for coming here is to study and there are some academic requirements you must follow. Here are some requirements to keep in mind. You may only take one class online and the rest must be in the actual classroom. You must also maintain a full course of study and attend all of your classes.
It’s important to know that immigration rules can change, but you can keep up with the latest information through the Study in the States website or by following Study in the States through Facebook and Twitter. If you have questions and concerns, you can always contact the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, SEVP, by phone or e-mail. SEVP is the Department of Homeland Security’s program that handles all F and M international students. They’ve answered all my questions and have been a real help to me.
SEVP is an especially good resource if you suspect that something unusual is going on at your school. Some clues to look out for include: most or all classes are online or there are no work restrictions. These are usually signs that people are trying to abuse you or the system.
Studying in the United States has been a great experience for us. If you’re interested in learning about any post-graduate opportunities, the Study in the States website is a great resource for government information. Having a clear understanding of the rules has made our time in the United States much easier and more enjoyable. We hope it will be the same for you.