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Studying Abroad

Student visas must be obtained prior to heading off to your new college in the US. Student visa applicants must show proof that they have been admitted in to a U.S. college. They must also be proficient in English and have funds to stay an entire year in the United States. They must also show that they will be able to afford live while in the U.S. Students that receive visas must also have the intention of returning home after completing their studies. Students who are going to the US for tourist travel but wish to take a course of study may be able to do so on a visitor visa. Study must be less than 18 hours on a visitor visa. Students wishing to take more than 18 hours per week of study must apply for a student visa. In many countries, first time student visa applicants may have to have an in-person interview but these vary for different embassies and consulates. June, July and August are amongst the busiest times for student visa applications as US colleges are beginning to go back to classes. Students should plan ahead if they are required to interview.

Foreign students should begin planning their study abroad at least a year prior to leaving. Students will need plenty of time for applying to prospective schools, take any necessary tests, send in diplomas and other documents. Students must also realize that although they meet all requirements to be eligible for a visa the ultimate decision is up to the U.S. Consular officials and students may or may not receive their visa on their initial application for one.

Obtaining your student visa and obtaining the funds for travel is amongst the most difficult part of studying abroad. The actual college admission is generally quite easy for all students. Foreign students will need to be able to provide all necessary documents to schools including school diplomas and other necessary paperwork to show that you are eligible for college. Not all colleges are able to perform evaluations on foreign diplomas and documents, so it may be necessary for the school to have your credentials verified by an outside source. The school will alert you if you need to have someone verify your credentials and this will be your responsibility to have completed.

Studying abroad may require a lot of paperwork and time, but the experience that you will gain from the travel and new cultures will be well worth the time it takes to prepare for your trip and studies.