Study Abroad: US embassies and consulates around the world are prioritising student visas

USIEF’s educational advisor Bhawna Jolly says the US embassy has approved 62,000 visas this summer, confirming that US universities continue to be the top choice for Indian students.

According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC), the number of international students has declined in the US due to Kovid. What is the strategy launched by the US to bring back the lost students?


answer: The United States is committed to its international education and welcoming Indian students to the United States is always a priority. Last summer, US embassies and consulates around the world made student visas a priority. International students were exempted from the US Presidential Proclamation, which prohibited the entry of those who were in India for the 14 days prior to their departure to the United States. Hence, Indians were able to apply for a student visa and travel to the United States. We issued over 62,000 student visas this summer. This shows that the US remains the preferred destination for Indian students pursuing higher education abroad.

US universities have taken a number of measures to increase recruitment and increase access to information:

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  • Many universities have increased their participation and engagement in virtual recruitment initiatives such as fairs, virtual meet-ups and special information sessions.
  • To help students and families answer their questions, universities are offering special virtual video appointments and access to information through popular messaging platforms such as WhatsApp.
  • Colleges have begun offering highly immersive campus tours using virtual reality headsets so that prospective students can experience the feeling of campus, which includes dorm rooms, classrooms, libraries, sports and entertainment facilities, and aspects of campus social life. Are included.
  • Many universities eliminate standardized tests from their admissions requirements to make it easier for students to apply.
  • Universities have included essay prompts in the application that allows students to share the unique challenges they faced due to COVID-19, the impact the pandemic had on them, and how they coped. This allows students to add another dimension to their applications.
  • In the light of school closures and postponement and delay of examinations in India, universities are also providing additional time for students to submit transcripts and documents.

What are the basic concerns of students – are they worried about the next wave or only about online education? How is the US planning to address them?

answer:

Students and families in India are concerned about physical health and safety, especially in the post-COVID world, whether they choose to study in India or abroad. Students and parents want information on measures taken on university campuses for COVID-19 prevention and testing, as well as the support students receive if they test positive for COVID-19. Huh. The university has remained committed to this goal during the global pandemic and boasts resources and established systems such as on-campus vaccination centres, COVID testing and quarantine facilities to keep students safe. In addition, newly developed COVID-19 helplines are available at many universities to assist students as they return to campus.

The UK government has eased its restrictive visa policies over the past several years, which has benefited them. Is the US considering further relaxing after-work visa policies for international students?

answer:

American universities understand and appreciate that international students expect a strong return on investment. Opportunities for practical training are included as part of the student visa process in the US to ensure that international students gain valuable work experience in their field of study during and after their degree programs. These opportunities are truly unique to America’s higher education experience. Students have the option of doing an internship for up to one year during the degree program called Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Students can also gain up to one year of work experience after graduation through Optional Practical Training (OPT). There are more opportunities for STEM graduates. These students can participate in OPT for up to three years.

International students contribute $44 billion to the US economy and India is the second largest contributor. How else is the US planning to increase it?

answer:

The US government and the American people recognize the positive contributions international students make to American campuses, communities, and the economy. American students, researchers, scholars and teachers alike benefit when they connect with peers from around the world. America values ​​the intellectual and cultural capital brought to the country by Indian students. Last year, the US mission at the Y-Axis Foundation launched the second EducationUSA Student Counseling Center in Hyderabad. This brings the network of Education USA centers in India to eight in Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. These centers provide accurate, comprehensive and current information about study opportunities at accredited post-secondary institutions in the United States. Our free mobile app, ‘Education USA India’ provides latest updates about study in USA. We will continue our efforts to reach students and parents with reliable information about US higher education.

Any initiative in the form of scholarship or tuition fee waiver?

answer:

There are over 4,500 accredited higher education institutions in the US and each institution or university system has its own admissions policies. Students can check the admission criteria for each university in which they are interested to apply. Universities recognize the challenges of the pandemic for students around the world and have in many cases updated their admissions policies. Many universities are offering application fee waivers and have announced that they will keep tuition, accommodation and fees flat. Some universities have extended their application deadlines to give students more time to apply and accept admission offers. Many universities have allowed students to postpone their education to a future semester/year if they were not comfortable attending online classes and wanted a personally immersive educational experience on campus. Whatever your needs, EducationUSA is a great place to start for real information about scholarships and finance.

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