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US Immigration & Student VISA Issues For Study US Aspirants


Exchange Visitor Programs

Exchange Visitor Programs cover temporary visas that allow visitors to enter the United States to participate in exchange programs. They are run by: the U.S. State Department, which runs the F, J, and M visas (for educational and cultural exchange programs), and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Department, which runs the Q visa (for international cultural exchange programs).

According to the U.S. State Department, "the Q-1 visa is for certain international cultural exchange programs designed to provide practical training and employment, and sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of participants home country in the United States" (from their information site located here).

The requirements for a Q-1 visa are as follows:

  • Culture-sharing must take place in a school, museum, business or other establishment where the public is exposed to aspects of a foreign culture as part of a structured program
  • The cultural component must be an essential and integral part of the participant's employment and training, and must be designed to exhibit the attitude, customs, history, heritage, hilosophy and/or tradition of the participant's country of nationality
  • The employment and training aspects may not be independent of the cultural component.

If your program of study is less than 18 hours a week, you may be able to use a visitor visa. For higher workloads, you will need a student visa to study in the U.S. There are three types of Visas you can have as an international student, namely F-1 (for most international students), M-1 (for a skilled trade or vocational skill program), and J-1 (for a sponsored exchange program).

These are some basic requirements if you would like to become an international student in the U.S:

  • The student must be enrolled in an "academic" educational program, a language-training program, or a vocational program
  • The school must be approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS);
  • The student must be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution
  • The student must be proficient in English or be enrolled in courses leading to English proficiency
  • The student must have sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire proposed course of study
  • The student must maintain a residence abroad which he or she has no intention of giving up.

Apply Early

The U.S. Department of State has the following advisory on their site, verbatim (in content and format):

Visa applications are now subject to a greater degree of scrutiny than in the past. For many applicants, a personal appearance interview is required as a standard part of visa processing. Additionally, applicants affected by these procedures are informed of the need for additional screening at the time they submit their applications and are being advised to expect delays. The time needed for adjudication of individual cases will continue to be difficult to predict. For travelers, the need for an interview will mean additional coordination with the embassy or consulate is needed to schedule an interview appointment. We recommend that individuals build in ample time before their planned travel date when seeking to obtain a visa.

Most official forms you need will be located here or here, at the U.S. Department of State site.

What Type of Student Visa Should I Apply For?

See the diagram below for the answer to this question:


Visa Denials

If your visa application is denied, don't panic. It happens to many people around the world, so you are not alone. Your consular officer will probably mention Section 214(b) as the reason for the denial. Here's a transcript of this section of the Immigration and Nationality Act:

Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a non-immigrant status…


What this means, in actuality, is that the onus is on the applicant to prove that s/he does not intend to leave the home country permanently. You can prove this by providing official evidence of your ties to your native or home country (permanent residence, family ties, property ownership, work contract, etc).


A visa denial is not permanent. Contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate to inquire about reapplying, and make sure to include any supporting evidence you may not have considered the first time around. Your goal is to show evidence of strong ties outside the U.S. that prove compellingly that you are not seeking immigration.


Image Credit: Two Roses


Ask The Experts


31 Comments
    gelii-wii
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    gelii-wiiThu, 12 Jun 2014 16:14:56 -0000

    Hello,

    I did apply for a student visa. I was an Au Pair for almost 2 years. First I was in Boston and then after 1 year I went to a different family to New Jersey. I decided that I want to study in the US and my hostfamily did over me that I still could live with them since they dont need an Au Pair anymore. I had my visa interview today, June 12th 2014 and I got a denial about section 214 b. My parents are the one who are supporting me finacially. I had the feeling that the consular officer also wasn't really happy that I want to life with my old host family. Can u tell me which documents I have to show then for section 214b, I know its about the strong ties from my home country. I mean I want to come back - i think the consular officer and me, we had a missunderstanding. However which docouments i have to show? Do u also stink its better to find a different place to life or is that not the problem here?

    Thank so much for your help,

    Geli

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    gelii-wii
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    gelii-wiiThu, 12 Jun 2014 16:02:22 -0000

    Hallo,

    Ich habe mich für ein Studtenvisum beworben. Ich war für fast 2 Jahren als Au Pair in den USA. Das erst Jahr war ich in Boston und im yweiten Jahr war ich für 9 monate in New Jersey.
    New Jersey is wo ich gerne studieren möchte. Meine Gastfamilie hat mir angeboten weiterhin bei ihnen zu wohnen, da sie kein Au Pair mehr brauchen dachte is das ja super. Ich wusste allerdings das das Konsulat mir fragen über meine Familie stellen wird. dennoch habe ich nicht zu verbergen da ich nicht mehr für sie arbeiten werde, da es auch nicht erlaubt ist und ich nicht mit den Gesetzt in Schwierigkeiten kommen möchte. Ich war heute morgen den 12.06.2014 im Konsulat und hatte mein visa interview. Ich habe aus dem Grund des section 214b nicht bekommen. Ich habe section 214b nachgelesen habe herausgefunden das es um die Rückkehr nach Amerika geht wenn ich das richtig verstanden habe. Ich hatte auch das Gefühl das der Konsulant nicht glücklich mit meiner Unterkunft war.

    Ich hoffe sie können mir weiterhelfen, im voraus vielen vielen Dank für ihre Zeit und ich hoffe bald von ihnen zu hören.

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

    Geli Wichan

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    Navi sandhu
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    Navi sandhuFri, 23 May 2014 12:08:53 -0000

    I have completed my bds from india . My percentage is 57% and have blacklogs. I have immigrant visa for usa . Plz suggest me about mph or ms in anatomy. Tell me the whole procedure about admission requirement.

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    dileepp89
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    dileepp89Wed, 06 Nov 2013 07:16:54 -0000

    A new survey of graduate schools in the US shows that the number of foreign students has risen at its fastest rate since 2006. http://www.americanbazaaronline.com/2013/11/05/deluge-grad-students-india-us-says-study/

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    akshat15
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    akshat15Sat, 13 Jul 2013 18:40:18 -0000

    Hi i applied for study visa in 2010-2011 but unfortunately i got refusal twice after that i drop the plan and started working in a IT company after that my company wants to send me to the USA for attending a meeting but again my visa refused twice in the month of Feb 2013 now want to go for MS is there any chance to get approval please advice me.

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    jhansi5555
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    jhansi5555Thu, 04 Apr 2013 04:09:37 -0000

    my daughter is in 10 th class now…I want to send her to US for a brief programme of 4-5 weeks duration..mainly for exposure…she is having visiter visa….

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    billykk
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    billykkSat, 27 Oct 2012 03:35:06 -0000

    I appeared for the SAT in October 2012 and got a very disappointing score- 1410/2400. In TOEFL, I got 80/120.
    I have applied to Cleveland State University, SUNYIT, Arizona State University and University of Akron.
    I am really worried about my admission and visa with this SAT score.
    What to do now… please help..

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    Frankyvick
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    FrankyvickTue, 24 Jan 2012 15:17:29 -0000

    I have had about how honest,decipline you people realy are.please i realy want to study in and work in your university.here is my phone number:08062258242.please help me so i can b a better person in future.thanks

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    vini_vineela
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    vini_vineelaFri, 08 Jul 2011 05:06:20 -0000

    hi

    i am vineela. i got adimission in UAT in Arizona

    ms in game development
    i couldnt find any india students there or near by
    can u help me out

    and i want to go for visa process
    can u help me with what document we need and how to apply for dates
    thank you

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    mss  rathor
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    mss rathorThu, 09 May 2013 13:19:31 -0000

    i m gurpreet i want to apply for usa to persue my further education i have just completed my secondary school examminationm

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    shekhar_it
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    chandra shekhar rawatTue, 02 Nov 2010 07:41:27 -0000

    hi,
    i have done my btech(IT) from IP university delhi
    my percentage
    btech-71%
    10th-80%
    12th-81%
    currently i am working for an IT company. i want to do MS in IT/comp sc(after 2 yr of workexp) but finance is a big problem for me.
    can you suggest me some universities which provides good scholarships.

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    jdipika
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    Dipika JainWed, 10 Nov 2010 13:15:59 -0000

    Hello,

    It is important to understand that financial aid in the US universities is completely based on your academic performance in the first semester in the university and need of the applicant. The most commonly availed options by the international applicants are the Research Assistantship, Teaching Assistantship and Graduate Assistantship. In comparison to the scholarships these are far less competitive and one can easily cover up the daily expenses and gain practical exposure also.

    The amount, and type of assistance offered varies, based on the university, department and level of study. It would hence be inappropriate on my end to confirm on universities that will offer scholarship. You would have to communicate the same individually with universities you decide to apply

    For your information learnhub offers a good amount of scholarship provided you meet with the eligibility criteria. To find out more on the same, please access the following link :

    Scholarship Community

    As of now you may consider the following universities :

    University of Wyoming
    Loyola University Chicago
    Loyola University Chicago
    University of New Haven
    Kent State University

    Once you have gone through the program, click on ‘Request more information’ and our team will assist you further with the application procedure.

    Good luck!

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    Aarav sharma
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    Aarav sharmaSat, 12 Jun 2010 05:17:37 -0000

    hii,

    i want to do BBA,M.B.A. from u.s.a….recently i have passed my 12th exam's in non-medical…..but the problem is i have got only 45% marks. but my IELTS scoring is 6.5 bands. now i am taking tution for my SAT exam. can u tell me i am eligible for u.s.a study visa with 45% marks!!!!! please send me your answer…very soon thank you.

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    love1v1
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    vasanthi manukondaSat, 24 Oct 2009 07:47:46 -0000

    Is there any courses offering by usa after completion of 10th class. with out having gre/gmat/sat/toefl???
    pls do reply soon sir…

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    radhika_nirula
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    Radhika NirulaSat, 31 Oct 2009 08:30:45 -0000

    Hi,

    We have one academy in US that is K12 International Academy.Its an accredited, private online high-school that offers the world-renowned curriculum from K¹², the market leader in online curriculum programs for grades Kindergarten to Grade 12.To get more information click her .Kindly get back to us for any further queries.

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    Ramescha
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    Ramesh sadaMon, 10 Aug 2009 01:48:03 -0000

    help me out dear. i wanna do mpt of 1 year duration. whr can i get that?

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    radhika_nirula
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    Radhika NirulaMon, 31 Aug 2009 09:52:31 -0000

    Hi,
    Most of the universities abroad now offer DPT program. Very few universities offers MPT.
    You can search the universities through various search engines and you can check the duration also.

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    kuttysat
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    mohamed ali.m aliSat, 25 Jul 2009 06:23:55 -0000

    i am ali.i am studing in final B.com i am backward class my aim is mba in usa pls help me

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    amit_wadhwa
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    Amit WadhwaWed, 29 Jul 2009 11:04:18 -0000

    Hi, what kind of help are you looking for?

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    manish4web
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    Manish SawhneyMon, 26 Jan 2009 06:08:41 -0000

    Iam doing final yr. B.Sc-IT after 3 yr diploma in computer science. I want 2 do MBA in abroad. If anybodyknow the way repy me at manish4web@yahoo.co.in

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    Sureshbala
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    SureshThu, 29 Jan 2009 18:58:03 -0000

    Dear manish,

    If you are looking to get into the top B-Schools in US you need to have a minimum of 2 years work experience. Of course there are some good schools which give admission even for the freshers but I would say that they are very few and the chances of getting admissions are quite low unless otherwise you have extra ordinary academic profile. In addition to this you have to take GMAT and your GMAT score also plays a crucial role in getting admissions. To learn more about GMAT join our GMAT Prep Community. This community features number of lessons, tests and discussions which will help you to crack GMAT. So I suggest you to join this community and follow the lessons in the community on a regular basis. For any personal queries you can go through our Ask the Experts section

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    bilva
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    bilvaTue, 20 Jan 2009 07:01:32 -0000

    hi ,
    i have done b.e (electrical) MBA (marketing). 2.8 yrs of work experiance .Now, i just want to do PH. d in area of organizational behaviour .
    plz can you help me in this things?

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    Sureshbala
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    SureshThu, 29 Jan 2009 19:13:26 -0000

    Dear bilva,

    If you are looking to do Ph.D in USA you must clear GRE . Please join our GRE Prep community and go through the lessons and tests in these community which will definitely aid you to clear GRE.

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    preet singh
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    preet singhSun, 11 Jan 2009 16:46:39 -0000

    HI!!!!!!! this is manpreet i have done my +2 with arts & i got 73% marks & my IELTS score is 6.5 .i wanna do diploma in tourism and hospitality in u.s is this is possible to study there ?if yes than plz suggest me collage & any university of u.s

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    Sureshbala
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    SureshThu, 29 Jan 2009 19:49:02 -0000

    Dear preet singh,

    Here is the list of th US universities that offer courses in Tourism and Hospitality.

    University of Florida

    Clemson University

    North Carolina State University

    University of Illinois At Urbanan Champaign

    New York University

    Pennsylvania State University University Park Campus

    Indiana University Bloomington

    Temple University

    Florida International University

    George Washington University

    University of Hawaii At Manoa

    Arizona State University At West Campus

    California University of Pennsylvania

    You can go to the websites of these universities and check out whether they accept IELTS score or not.

    You can also download the list of US universities that accept IELTS score by CLICKING HERE

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    deb118
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    Debmalya BhattacharyyaMon, 05 Jan 2009 15:44:01 -0000

    EAGERLY WAITING FOR SOME RESPONSE…ON MY PREVIOUS MAIL..

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    deb118
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    Debmalya BhattacharyyaThu, 01 Jan 2009 17:30:44 -0000

    i want to pursue phd in US. I completed my M.Tech from IIT kharagpur. I am working in for 1 year and married. i would like to know about visa process for my wife if any.

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    saufin
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    saufinTue, 23 Dec 2008 16:13:05 -0000

    Dear Sir,

    Good Day !

    I have completed Bachelor of homoopathic medicine and surgery from India.

    Now, To get further study in master course I wolud like to study in good University of USA .

    Sir, I will be highly obliged if you can send more details for further study in good university along with date of new batch starting, course fees, Tution fees, TOFFEL Score etc.

    Thanking you & looking forward to have early response for our further needful

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    saufin
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    saufinTue, 23 Dec 2008 16:12:35 -0000

    Dear Sir,

    Good Day !

    I have completed Bachelor of homoopathic medicine and surgery from India.

    Now, To get further study in master course I wolud like to study in good University of USA .

    Sir, I will be highly obliged if you can send more details for further study in good university along with date of new batch starting, course fees, Tution fees, TOFFEL Score etc.

    Thanking you & looking forward to have early response for our further needful

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    rorster
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    rorsterTue, 09 Dec 2008 11:20:31 -0000

    hi there i hv completed my B.Sc. with Physics, chemistry, mathematics and Appeared in M.Sc.(statistics)
    i want to study abroad a Part time management course. so what i can do..
    plz help..

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    MayMay
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    May LWed, 10 Dec 2008 19:36:20 -0000

    Hi there Rorster,

    Management programs are promising. I think you're making a sound decision in pursuing this goal.

    Could you please specify where you'd like to study abroad? Perhaps in Canada or within the U.S.? Once I know the location of where you'd like to continue your education, I can provide names of universities that might interest you.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    Thanks.

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    navi_saroya
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    navdeep singhSat, 06 Dec 2008 14:40:26 -0000

    Hi, I have done Btech Mechanical from India and i want to persue MS in Mechanical engg in Us, so plz guide me good university in california or in other parts, my TOFEL score is 82(ibt) and GRE is 1200(CBT)

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    MayMay
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    May LWed, 10 Dec 2008 19:31:55 -0000

    Hi there Navi,

    I'm glad to hear that you're interested in studying abroad! This must be an exciting time for you.

    I suggest you refer to LearnHub's School Finder tool.

    Also, please join the Study Abroad USA community where you'll be able to access an abundance of material that will cover everything you need to know from VISA applications to Scholarship information.

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.

    Good Luck!

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    Tola
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    Adeosun AkintolaTue, 25 Nov 2008 15:50:23 -0000

    I am a National Diploma Certificate holder from Nigeria,i want to know how i can study mechanical engineering in the US

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    lucyinthesky
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    TiffanyTue, 25 Nov 2008 16:21:41 -0000

    The University of Kentucky is a great school to study mechanical engineering. Please check out this link and fill out the form to see which programs you can be matched with and enroll in. :) Good luck, Tola!

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    amatsenkalsang
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    amatsenkalsangTue, 25 Nov 2008 14:57:13 -0000

    Sir,
    I had finished my twelve class in China. Now, I am a Chinese teacher in Organizer of ES-Trust School. I am a Tibetan people, So then I want to go USA and continue my studies. so please help me which university i can join and easy to apply.
    Thanks
    Kalsang Dhondup

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    lucyinthesky
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    TiffanyTue, 25 Nov 2008 15:21:45 -0000

    Hello amatsenkalsang,

    Great to hear from you! What discipline are you interested in studying? Please feel free to message me so that we can determine an appropriate school and program for you. If you would like to explore some universities, check out our School Finder. Thanks!

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    parth1610
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    parth1610Tue, 25 Nov 2008 06:23:18 -0000

    Dear Sir,

    Good Day !

    I have completed Diploma in Mechatronics Engineering from Ganpat Unversity, India.

    Now, To get further study in Becholre Degree in Mechatronics Engineering I wolud like to study in good University of USA .

    Sir, I will be highly obliged if you can send more details for further study in good university along with date of new batch starting, course fees, Tution fees, TOFFEL Score etc.

    Sir, If you require any more details regarding my Son pl. inform accordingly

    Thanking you & looking forward to have early response for our further needful

    Parth Shah

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    lucyinthesky
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    TiffanyTue, 25 Nov 2008 15:19:40 -0000

    Hello parth1610,

    I would suggest going to the Learnhub School Finder and searching for some possible schools that may be of interest to you. There, you can fill out a form to see there are programs which suit your needs. You can discover more information about schools this way and see if you qualify for their program. Good luck!

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    p_punitha
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    p_punithaSun, 09 Nov 2008 05:27:25 -0000

    Hello sir
    I completed Master of COmputer Application in Anna University and i scored 82% in my academic..I wish to do MS in USA..which does require TOFEL of GRE? because i finished master degree so only doubt in this….

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    MayMay
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    May LTue, 18 Nov 2008 13:21:55 -0000

    Hello P_punitha,

    Congratulations on completing your studies at Anna University! That is a tremendous accomplishment.

    I'm thrilled to hear that you're interested in continuing your education in the U.S.!

    Similar response to Arushi's question above, in order to study in America, English testing requirements will be mandatory to gain admission. Regardless if you have a Masters to your credentials, schools will require you to take and pass language test(s) to ensure that your level of English is at a suitable range for studying in an all-English language environment.

    If you have any more questions, feel free to ask me.

    Good Luck!

    Reply to This
    arushi123
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    arushi123Sat, 08 Nov 2008 05:30:42 -0000

    hey..can u study anythin in usa widout takin a gre or gmat?

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    MayMay
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    May LTue, 18 Nov 2008 13:13:00 -0000

    Hi there Arushi,

    As an International student wishing to study in America, you must complete and pass English requirement tests. Along with pursuing any type of graduate studies, you must also register to take the GRE/GMAT tests and score accordingly to schools' admission requirements.

    I hope that answers your question.

    Good Luck!

    Reply to This
    madiha
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    madihaThu, 06 Nov 2008 20:28:01 -0000

    hi i am an M.B.A interested in studying something different now,which doesnot require Gmat or GRE.
    WHAT WOULD IT BE?

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    lucyinthesky
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    TiffanyFri, 07 Nov 2008 00:08:21 -0000

    Do you mean you already have your MBA and would like to enroll in post-MBA Studies?

    If so, York University in Toronto, Canada has a Post-MBA studies program called "Post-MBA Diploma in Advanced Management". According to its website, it doesn't require GMAT or GRE: Click here to learn more about it.


    A similar program in the U.S. is Kellog School of Management's Post-MBA Program at Northwestern University. You can visit the site here

    Reply to This
    simran gill
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    simran gillFri, 31 Oct 2008 18:24:26 -0000

    i want to do bds n know about fees of bds?will you help me?

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    lucyinthesky
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    TiffanyTue, 04 Nov 2008 19:50:46 -0000

    We'd love to help! By BDS, do you mean Bachelor of Dental Surgery? Where in the world would you want to take this program?

    Reply to This

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