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ColumnsDestination USA: Short-term study enhances professional qualification

Destination USA: Short-term study enhances professional qualification

Published: 31st Oct 2021 12:35 am

A lot of students these days are interested in attending short-term study or exchange programs in the United States during summer break or over one semester/academic year. We dedicate today’s column to this special topic on U.S. higher education.

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Different types of short-term programs are available for both students and professionals who may want to either gain additional knowledge or enhance their professional qualifications through such programs. Some students also utilize such programs to experience the U.S. culture and education system before making a decision to apply to U.S. institutions. Generally, short-term programs are 12 months or less in duration.

University-sponsored or private exchanges, non-degree certificate or executive programs, and internships are the common types of such programs. In today’s and the next column, we will discuss these different types of short-term programs.

Exchange programs offer students opportunities to live, learn, and enrich themselves in a diversity of cultural settings. Students may choose to apply to an academic exchange between two universities or a short-term professional program.

Many Indian universities have established different types of exchange programs with institutions in the United States. Students generally spend a semester or academic year on a U.S. campus through such programs. In the case of an academic exchange, coursework taken at the U.S. institution may count toward the degree program, while the credits earned by the student at the U.S. institution may be transferred upon their return to their home institution in India. Sometimes students take just a few courses at the U.S. university for their personal or professional development. The fee for such programs is generally decided by the two institutions that have established the exchange program. Another consideration for students is a summer program that is shorter in duration and hence less expensive.

In next week’s column, we will discuss certificate/executive programs and internships.

— Monika Setia ( Regional Officer and EducationUSA Adviser at the United States-India Educational Foundation based at the U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad. Please visit for more information)

Q. I am applying to master’s programs in the United States for Fall 2022. How can I improve my chances of receiving financial support from the university?
– Manish Kumar

A. U.S. institutions consider a student’s complete application package to identify candidates for financial support.
Students will have a greater chance of obtaining financial aid if they:
• Show evidence of a high level of academic achievement and commitment and motivation in the intended field of study through their statement of purpose and resume
• Achieve high standardized test scores
• Have outstanding letters of recommendation
• Have prior research or teaching experience

Q. Our daughter is interested in pursuing her bachelor’s degree in the field of education and she is considering applying to U.S. institutions. What are her career prospects after completing such a program and what kind of majors can she choose in the United States?
— P. Emmanuel

Graduates of this discipline may find jobs at schools and university settings, with education departments or other policy making bodies, education media houses, hospital settings (counseling or health education), or career counseling centers. Students may also start their own education enterprise with a private practice or through the establishment of an education institution.

At undergraduate (bachelor’s) level, students may pursue a BA or BS degree in Education or a related discipline. Special Education, Counseling, Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, etc. are some options for majors at the undergraduate level in the United States.

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