By Monika Setia
Welcome readers! At the outset, we want to thank all students, parents, and counsellors who joined us at the EducationUSA Virtual Fairs.
In today’s column, we continue our special topic series on US higher education with a focus on undergraduate transfers.
While many students begin their undergraduate (bachelor’s) programmes in the United States at the freshman level (1st year), some students transfer from one institution to the other. The transfer could take place either from an institution in the student’s home country to an institution in the United States or from one US institution to another.
Undergraduate transfers should be planned at least 12 months in advance of the programme start date. The application process for transfers differs slightly from that for new admissions. Along with the online application form for transfer, the institution where a student is transferring may request a personal statement in which a student details why they want to transfer. The list of courses that the student has studied so far in their current undergraduate program may also be requested by the US institution. In addition, students may need to provide letters of recommendation, transcripts, admissions test scores, and a resume.
Each institution has a unique transfer admission policy, so students should review the transfer policies and transfer application instructions of the US institution before they begin their application process for the transfer.
Students should take note of the eligibility criteria that they should meet for the transfer process. Students currently enrolled in an Indian institution and interested in transferring to a US college/university should have completed at least two years or four semesters of their programme at the current institution in India. For students transferring between US institutions, a minimum of one year of study may be required for transfer.
In either scenario, admitting institutions expect students to have accomplished a certain level of academic performance set by them (measured through GPA or grades). It is the responsibility of the student to check the transfer requirements, eligibility criteria, and credit transfer policies to ensure that their transition is a seamless one.
Next week, we will continue the discussion and explore how to transfer credits and courses to the new institution!
Monika Setia (Regional Officer and EducationUSA Adviser at the United States-India Educational Foundation based at the U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad. Please visit https://educationusa.state.gov/centers/educationusa-usief-hyderabad for more information)
Q1. I want to do my master’s in the United States of America. I already have a 10-year B1/B2 visa. Do I need another visa to study in the United States?
Yes, all students must begin their studies in the United States on a student visa. Most non-U.S. citizens who wish to study in the United States will seek an F-1 (non-immigrant) student visa, but there are other visa types that are sometimes authorised for those who study in the United States. Here is a short description of the different visa types that involve study: F-1, or Student Visa: This visa is the most common for those who wish to engage in academic studies in the United States. It is for people who want to study at an accredited U.S. college or university or to study English at a university or intensive English language institute.
• J-1, or Exchange Visitor: This visa is for people who will be participating in an exchange visitor programme in the United States. The visa is for educational and cultural exchange programs.
• M-1, or Student Visa: This visa is for those who will be engaged in non-academic or vocational study or training at an institution in the United States.
The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs is your official source on Student Visas. Read more here – https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us- visas/study/student-visa.html
Q2. My daughter is in 10th standard and wants to study in the United States after her 12th. We came to know about the PSAT exam, what is this?
The PSAT is a practice test for the SAT that helps students understand their own strengths and weaknesses and experience test-taking in a time-bound environment before taking the actual SAT test. The SAT Test is a standardised test required for college admission by many colleges and universities in the United States.
The PSAT test includes five sections: two 25-minute critical reading sections, two 25-minute math sections, and one 30-minute writing section. The scores of the test are not shared with universities, but the student gets a detailed report. The PSAT exam is offered once a year in the month of October.
To check further details about registration, fees, and other aspects of these tests, please visit the respective website of each standardised test: PSAT: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt-psat-10/taking-the-tests/international
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