Thursday, March 30, 2017

F-1, J-1, H1B - a Comparison of Visas on College Campuses in the U.S.

There are several categories of student visas. While this post doesn't cover all categories of student visas, we will look at F-1 (students), J-1 (scholars), H1B (employees). 

The information in this post comes from various U.S. university websites and immigration lawyer websites. I have created PDFs of the current (March 2017) pages, with a link to the page. As visa regulations can change from time to time, feel free to click the links into that university's page to see if they have updated their information. 

Comparing F-1 and J-1 
Let's take a look at some salient differences between the F-1 student visa and J-1 scholar visas as documented by the University of Michigan International Center.

See the original site here for updates since March 2017.

Differences between J-1 and H1B

While the J-1 visa is meant for short term scholars, the H1B visa is meant for employment. Let's look how these two visas stack up against each other.

See the current information posted at the
International Student and Scholars Office page, Temple University.

J-1 vs. H1B
While Temple University shares the information from the perspective of a campus community, the below page is maintained by an immigration law firm. Study the pros and cons of these visas below.

See the most current legal precedents at the Peng & Weber site.

I hope these resources have been a helpful guide in understanding the salient features of various visas sponsored by college and university campuses in the U.S. 

Learn more at Study in the States.
Avoid Immigration Scams in America 
The J-1 Student Visa Program

Monday, March 13, 2017

Assimilating to the U.S. Culture as an International Student

Did you know that international students come to the U.S. to play sports? That's exactly what Charith Kapukotuwa from Sri Lanka has done. First, he was recruited by a college in Kansas to be a shotputter on a track and field team. From there, he was picked up by a recruiter from Chadron State College in a small town in Nebraska. 

In the video below Charith talks about his experience coming from Sri Lanka to the U.S., his struggles adjusting to life in the U.S. and thoughts on international student integration.

Just like many other foreigners who come to live in the U.S., Charith believes in the American Dream and says he would like to do 'everything any other American can.' At the same time, he realizes the cultural identity crisis when he says, "I don't think I can live here as a Sri Lankan." 

Charith's unique experience coming to live and study in a very small, rural college in the U.S. may be unlike many other Sri Lankan or South Asians who study in universities that have Indian Student Organizations or India culture clubs out in the larger community. Charith did not have the community resources many other South Asians have in larger cities and metro areas take for granted, including ethnic grocers and restaurants. While South Asians who study in larger colleges may be surrounded by foreign-born students and professors lack the opportunity to learn American culture or American small talk, Charith's presentation skill and grasp of Americanisms in his English and mannerisms is evident. I applaud him for taking the road less traveled. 

On a personal note, I have been following Chadron State College on social media and am impressed about their international student body and activities. I really like how they integrate international student interaction into the larger community as noted in the events advertised below. If you are interested in learning more about Chadron State - see their international student admissions page or Facebook page

Related Posts: 
Chadron State on Facebook 
Chadron State International Student Admissions 
Do International Students Learn American Culture (with video commentary) 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

How You Can Learn about Admissions into US Universities

Are you living outside of the U.S.? Do you want to apply to college in the United States? There are some simple ways you can learn about the admissions procedures at schools of your interest without contacting an agent. 

In the American education system, American students do not use an agent. It is considered completely acceptable and respectful to research information on one's own and directly get in touch with the concerned person at the college.

Let's see how to do this. 

Step 1: Search for websites on admissions for the school, program, or level

(Click on any of the links below to see a sample Google search using information from SUNY Buffalo for these search terms.)

If you know the name of the college you want to go to, but not your major, you can use these search terms:

If you know the name of the college AND your major:

If you know the name of the college and the name of the school: 

Step 2: Find the contact page or email ID Find the contact name and email ID on the page you are directed to. Try to review the information to your best understanding before contacting the concerned person. 

Keep in mind depending on the size of the school or the search you do, you may be contacting the admissions representative for the entire college, a person in the academic department, a person who works in the international student office, or another college staff. Look for their name and title to know who you are reaching out. 

If you do a search and are wondering about how to contact the concerned person and what to say, get in touch with me. I will guide you if you come to me after doing some research! Contact me by leaving a comment to this blog, or leaving a message on the Facebook page