Indian Students Are Joining American Universities in Increasing Numbers

US UnivData released by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement indicates a recent surge in the number of Indian students seeking to study in American universities. According their report, there has been a “31.9% increase in the number of Indian students studying in American universities since 2014”. This bucks a trend that goes back almost a decade:  from 2008-09 to 2013-14, the number of Indian students studying at American Universities was a fairly flat 1,00,000 annually. In 2014-15, this figure jumped by around 32% to 1,32,888.

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OPT Period Extension and H1B Visa

Every year U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) accepts H1B petitions starting from 1st April. As such, petitions for the fiscal year 2017 will be accepted from 1st April 2016. The current quota for H1B VISA is 65,000 under the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption – also known as the Masters quota. Thus, the total quota stands at 85,000. In the previous year, USCIS received a total of nearly 233,000 H1B petitions under both the categories put together from 1st April to 7th April and then they stopped accepting new applications. For the first time, USCIS received more than the limit of 20,000 H1B petitions under the Masters quota (the exact number of applications is not declared by USCIS). Computer generated random selection process (lottery) is conducted for Masters quota petitions which selects 20,000 applicants for the Master’s degree cap completion. The H1B petitions filed under Masters quota cap, but not selected in the first round of lottery are then added to the general quota of petitions. The lottery is then conducted for this pool to select 65,000 petitions towards the general quota cap completion. USCIS rejects and returns the remaining H1B petitions.

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24-Month STEM OPT Extension

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending it F1 non immigrant visa regulations on Optional Practical Training (OPT) for certain students with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) from US institutions of higher education.

OPT is a period during which undergraduates (BS/BA) and graduate students (MS/MBA) with F1 status who have completed or have been pursuing their degrees for more than 9 months are permitted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work for 12 months on a student visa towards getting practical training to complement their education. On April 2nd 2008 DHS announced a 17-month extension to the OPT for students in qualifying STEM fields to be eligible for the 12-month permit. Any degree in any field of studies is valid. For the 17-month OPT extension a student must have received a STEM degree as listed on the USCIS website.

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Dilip Oak’s Academy – Roommate Finder for the Fall 2016 Semester

So, you’ve got the admission news you were waiting for: your coveted admission for an ‘MS in US’ is confirmed. You’re scheduled to join your American university in the fall 2016 semester – and now it’s time to book airline tickets and start thinking about travel plans and accommodation.

One problem, however, is contacting senior students who are already in your desired US university, so you can arrange for a pickup and drop from the airport and some temporary accommodation. Another is finding other students who are heading to your US university, so you can choose room-mates and make joint travel plans.

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Have you Met our Roommate Finder!

Living in a foreign country can be both exhilarating and daunting. So can finding the ‘perfect’ roommate.

Anyone who plans to do an ‘MS in US’ has to stay away from family and venture out on their own; and most of you will have come a ton across of horror stories about staying with complete strangers. Differences over how to arrange the apartment, food preferences, keeping different hours or even a sharing a bathroom can turn your dream of studying in America pretty sour! What may not have been significant when you lived with your family may become huge issues when you start sharing living space with others. So, maybe this will sound like advice for someone who is looking for a life partner rather than just a room partner but remember you are going to be sharing cooking, washing up and even laundry duties with that person (or those people). You are going to have to make arrangements to pay the rent and other bills and to share the keys – if that’s not like being married then what is? So, you have to make up your mind about what you are looking for in someone you are probably going to see, be with and work with almost every single day of your stay in the United States.

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Dilip Oak’s Academy – Roommate Finder for the Spring 2015 Semester

So, you’ve got the admission news you were waiting for: your coveted admission for an ‘MS in US’ is confirmed. You’re scheduled to join your American university in the spring 2015 semester – and now it’s time to book airline tickets and start thinking about travel plans and accommodation.

One problem, however, is contacting senior students who are already in your desired US university, so you can arrange for a pickup and drop from the airport and some temporary accommodation. Another is finding other students who are heading to your US university, so you can choose room-mates and make joint travel plans.

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Changing Your Field of Study

The American system is very flexible, so changing your field of study is acceptable even in the middle of a course. So, for example a student doing his or her MS in the engineering department of a particular university might shift to a program in the computer science department of that university.

Though this is acceptable, you must remember that when you transfer to a new department, the department may not accept all your credits. They may treat you as a fresh admission and accept only those credits that are common to both programs. So, before you change your course find out what credits will be accepted, see how many you will have to do all over again and then see whether it is really worth it. Only then is it worth thinking of changing your field.

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October-December Alert for Students Applying for Fall 2014

October-December 2013

For many of you who are applying for admission in fall 2014, the months from October to December will be when several important phases of the application process will draw to a close for you. Here’s what you have to do in that critical phase:

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What to Do When You Get Admission

Congrats! Now you have the admission message or letter you were waiting for. After all the celebrations though, it is the beginning of yet another round of many things to be done before you reach your ultimate aim: enrolling for the program you desire. So, what things come next? Well, you have to get the I-20 form and the visa. The approximate sequence of what you have to do to get these two crucial documents is as follows:

Admission in US for MS1. Read the letter or email carefully. If you have to send an acceptance of the offer do it promptly. Even if you have multiple offers it makes sense to accept more than one when there is no offer of funding.

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MS in US Career Opportunities For Computer Science / ECE Students

This post is written by our guest author: Ameya Kanitkar

Ameya holds master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Currently he works as a Software Engineer at a startup in Silicon Valley, California.

Computer Science Jobs: Google, Facebook, Apple, MicrosoftIf there is one industry which is booming in US, it’s the technology industry. If you hold an engineering degree in Computer Science/ Computer Engineering/ Information Systems/ ECE, you should strongly consider pursuing your postgraduate degree in the US. Here in the valley, companies are fighting for top tech talent – and the scenario is going crazy: entry-level software engineer salaries have already crossed $100,000/year mark. But when we say Computer Science there is more to it. This post is attempt to dive into various branches and see how various opportunities are stacking up in the US in general.

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