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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Fall 2015 Pre-departure Orientation

PreDep Orientation Fall 15 DarkMake Your Journey to Your American University Smooth and Hassle-Free

So, you cracked the GRE and TOEFL exams and secured your coveted admit. Perhaps you even cleared the dreaded visa interview. Congratulations! But are you really ready to go? Not quite. One thing remains to be done – you and your parents have to attend Dilip Oak’s Academy’s Pre-departure Orientation for Fall 2014. Here’s why.

What is the Pre-Departure Orientation (and What’s It For)?

If you are joining an American university in fall 2015 and want to make travelling there (and the process of settling in) an organized, tension-free process, then Dilip Oak’s Academy’s Pre-Departure Orientation is a must for you and your parents. There are several matters that you have to think through and preparations you and your parents have to make before you can begin your education in America. The orientation will explain them all. For example:

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Don’t Read This Unless You Have a Good Vocabulary!

The passage below has 20 high-frequency vocabulary words in it. See if you can understand their meaning from the context. If not read the meanings and sample sentences given below the passage.

When was the last time you played a game or pursued a hobby?

One can choose a hobby from a plethora of options, and explore them more or less deeply. Some try to develop their culinary skills, or attempt writing a book, or indulge in more erudite hobbies like numismatics or philately. Some set their heart on playing a musical instrument, like the guitar.

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Booming Trend: Why Indian Students Flock to American Universities for MS in US

Photo Credit: NRIPulseIn August 2014 alone, around 35,000 students from India joined various American universities, with the major outflow of students to American universities from Hyderabad, Chennai, and Mumbai, and Pune not far behind. The increasing demand for Indian students for Master’s courses in America has been driven by a resurgent US economy and student-friendly US government initiatives.

As even the White House has recently pointed out, science and engineering in America create the innovative processes and services that make the US economy the most productive in the world today. The revival of the American economy from 2011 onward has fueled the growing demand for working professionals in the fields of engineering and computer science. To meet this demand the American government is encouraging international students to join American universities for Master’s as well as doctoral programs. It has introduced a special category called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and liberally provides visas for students in this category. These students also have a special quota for the work permit (H-1B visa) and are also allowed to work for 29 months after completing their master’s without a work permit under what is called Optional Practical Training (OPT) . This has provided a golden opportunity that Indian students have been quick to capitalize on.

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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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The Academic Year in American Universities

The academic year in American universities is usually of a total length of 9 months (excluding a 3-month summer holiday). But the division of these 9 months into terms varies from university to university. Generally, the system will be one of these 3 types:

The Quarter System

In this system the academic year is divided into four quarters of approximately 10 weeks each.

The Trimester System

Here, the academic year is divided into three periods of 12 weeks each.

The Semester System

This is the most common system. In it the educational year is divided into 3 semesters:

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Success Stories of Indians Who Made It Big in America – Ajay Bhatt Inventor of the USB and Other Achievers

If you use a desktop, laptop, mobile phone, tablet or external hard disk drive, it’s impossible not to know about the USB (universal serial bus) port. The news is that this port, used to transfer both information and power between devices, is now about to become more versatile – there are plans to make it flippable and also able to deliver the power required by larger networks. But did you know that the inventor of the USB port is an Indian? Well, it’s true and his name is Ajay Bhatt.

After graduating from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda Bhatt went on to The City University of New York, where he received his master’s degree. In 1990, Bhatt joined Intel Corporation as a senior staff architect on the chipset architecture team. Currently, he holds thirty-one U.S. patents, and several others are in various stages of filing. Some time ago IEEE Spectrum did an interesting interview with him about how Intel made the USB truly universal and other things like an ‘all-day’ computer project he is working on (read: a computer that you can use all day on a single charge) and some of his past achievements (click here to see “Ajay Bhatt: Intel’s Rock-Star Inventor”).

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