The United States of America boasts of the world’s most comprehensive higher education systems insofar as quality of education, educators, and flexibility of degree choices are concerned. The majority of the world’s top academic and research institutions are to be found in the United States. The American system borrows heavily from the UK as far as course structures are concerned, but are markedly different in terms of marking and course duration.
As a student, the greatest advantages of studying in the United States, apart from the quality of education, is the fact that all major American universities have recognised names on their Faculty lists and will help you interact with luminaries in your chosen field. The current state of the economy in the US (Growing at an unprecedented rate) is also a cause for celebration and there is plenty of room for skilled professionals, something that the universities excel at producing.
Financially, students must consider what kind of university they are going to apply to, whether public; which is state funded and therefore cheaper, or private universities, which are more expensive. Either way, there are numerous scholarships, waivers and bursaries available. Living expenses vary greatly between city-to-city, as between metropolitan and suburban areas. Student visas usually allow up to 20 hours of work a week, so a sizeable chunk of one’s expenses is taken care of through the said work.
(and hence important days for Indian students)
January (3rd Monday of the month): Martin Luther King Day
Every course in the US has a minimum number of "credits" (or 'credit hour' or 'unit') you need to take in order to graduate. Typically, an MS program will be around 30-40 credits while a Bachelors program will be around 110-140 credits. Generally, 3 credits put together will form a subject/ course but some ‘subjects' can be worth 1 or 2 credits.
To calculate the tuition fee, simply multiply - (number of credits) with (fee per credit hour)
Most of the restaurants in the U.S. will serve you unlimited coffee at one sitting without charging you for the refills. Some exceptions to this rule apply, especially at exclusive restaurants or for specialty coffees.
Some terms you might hear from fellow students:
ACE, BYOB, CRASH, FRAT, FRESHMAN, KEGGER, MY BAD, PREGAME, NERD, WASSUP, SORORITY, 24/7, FLIP CUP.
Daylight Savings: Be aware that clock times change in the U.S. twice a year. During winter months, clocks are set on “standard time,” but during summer months (when days are longer), clocks are moved ahead by one hour. This is done to create more hours of daylight in the evenings. Since winter hours are shorter, clocks are moved back one hour.
As of 2007, Daylight Savings Time will begin on the second Sunday in March and revert to standard time on the first Sunday in November. Be sure to mark your calendar and make the changes before going to bed on Saturday.
Being far from home can be exciting and scary. Adjusting to a new environment takes a long time. People who cross cultures usually are uncomfortable at first and talk of feeling confused, discouraged, lonely and anxious.
Your first task, of course, is to get settled in your new school’s campus community. Things will seem very new for a while, but you will establish a new daily routine. You will hear new English words and expressions and will need to adjust to a new climate, new health care procedures, new friends and new communication patterns.
There is no guaranteed cure for culture shock, but there are several things you can do to ease the symptoms.
Keep active: Spend time outside of your room or apartment. Meet with friends, join Indian cultural societies and groups. Join a good Yoga class. Observe Americans in their own culture. Go to shopping centres, parks, libraries and sporting events. Watch. Listen. Learn. This is part of your growing up process!
Make American friends, exercise, join groups that interest you, work on your English, be patient and remember your family and interact frequently with them. Remember Skype and video calls via WhatsApp are free!
IMFS has sent over 5000 Pharmacists to the US in programs as diverse as - Pharmacology, Pharmaceutics, to Cosmetology.