Style Living Self Celebrity Geeky News and Views
In the Paper BrandedUp Hello! Create with us Privacy Policy

This advising program can help you get started on your studies in the US

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Jun 27, 2023 6:09 pm

The road to college success can be demanding and challenging. Even more so if your dream is to be able to study in the United States, where prestigious schools like Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and more are calling out your name.

Lately, more and more Filipino students have opened up about how they excelled in their studies and graduated from foreign universities.

If you’re one of those people who want to follow in their footsteps but have no idea how to apply for international education, then this program of the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines may help you out.

EducationUSA was formed to provide free and comprehensive information on higher education to Filipinos interested in studying in the US. This was brought about by how there is an abundance of excellent schools across the country that not only offer strong courses but also helpful scholarship opportunities.

“Global education sharpens your intercultural skills and adds valuable perspectives employers look for when recruiting,” the US Embassy said when asked by PhilSTAR L!fe on how studying abroad can help elevate one’s career.

“US higher education focuses on a holistic approach,” they continued. “[Students] have opportunities for relevant volunteer work and extracurricular activities, and they are immersed in a diverse and engaging learning environment that helps them thrive academically and personally, and sets them up for professional success.”

There’s a lot of information and many choices to consider, which is why the embassy is determined to help potential students with their advising program and have narrowed down the journey into several simple steps:

The embassy understands that there is a lot of information and many choices to consider when applying to study in the United States. That is why the embassy has developed an advising program that breaks down the process into several simple steps.

Researching your options

Since you’re essentially entrusting your future to your school, it is important to find the most suitable institution that can teach you everything you need and more.

“We suggest students spend time researching schools because what makes a big difference in finding schools to apply to that you know will be a good fit for you and that you are the kind of student they wish to attract,” the US Embassy told L!fe.

With nearly 5,000 colleges and universities across the United States, it can be difficult to know where to start your search.

One thing you can do is to narrow down your college search by looking at the type of school you want to enroll yourself in, their acceptance rates (the lower the rate is, the more competitive it is), and whether they are offering the degree or program you want to take.

Since some of these institutions ask for a recommendation letter, a key tip is to talk with your teachers, guidance counselors, priests, or whomever you’re asking for a letter to ensure that they know what the university expects.

Funding your studies

The U.S. Embassy understands that education can be expensive, which is why they have developed a program to help international students finance their studies abroad.

According to them, it’s important that you check the websites of the universities for any updates on international student scholarships, college application fee waiver availability, and the deadlines for each. You must also find out how you can apply for scholarships.

Of course, scholarships are only limited, which is why the embassy stressed the need to highlight your strengths in your application.

“When you are interesting to them, they become more interested in finding scholarship money to ensure you can attend their school. Consider your grades, test scores, and extracurriculars – and consider which schools you like where you would be a top-tier applicant,” they advised.

“We also suggest students focus on their essays. Ensuring that your writing is clear and concise is essential,” they added.

Applying for a student visa and preparing for departure

Once you’ve finally been accepted to your chosen university, it’s now time to apply for a student visa.

The US Embassy distinguished between two types: an F or an M student visa. If you plan to attend a university or college, a conservatory, or any other academic institution (including a language training program), you will need an F visa.

However, if you plan to attend a vocational or other recognized academic institution, you need to secure an M visa.

Once you’ve determined the type of visa you need to apply for, you must then pay the application fee, complete the online application, schedule your visa appointment, and visit the US Embassy on your selected interview schedule.

Before you depart for the US, it is recommended that you attend a pre-departure orientation or an informative session with EducationUSA advisors. They will guide you through the final steps of preparing for your travel and academic semester.

Some key tips to keep in mind include reading the safety tips and travel safety plan provided by your university, and keeping a list of people you can contact during an emergency in your phone or wallet.

Importance of consulting

Ultimately, the key to successful international education is to consult with a reliable advising network. As the U.S. Embassy puts it, "There are so many choices to consider when studying in the United States, so it can be helpful to talk through your priorities with an experienced advisor who can help you narrow your options."

“You might want to discuss the type of school, the size of the school, which schools focus on research in your area, which locations in the United States interest you, the cost of living in different locations, places where there are large Fil-Am or Filipino communities near schools, and which extra-curricular and internship opportunities different schools offer,” they added.

EducationUSA was initiated in 2015 and as of 2021, more than 4,000 Filipinos have signed up to attend their advising sessions. Of the 11 students who participated in their 18-month-long mentorship program, four are headed to the US this fall, and three are on full scholarships.

If you are interested in advising, check out their social media pages, where they advertise upcoming group advising sessions.