Students Take Advantage of Opportunities to Study in Singapore and Malaysia.

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Attracted to their strong economies and vibrant cultures, Western students are becoming increasingly interested in the opportunities on offer in Asian countries. Mandarin Chinese has quickly become one of the most popular foreign languages for university students to learn, and increasing numbers of them are taking semesters and years abroad in China, Japan, and elsewhere. Some of the best opportunities of this sort are some of the least widely known, though. For example, Singapore and Malaysia have some truly worthy and rewarding programs for foreign students.

English-speaking students who decide to Study in Singapore often find themselves hoping to put down ties in the country. This small island nation is known for its incredibly robust economy, as it serves as a trading and financial center for much of surrounding Asia. English is widely spoken in the country, so that students with English-speaking backgrounds invariably feel right at home from the start and can easily begin learning in their chosen fields, rather than struggling to adjust. Schools in the city-state offer six-month programs that segue into valuable arranged internships with companies in relevant industries, so that students combine academic learning with real-world skill-building that will help with acquiring employment later on.

Nearby Malaysia is an equally attractive destination for students, with similar opportunities being widely available. Those who opt to Study in Malaysia may again typically rely on their English skills when it comes to academic matters and will also have the opportunity to become proficient in the nation’s first language of Malaysian. Many opt for postings in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, an energetic, fascinating place which is also the economic hub of the large country.

Malaysia’s liberalized, Western-style economy means that it has many things to offer students looking to acquire the skills necessary to get started in future careers. Many find that the technical and engineering training available in the country is of especially high quality, with plenty of internships being available to put these newly acquired skills to use. As with Singapore, thanks to government initiatives aimed at increasing the number of foreign students in the country, those who wish to study in Malaysia will find plenty of attractive opportunities that are designed to be easy to take advantage of.

The Opportunities for Studying Abroad

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In this competitive employment environment, it’s vitally important that as a young person facing the end of high school, that you consider furthering your education. It’s becoming very difficult to find any sort of profitable career path without having some sort of degree as well as a great deal of training, education and real-world experience. That’s why many curious high school students are continuing the rich tradition of studying abroad. There many different countries that offer student programs and if you would like to Study in Australia or Study in New Zealand, you’ll be happy to know that there are many different programs available.

The first thing that you should take note of is the wide variety of different subjects that are available to study. Whether you’re looking to earn a degree in business, construction, design or you’re looking for a degree in the arts, there are numerous different programs offered by a wide variety of different education providers. While the courses can range anywhere from $14,000 to upwards of $22,000 and lasts for as little as six months to up to two years, there are numerous opportunities to receive a quality education in places like Australia and New Zealand.

Outside of receiving an education, you will also have the opportunity to see certain places of the world that most people simply will never get an opportunity to visit. There is much to see in a country like Australia and New Zealand from vast natural beauty to a wide range of different culture. In addition, the experience of visiting these places for a few days or in your case, many months to a few years is something you’ll never forget.

On top of it all, you will have the opportunity to earn while getting your education. Most of these programs allow students to work at least part-time hours in order to have some money of their own while living and studying abroad. With a higher than average hourly rate in Australia and New Zealand, the amount of money you can earn may be quite significant, even while being limited to 15 hours a week.

Whether you’re looking for a change of scenery, quality education and experience you’ll never forget, studying abroad is an excellent opportunity. With a chance to study in New Zealand and Australia, if you’re interested in furthering your education, it’s something you should seriously consider.

 

Tips for Students Studying and Living in Canada

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Studying and working in Canada is a learning experience for international students. This is a great way for students to learn about other cultures, inside and outside, of the university. If you are looking to Study and Work Canada, you will find a few tips below to help you adjust to not only another culture, but to a different learning experience as well.

The First Days at the University

You can expect your first days to be a little confusing, but you have to remember that you are not only in a new school, but in a new country as well. Give it time, trust in yourself, and the people around you, and before long you will settle in and be ready to have the learning experience, and cultural experience of your life.

You should make sure to attend the orientation that is offered by the university when you first start. This is your best bet at getting to know the students, teachers, and making sure that you know your way around the campus, before classes start in earnest.

You will want to listen carefully to instructions on how to:

  • Maintain your visa and study permits
  • How to get around the campus
  • How to open a local bank account
  • Rules and regulations
  • How to buy books and supplies
  • Setting up your email and computer procedures

These are just a few of the important things that you will want to listen carefully to during orientation. Remember that you are in a different country, and you wanted to Study in Canada, so you need to learn their customs and ways of doing things.

Social Interactions

You will want to make friends as soon as possible, when you are living in Canada. Remember that you do not only want to study there, you want to work there after you graduate. If you are invited to an event, then you need to make sure that you arrive on time. If you have to cancel and appointment or skip an event, call, because Canadians are extremely punctual and may take your lateness as an insult.

 

 

Practical Job Training During Your Education

Study and Work USA

It is the dream of many around the world to come to the United States, earn an education and see and experience the country. A successful career and comfortable life in the USA are the biggest parts of the American Dream. Those are achievable by anyone who is interested in working hard, but they come much easier to those that have chosen to improve their education.

 

A program known as Curricular Practical Training (CPT) offers students the opportunity to gain an even better understanding of their subject of study by working in the industry field both during and after their education. These can be either full time or part time positions and they must relate to the field of study. There are restrictions which apply to who can be in the programs and what their credentials must be. This is a wonderful opportunity for many people to gain real experience, saving time as they get their education and build on their resume at the same time.

 

Study and Work USA programs are designed to match qualified students up with jobs that match their chosen degree fields. They enable to students to attend an accredited college or university while also being allowed to work in a paid position, not an unpaid internship. The qualified student is often able to work at the same location for the entire duration of their education.

 

Additional programs relating to these also exist. Each has their own requirements and restrictions in order to qualify and stay qualified. The differences between the programs are relating to how many hours you are allowed to work and a few other restrictions. There are possibilities for extension of the programs which can allow you to stay for a length of time beyond receiving your degree as well.

 

The programs are a terrific opportunity to fullfill a dream and Study in USA. They provide you with the opportunity to gain the valuable experience you will need to get started on your career after graduation and allow you to earn an income as well. If you have made the choice to come to the USA and earn a degree, find out more about these exciting opportunities.

Tips For Finding Housing in the US

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Finding housing in a foreign city is not an easy task, but it’s an important step for international students to take before they step on the plane to start their study abroad. Some universities have on-campus housing – also called dorms – but many international students appreciate the independence of renting an apartment. Here are some tips for finding and renting an apartment:

* Location – do an online search of the listed apartment address. Is it on a bus route? Is it within walking distance to campus and/or your work-study site? The online maps programs will help you determine this information.

* Cost – What is included in the rent? Will you be required to pay for garbage, heat, electric, water and/or sewer separately? If these are not included, ask the landlord to provide you with the amounts previous renters paid for the past three months so you can calculate your entire monthly room and board expenses. You probably will also be asked to pay a security deposit – often the price of one or two month’s rent – which you should receive back when you move out of the apartment, if no damage has occurred.

* Length of lease – A lease is a legal document identifying what you the renter agree to pay, and what the landlord agrees to provide. A traditional lease tends to last a year. Carefully read through the lease, and if you have questions, ask a friend or contact HTIR Work-Study USA for help before signing.

* Condition of apartment – Your landlord should do a formal walk-through of the apartment with you. Take notes – and photos – of any damage you notice as proof of previous condition.

Contact HTIR if you encounter any difficulties with finding an apartment or negotiating a lease.

 

Why Work & Study Program ??

Banking in the USA

Having money available for school expenses, living costs and fun activities is important for international students studying in the United States through the HTIR Work-Study USA, Inc. program. Students are encouraged to set up an account with a local bank in the community so they can directly access their accounts in person.

Some universities will have a partnership established with a local bank, which can be especially helpful for international students. However, you can open a bank account with any financial institution using the following tips:

* Compare services provided by local banks if you have several options available to you. Be sure to compare interest payments for checking and savings accounts, as well as any fees that might be applied to those accounts. Look for no-fee accounts that also offer you online banking services. Also look for banks that offer “student” accounts, which might be a better service for your needs.

* Visit the bank with your passport, funds you wish to deposit, your I-20 form and I-94 form to open an account. You may also want to bring your student ID. When first arriving in the United States, many schools recommend students bring with them around $2,000, which you can then deposit. For security reasons, using travelers cheques or a foreign bank card that will work in U.S. cash machines are better than bringing cash.

* Ask the bank about money transfer costs in case you need to receive money from friends or family during your schooling in the states, or want to transfer money back to your home country when you’ve graduated and are ready to leave.

* Once you have a work-study job established, ask your employer if your paycheck can be directly deposited into your bank account. This service can help you save time and keep a higher balance on your account.

Health Care Options for International Students

Getting sick or injured is never anyone’s idea of a good time. But when you’re living in a foreign country, trying to figure out how to get medical help, and trying to figure out health care insurance, can be difficult.

The U.S. government does not require holders of the F-1 visa to have health care. Many universities, however, will require foreign study students to have proof of health care insurance for admittance to the school.

Foreign students studying in the United States do have health care coverage options available.

First, look at what coverage your university offers for students. Because universities often have large numbers of students and staff enrolled in their coverage plans, your school might provide the cheapest option available. If for some reason your university doesn’t have a health care plan available, many private health insurance companies cater to international students studying in the United States.

Health care insurance not only provides financial assistance for bills related to illness or injury, but also can provide prescription coverage as well. Before traveling to the United States, ask your doctor about the prescriptions you take, and if they are available in the United States. If they are, you’ll have to visit a doctor once you arrive in the United States to get a new prescription created. Ask your home doctor to prepare a letter with your medical history information to present to your new doctor.

If the medications you take are not available in the United States, discuss with your doctor a plan you can follow to be certain you stay healthy while spending time in the United States.

Cellphone Service Plans in the US

One of the first tools international students shop around for when they arrive in the United States is a cellphone. Cellphones are an easy way for students to connect with friends and classmates at school, keep in contact with their work study employer and conduct personal business, whether it’s planning a group outing one evening or calling a landlord to get something fixed.

If a student is interested in calling internationally from the United States to keep in touch with friends and family back home, it is recommended he/she invest in calling cards because they tend to be a less expensive option than adding international fees on a cellphone bill.

There are many options for investing in cellphones. The most basic option is the USA Sim Card, which can plug into international phones brought over by students. This is a prepaid plan, and provides your phone with a new USA-based number.

The next options are monthly prepaid plans with nationwide coverage. This option is best for students who plan to use the phone for limited calls or emergencies, but the cost of the cellphone itself is separate from the plan. Services providers will offer a set amount of minutes – per a specific time period. If those minutes get used up, extra charges could occur. After that, the plans become more complicated, and it’s good for students to undertake some research before making a purchase.

Providers often offer a contract – usually for two years, which works for students studying under the HTIR Work-Study USA program. This contract can cover everything from the cost of the phone itself to minutes, texting and data usage. These plans are more expensive, and really are only recommended for students who need to have a smartphone with Internet access.

For more information, visit some of the larger cellphone service providers, including AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular.

Questions to Ask Your Landlord

Here are some questions that landlords can help answer, allowing international students moving to the United States to get settled in easily.

1. Utility contact information – If you are responsible for paying for your utilities (water, gas, electric and garbage), ask your landlord for the contact information of the service provider so you can get those services switched over to your name.

2. Transportation services – In larger cities, bus lines often connect apartment complexes with the rest of the city. Ask your landlord to provide you with the bus company name, so you can look up schedules and routes. Your landlord can also supply contact information for taxi cab services to help you get out and about. If you plan to acquire a car during your stay in the U.S., be sure to ask your landlord about parking for your vehicle.

3. Cable/Satellite TV – Television reception and services vary from city to city in the United States, and your landlord will know the names of providers covering your neighborhood. You will have to do your own research to compare prices and services, but having a list of providers will make the task much easier.

4. Phone providers – Your landlord may be familiar with which cellphone and landline phone services are the best for where your apartment is located. You will need to research which services will provide you the best coverage for calling internationally, as well as when you’re travelling around the United States.

5. Location of stores – Being new to a community is overwhelming at first, especially when you’re trying to find grocery stores or convenience stores to help furnish your apartment. Your landlord can give you this information, as well as where local banks, worship centers, restaurants and libraries are located.

English Proficiency

Introduction:

A primary challenge for international applicants seeking to work or study in the U.S. is the ability to speak English. You will need strong skills in writing, speaking and understanding English to not only be granted the F-1 visa, but also in order to be successful throughout your U.S. education and/or U.S. employment.

Many applicants learn to read and write English quite well, but their ability to speak English with the American accent is not at the same level because there are not as many opportunities in their home country to practice speaking with the American accent. To be able to speak a language, you must hear it. You must hear the sounds of the language to be able to learn how to reproduce those sounds. Students from some countries have little opportunity to hear English spoken by American speakers. If you learn English from a teacher who’s first language is not English, you will learn to make the sounds with the same accent the teacher has. You also will not learn the slang words and phrases that many Americans use. Do you know what, “Let sleeping dogs lie?” , or “She was having a cow?”, mean? This is an example of a slang phrase that will not be found in an English text book.

Internship English Requirements

In order for an employer to want to hire you for a position in the U.S. , he/she will need to be confident that you understand English well enough to be able to communicate with your co-workers. Most employers can not afford or do not want to bother with the extra time it takes to explain something to an employee whose English is not very good. If the employer has to decide between two employees with similar skills, but one’s English is very good and the other’s English is not yet proficient, the employer is most likely going to choose the applicant whose English is very good. So, the better your English abilities, the better chance of getting hired.

School English Requirements

Most colleges and universities in the US request evidence confirming an applicant’s English skills by requiring the current results of a TOEFL, TSE or IELTS exam. Most schools publish minimum score levels to meet admission standards. For example, the typical minimum requirements for the paper-based TOEFL exam, for undergraduate students is a score of 500 – 525, while the minimum score for graduate students ranges from 550 – 600, depending on the program. However, for getting a job, it doesn’t matter what your score is. What will matter is your accent and how well you can understand and respond to your employer.

English as a Second Language More and more schools are developing strong English as a Second Language (ESL) programs to support their increasing numbers of international students. Many of these schools will accept students with lower than the minimum scores “conditionally,” with the provision that the student take a sufficient number of hours in their ESL classes. Students are tested upon arrival and the required number of ESL courses is tailored to the students’ needs. Students that are accepted to a school, but do not meet the minimum English proficiency, will have this fact noted in Section 6 of their I-20. Some schools require students lacking in English proficiency to complete their ESL coursework before allowing them to register for regular courses in their curriculum, while other schools will allow international students to begin their regular coursework at the same time that the students are taking the required ESL courses.

The Visa Interview

Most U.S. F-1 visa interviews are very short, perhaps three minutes or less, depending on the country or the student’s situation. Within that limited time, the visa officer must determine, among other things, whether or not the applicant’s English abilities are sufficient for the student to be successful in their studies in the U.S. They will ask standard questions, such as, “Why did you choose this school?” or “Are you married?” or “How will this degree serve your future career plans?” Many students anticipate such questions and prepare memorized answers ahead of time. This is good practice, to a point. However, visa officers may ask questions just to test your knowledge of the English language, such as, “What is the weather like in San Diego?” (or whatever state your school is located in). If the visa officer is not convinced that your English is good enough, you will not receive the visa. HTIR will help you prepare for the visa interview so you know how to respond to these questions. However, it will be very important for you to practice your spoken English, as well as get use to hearing the American accent, so you are understand what the visa officer is asking you and you can respond confidently.

Seven Reasons to Become a Healthcare Manager

Reason 1: Making a difference — Decisions made by healthcare executives improve the lives of hundreds, even thousands of people every day. Healthcare leaders have a sense of social mission — they care deeply about the people they work with and serve. And hospitals and healthcare organizations provide ideal opportunities for those who want to “do well by doing good.”

Reason 2: Broad career opportunities — Healthcare is the largest industry in the U.S., and the second largest employer with more than 11 million jobs. Virtually all new private sector jobs over the past five years came from healthcare; and the sector continues to grow faster than most other segments. And international healthcare opportunities are equally vast. Furthermore, unlike many traditional management programs, graduates of healthcare management programs can find significant health-related opportunities in areas ranging from small rural communities to large metropolitan areas and throughout the world.

Reason 3: Excellent earning potential — Students pursuing healthcare careers have excellent earning potential. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health service managers earned an average annual salary of $81,160 in 2006. Senior healthcare executives with more experience and achievements can earn $100,000 or significantly more.

Reason 4: Career flexibility — A graduate degree in healthcare can take you in many different and exciting directions. In addition to more traditional careers within health-service organizations, graduates work in many other areas including pharmaceutical and health insurance companies; management consulting; long-term care facilities; professional societies and state and federal agencies. Further, there are tremendous opportunities for global healthcare managers including international government agencies, and worldwide charitable organizations.

Reason 5: Management and advancement potential — Healthcare offers an excellent career ladder allowing people the option to take on roles in different sectors of the field over the course of their careers. The core skill-sets you develop in a healthcare management program provides a competitive advantage within the healthcare sector. In addition, these skills transfer readily across a variety of industries, providing flexibility for non-health sector positions as well.

Reason 6: Visible and valued Role in the community — Healthcare executives typically are highly respected members of their communities. Hospitals and other healthcare organizations are among the largest employers in many communities and their organizations positively impact the health of the populations they serve and the well-being of their community.

Reason 7: Continual self-improvement — Healthcare management is a career that values continual self-improvement and education, and many employers encourage continued professional development. Many organizations often support tuition remission or in-service training for new skills. Innovation and continuous learning will be a part of the job from the day you start.

Earning money through internships

Earning money through internships while going to school

HTIR’s work study, internship or curricular practical training (CPT) programs are a big draw for international students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in the United States. These internships provide both real life learning in conjunction with their studies at the university, as well as funds to help pay for tuition and living arrangements.

What makes HTIR unique from other United States study abroad programs is that it has worked with universities to establish CPT programs legally allowing students to being working in off campus internships immediately. Students earning a master’s degree through other study abroad programs must wait an academic year before pursuing an off campus job.

It is up to students to search out job opportunities and apply for them. Each university has a Career Counselor on site to assist with resume writing, interview skills, as well as searching out employment opportunities via newspapers, the Internet, at job fairs or through other placement opportunities.

Prior to working, students must be enrolled in a school program, have started classes and obtained a Social Security number, which can take between two to four weeks. Most students traditionally are able to find employment within a couple of weeks of starting their search.

Students are encouraged to apply for entry-level jobs paying between $7 and $10 an hour, which are traditionally below the skill level for which students are actually qualified to perform. These jobs must be an integral part of the program they are studying. As students are integrated into the American workforce culture, they can apply for and accept a position more suited to their job skills.

In the United States, a work week is up to 40 hours, but overtime may be a possibility, depending on the job. Traditionally a two-week notice of resignation is provided to current employers before starting a new job.

There are Jobs in the USA

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. Yes, There are Jobs in the USA

As you may know, in 2009 the unemployment rate in the United States experienced a significant increase. However, the HTIR interns continue to secure employment. Why? Because HTIR, its associates, and the universities are all working together to give the HTIR intern the proper tools and skills that he/she needs in order to successfully find and secure employment in the U.S. The assistance provided by the universities and its associates, is similar to having a private “employment coach” who works with each intern individually, training him/her how to be successful in obtaining employment. Please read Jon Cleary’s article on what the unemployment rate really means.

However, you should know that getting a job in the US is not something that is “given” to you. You must have ambition and determination in order to obtain employment. The type of job you receive will also be determined by your experience, skills and English ability. Finding a job can be a difficult time consuming task, even for Americans living in the United States. But, if you know where and how to locate the job, then you will have much success in getting employment in the US.

Many people do not understand the many tips and tricks of getting employed. They may not know how to effectively network, or how to write a winning resume, cover letter, or thank you letter. Many do not know how, or even understand the importance of making a good first impression during the job interview. Perhaps most importantly, many Americans do not have the network contacts or job leads that HTIR, its associates, and the universities have.

How is the US Economy Affecting the HTIR Interns?

Below are unemployment statistics from the US government (Nov 2009). Note that the area most effected by the current US economy are those with no college education. Because all of HTIR interns have Bachelor degrees they tend to not be effected as much by today’s economy.

Unemployment rate by education http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t04.htm, As of November 2009 below are the unemployment rate based on education:

 

Less than a high school diploma 15%

High school graduates, no college 10.4%

Some college or associate degree 9.0%

Bachelor’s degree and higher 4.9% (HTIR interns)

As of Nov 2009, (during the worse recession in the US since the depression, 87% of the HTIR interns are employed.

Although employment has fallen in construction, manufacturing, and retail trade, other fields continue to add jobs. Health care employment continued to increase in November 08 with a gain of 35,000 jobs. Job growth in the industry averaged 30,000 a month over the prior 12 months. Further, high tech jobs, financial analysis, business management and technical consulting services each added jobs in 2009.

Average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers has increased steadily over the last year, Also, the consumer price index (CPI) or aggregate price of goods/services is down .1% from last month.

Resume and Cover Letters

Resumes and cover letters are what will get you an interview. Clear, concise resumes are important because the employer does not have much time to read through each resume. You want to organize your resume so it contains your information in an efficient and quickly readable format. Start with your, name and contact information, followed by your experience, education and skills. You should not list personal data, such as birth date, marital status, children, etc. However, make sure your name and contact information is in a very visible area. If possible limit your resume to one page.

Because you are an international candidate, you will want to place extra emphasis on your English skills. However, it is important to be HONEST about your English ability. Honesty is very important in the United States, and lying on your resume will not only get you fired, but could also give you a bad reputation. You should clarify on the resume what level you can speak, read and write. If you can speak any other language you should mention this as well.

A potential employer may not be familiar with your native country, thus it is important to explain a bit about the companies you have worked for in your home country. Each explanation should only be one or two sentences long.

You will need to state on your resume or cover letter that you are authorized to work in the U.S. Make sure and specify why you are authorized and what visa you are on. HTIR or the university staff will assist you in explaining your work authorization.

Your cover letter should be a selective summary of your resume. In the cover letter you may take the opportunity to emphasize your strengths and experience related to the position for which you are applying.

Also, lets not forget the “Thank you” letter that should follow the interview.

The Job Interview

It is important to understand the cultural differences each countries job interview process. Below are some tips that will help you be successful in your US job interview:

1. Always arrive for the interview on time. It is even better to show up a few minutes early.

2. Speak English well. Practice your English before an interview so you are able to communicate clearly.

3. Be polite. Shake hands and have eye contact when you meet your interviewer. In some countries it is not okay for the women to shake hands with a male. If you are male and your interviewer is female, then you must shake hands….and if you are female and your interviewer is male, it is okay to shake hands. You must do so in the United States.

4. Be pleasant. Smile during the interview.

5. It is important to maintain eye contact. In some countries this is not an appropriate gesture. However, in the U.S. it is very important because it shows you are confident in yourself.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the company. This shows you are interested in the company.

7. Do not ask questions about salary or benefits until the end of the interview, or better yet, not at all.

8. Never lie. In the U.S. lying could be grounds for firing (or not hiring) an employee.

9. Do not monopolize the conversation. Listen attentively to your interviewer.

10. Answer the questions confidently and thoughtfully.

11. Always keep the conversation positive. Employers don’t want to hear about all your problems nor do they want to hear you complain about other people or businesses. Keep the focus on your skills and experience.

12. At the end of the interview, shake the interviewers hand and say “thank-you.” Remember to keep eye contact.

13. It is very important to learn the differences between your country’s cultural rules and the United States’. It is the goal of the work-study programs for you to become successful in the U.S., as well as in your own country when you return to find the dream, high paying job.

F-1 Visa

Students outside the US who want to come to the US to study at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and who are applying to universities and colleges for academic study or to language training programs require an F-1 visa. Students must be admitted to a US SEVP approved school, receive an I-20 form, submit the I-901 form and pay a SEVIS fee before being allowed to apply for an F-1 visa. .

US schools must be approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to be able to admit international students. SEVP is part of the Department of Homeland Security and manages nonimmigrant students, their dependents that have accompanied them to the US, and the schools they attend in the US. SEVIS

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) tracks all international students who apply to attend a US school and monitors their stay and the schools they attend.

Work and Study
F-1 visa holders may participate in on or off-campus employment. Please read more about F-1 employment options

I-20 Form
When a student applies to a SEVP approved school, and is accepted, the school will issue an I-20 form and a SEVIS number, along with the acceptance letter. This form and number enter the student into the SEVIS system for tracking throughout his or her stay in the US.

SEVIS Fee
F-1 Students must pay a $200 US dollar fee before being allowed to schedule a visa interview appointment with the US consulate in their home country. Students can pay this fee by credit or debit card via the internet, by check or money order by mail to SEVP, or by Western Union Quick Pay. Paying by the internet is quick and efficient, and generates an immediate receipt for payment. Always remember to print out the SEVIS payment receipt before exiting the site. Persons other than the student are allowed to make the SEVIS fee payment.

Please visit www.fmjfee.com for complete instructions. I-901 Form Students must file the form I-901 at the time they pay their SEVIS fee. Go towww.fmjfee.com to complete the form online, or to print a .pdf version. DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application form This form and an accompanying fee are required in some consulates. Please check the website of the consulate where you will be applying for the visa.

Visa Interview Appointment
Students will use the SEVIS number, located in the upper right hand corner of the I-20 form to schedule their visa interview appointment at the consulate. Be sure to check any available instructions on the website of the embassy or consulate where you will be applying for your visa.

Documents to accompany the student to the Visa Interview.
The visa interview costs $200 for each interview. When the student arrives at the consulate for their visa interview, they must be sure to bring with them the required documentation, including: I-20 form and acceptance letter from school, current valid passport, 2”x2” photo, SEVIS payment receipt, Visa application form, copies of degree and transcripts, financial statements documenting sufficient funds designated for the student’s educational expenses during their first year in school, a letter of support from the student’s financial sponsor, test score reports, and any other documentation of business or land holdings in their home country. It is also helpful to bring a brochure or other published information about the school you are applying to. It will be important that you show the visa officer you have sufficient funds for your first and second year of study.

Visa Interview
The visa interview with a US visa officer will be very short, only 2 – 3 minutes in length. It is the student’s responsibility to demonstrate to the visa officer that they are a serious student and that they have a clear plan for their education in the US and future employment in their home country. See a list of required documents that you will need to take with you to the visa interview.

Dependents
Students may choose to have their spouse and children apply for an F-2 visa to accompany them to the US. The following documents need to be submitted to the school in request of the F-2 I-20s: passports, marriage certificate, approximately $6,000 in additional financial support per dependent.

Length of Stay on a F-1 visa
Students are allow to enter the US up to 30 days in advance of the start date noted on their I-20. Students must report to the I-20 issuing school for which they received the visa within that time period, or they will be considered out of status. After completion of their program, students may transfer to a different program or to another school within the SEVIS system. The student also has the option of remaining in the US to work for up to one year in the Optional Practical Training program. For more information go to:
www.travel.state.gov
www.ice.gov/sevis
www.fmjfee.com

M-1 Visas

Students outside the US who want to come to the US to study in a vocational training program require an M-1 visa. Students must be admitted to a US SEVP approved school, receive an I-20 form, submit the I-901 form and pay a SEVIS fee before being allowed to apply for an M-1 visa.

US schools must be approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to be able to admit international students. SEVP is part of the Department of Homeland Security and manages nonimmigrant students, their dependents that have accompanied them to the US, and the schools they attend in the US. SEVIS

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) tracks all international students who apply to attend a US school and monitors their stay and the schools they attend.

Work and Study
M-1 student holders are not allowed to participate in any form of paid employment.

I-20 Form
When a student applies to a SEVP approved school, and is accepted, the school will issue an I-20 form and a SEVIS number, along with the acceptance letter. This form and number enter the student into the SEVIS system for tracking throughout his or her stay in the US.

SEVIS Fee
M-1 Students must pay a $200 US dollar fee before being allowed to schedule a visa interview appointment with the US consulate in their home country. Students can pay this fee by credit or debit card via the internet, by check or money order by mail to SEVP, or by Western Union Quick Pay. Paying by the internet is quick and efficient, and generates an immediate receipt for payment. Always remember to print out the SEVIS payment receipt before exiting the site. Persons other than the student are allowed to make the SEVIS fee payment.

Please visit www.fmjfee.com for complete instructions. I-901 Form Students must file the form I-901 at the time they pay their SEVIS fee. Go towww.fmjfee.com to complete the form online, or to print a .pdf version. DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application form This form and an accompanying fee are required in some consulates. Please check the website of the consulate where you will be applying for the visa.

Visa Interview Appointment
Students will use the SEVIS number, located in the upper right hand corner of the I-20 form to schedule their visa interview appointment at the consulate. Be sure to check any available instructions on the website of the embassy or consulate where you will be applying for your visa.

Documents to accompany the student to the Visa Interview.
The visa interview costs $200 for each interview. When the student arrives at the consulate for their visa interview, they must be sure to bring with them the required documentation, including: I-20 form and acceptance letter from school, current valid passport, 2”x2” photo, SEVIS payment receipt, Visa application form, copies of degree and transcripts, financial statements documenting sufficient funds designated for the student’s educational expenses during their first year in school, a letter of support from the student’s financial sponsor, test score reports, and any other documentation of business or land holdings in their home country. It is also helpful to bring a brochure or other published information about the school you are applying to. It will be important that you show the visa officer you have sufficient funds for your first and second year of study.

Visa Interview
The visa interview with a US visa officer will be very short, only 2 – 3 minutes in length. It is the student’s responsibility to demonstrate to the visa officer that they are a serious student and that they have a clear plan for their education in the US and future employment in their home country. See a list of required documents that you will need to take with you to the visa interview.

Dependents
Students may choose to have their spouse and children apply for an M-2 visa to accompany them to the US. The following documents need to be submitted to the school in request of the M-2 I-20s: passports, marriage certificate, approximately $6,000 in additional financial support per dependent.

Length of Stay on a M-1 visa
Students are allow to enter the US up to 30 days in advance of the start date noted on their I-20. Students must report to the I-20 issuing school for which they received the visa within that time period, or they will be considered out of status. After completion of their program, students may transfer to a different program or to another school within the SEVIS system. The student also has the option of remaining in the US to work for up to one year in the Optional Practical Training program. For more information go to:
www.travel.state.gov
www.ice.gov/sevis
www.fmjfee.com

Southern New Hampshire University

International students interested in business, marketing and information technology degrees will be interested in Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), located in Manchester, N.H. In addition to offering excellent educational programs at the university, this city also has been rated as a great place to live and launch a business by CNNMoney.com.

Here are some reasons why: Water and cotton are the two prominent physical factors of Manchester. One of the early industrial businesses in the city was a spinning mill, which at one time in history was the largest cotton mill in the world. The mills went out of business in the early 1900s, but were reincorporated into the city’s landscape as commercial, municipal and residential buildings, giving the city a beautiful, historical, Victorian setting. Manchester has the Merrimack River, the Piscataquog River and Cohas Brook running through its borders, and also has Massabesic Lake on the eastern edge, providing residents with plenty of water activities and beautiful scenery.

In fact, SNHU is right on the Merrimack River, split between the town of South Hooksett and North End Neighborhood. This area of Manchester is more of a suburban shopping area, great for finding lodging and connected to the city via the Manchester Transit Authority bus service for easy access to jobs.

New Hampshire experiences all four seasons, and many tourists travel to the state in the fall months to see the leaves change color. Manchester is only an hour’s drive from Boston and the ocean, giving students plenty of opportunities to get out and explore on weekends and for quick study breaks.

University of Findlay

The University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio The University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio, has many master degree offerings to make it an attractive educational destination for international students. And as a small, mid-western city, Findlay also has many opportunities for students to keep busy during study breaks and on weekends.

The city’s population hovers around 40,000 people. The Blanchard River defines Findlay’s landscape and history. The city was developed first as a fort in the 1812 war, and about 50 years later, gas and oil were discovered in the area, greatly increasing the city’s population. Those resources have dwindled, but now the city is headquarters for a tire company, a petroleum company, and is a distribution center for several national retailers.

To explore the history of the area, The Old Millstream Scenic Byway, which runs along the Blanchard River, has many points of interest, with plenty of tales from long ago. You’ll also be able to see many flags decorating the city along this route – which helped the city earn its nickname, “Flag City, USA.” As a smaller city, Findlay is an affordable community to live in.

The university is located not too far from the downtown area, and has many apartment opportunities close to campus within walking and biking distance.

The campus also gives the university a community setting, more so than some of the larger-city universities. Within a short drive of the city, students can reach Van Buren State Park, with camping, fishing and picnicking opportunities, Lake Erie, one of the five great lakes, as well as Columbus, Ohio, a large metropolis with museums to visit.

Lincoln University

International students looking for a master’s degree in human resource management, financial management or international business will want to check out HTIR’s Work Study program at Lincoln University in Oakland, Calif. They’ll also want to check out the community of Oakland, as well.

Oakland is located across the bay from San Francisco. Lincoln University is based in the downtown area of the city, just a short drive from both Lake Merritt and Oakland Inner Harbor. In addition to studying for their MBA and working, students can also take time to explore the Lake Merritt wildlife refuge, or celebrate with the locals during the many cultural and art festivals held all year long. And if students want to experience a bit of American football, the Oakland Raiders play at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

But where Oakland really excels is in climate and weather. Rand McNally ranks the city No. 1 in climate among U.S. cities. Even though it’s close to San Francisco – which frequently experiences high levels of fog – Oakland is located more inland, and fog quickly burns off, bringing the beautiful California sunshine down on the city. The warm weather and sunshine will entice students to get outside for study sessions and take long walks through the city’s parks after work and on weekends.

Lincoln University is perfectly situated close to bus stops and the Bay Area Rapid Transit, easily connecting students with home, work and school. There are many apartment opportunities very close to the University as well, allowing students to walk to class if preferred. Students looking for a blending of cultures will love how diverse Oakland is, as well as how that diversity is constantly changing with new people always moving into the

Coleman University

For many students, the quality of the program offered is the most important factor when choosing a university. But the location of the university is not far behind. Here is some background information on San Diego, where Coleman University is located. Students interested in business administration, information systems management or health care management should look at Coleman as a top choice for master degree options.

In addition to excellent training in these fields, Coleman also is located in an attractive setting – San Diego – complete with superb weather, great cultural experiences and an exciting history that can be explored during study breaks. Top sightseeing opportunities include: SeaWorld San Diego, Balboa Park which contains the San Diego Zoo, multiple museums, performance venues, gardens and sporting venues, Old Town with the Bazaar Del Mundo and of course, Mission Beach. There are plenty of attractions and places to explore on weekends and those times of the week when a break from studying and working is needed.

Coleman is located in Kearny Mesa neighborhood, on the eastern edge of San Diego. This neighborhood is a blended business and residential community, and Convoy Street is an excellent place to find a wide diversity of restaurants ranging from Thai to barbeque. Rent is reported to be less expensive in Kearney Mesa compared to the rest of San Diego, making it an attractive location for graduate students. Average temperatures range from 14.1 C to 22.5 C and students are recommended to bring plenty of sun protection, as the sun tends to shine quite often.

Chrissy’s Blog

Chrissy's HTIR

 

Now, as promised to you last week, I am happy to share why I love working with HTIR. When I first became part of the HTIR crew, I didn’t know what to expect. Honestly, I was nervous because I’ve never worked on an international level before! However, this feeling would soon come to pass as I quickly fell in love with the idea of collaborating with students, developers, business men and women, and future leaders of tomorrow. All of which are achievable by helping students attain a higher education in The United States. Knowing that I’m playing a role in someone else’s life, regardless of how major or minor, is always a humble and rewarding feeling everyday I enter work. Working with HTIR made me reflect heavily onto myself as sometimes I felt closed off to the world. In some ways, HTIR figuratively and literally opened my eyes to the endless opportunities we as a global society demonstrate and often times, I am amazed by the capacity of education, enlightenment and compassion I see from our students. Because of the initiation of our student’s eagerness to learn places a happiness inside me; to know that in some way, future generations and our world will be in good hands. I am constantly reminded of this through the efforts of how our students are not only driven with the ambition of success, but the rather with the inner-personal achievement to make a difference in their cities, countries and the betterment of our planet as a whole. Some student’s write back to me expressing their gratitude and thanks. Others express their amazement of working with them on such a personal level, considering that HTIR performs on a vast international platform. This is perhaps what I love so much about being apart of HTIR team, conversing and getting to know our students. Collaborating at a level like this demonstrates and reaffirms the uniqueness of the HTIR Work Study Program. I would like to return the favor for those who are reading this, for those who have been a part of this tremendous program and for those who make this program possible. And finally, I would like to express my undying gratitude to the student’s who make possible a brighter and sustainable future. Your efforts bring about smiles and hope. Always, Chrissy

Thailand to the US – The Right Decision

by PATCHARAPORN SANGLUA

Hi Everyone,

It has been almost two months now since I have been in the United States. I am from Thailand. I decided to pursue my Master Degree with HTIR in US Work-Study Program. I first started with difficulty in making decision.

It had been such a dilemma to think of either doing Master Degree or starting a career because they both are needed for my life. Until I found this program, I suddenly know this is what I am looking for. With this program, at Lincoln University. I can gain my Master Degree from this US University and also work experience in US-Based Company. I have to say this is such a great valuable experience.

I would like to pass my thankful to HTIR as they have been supportive since I started the program. And now they have been still taking care of me with the CPT job workshop which provides me such useful suggestions and interesting job opportunities. My student life at Lincoln University is great. Professionals and staff here are so nice and helpful. There are a lot of fun activities around here both indoor and outdoor.

There are students from various countries around the world and this gives me the opportunity to learn new cultures which I’m enjoying so much.

I’ve got another two years to go to gain experience while I’m working here and getting my degree, and I’m still getting excited of what tomorrow will bring. I feel this is a right decision I made.

Thank you :) Sandy - PATCHARAPORN SANGLUA

(Sandy is Carmen’s nic name for me)

A Personal Touch at Lincoln

by Sushil Titus Thambu

Let me introduce you to Carmen and Jerry Slack. They are an integral part of HTIR’s Co-op program at Lincoln University, and some of the greatest people I have met in the United States of America. Carmen and Jerry work with the Faculty at the University, helping International Students understand American Laws, rules and regulations and finding jobs depending on each student’s capabilities, education, knowledge and previous work experiences.
Classes are conducted every week at the university, helping us understand the cultural differences and work ethics at the work place. They also provide us with work opportunities in organizations and refer us to these positions. Personally I have seen them, work as a team and with students, working on their resume, encouraging them for every job or internship program, that they have applied for.
With the help, support and encouragement that Carmen and Jerry have given me, I have had the opportunity to become a successful independent Insurance agent licensed in California, working with American Income Life Insurance Company. This has given me the opportunity to receive the International exposure and experience I need for my MBA in International Business with the CPT Program.
The personal touch, they have with students was evident, when they took the time off, from their busy schedule to visit us at the hospital when my son was born. I would like to thank HTIR and Lincoln University‘s, CO-OP program for introducing me to Carmen and Jerome Slack. I would recommend this program and the people behind it, to anyone!

Culture Shock

By Jessie Chen

In our first gateway class in the MBA program, we watched a video named Cold Water, which discussed the culture shock of students in Boston University. I was quite impressed when watching the video. As an International student in the U.S. for almost a half year, I am still trying my best effort to learn American values, while I also went through some of the shocks and difficulties mentioned in this video.

My favorite line from Cold Water is “the person who denies the culture will fail to adapt to adapt to the new environment”. In my opinion, international students should have certain coping skills that help them to pass the culture shock phases.

Firstly, the international student needs to study purposely on the destination country and new culture before going abroad. Take myself for example. Before coming to study in the U.S., I entered two courses organized by an ESL school in my hometown city. These two courses were mainly about the American culture, ethics, customs, and taboos in both social and business aspects. I did not find them helpful until I arrived in the US. My study on the US culture helped me to adapt to the life here rapidly and successfully.

As well, the international student needs to be open to the new culture. My suggestion is to live like a four-year old child in the new environment. After I have arrived in the US, I intended to hang out with local citizens as often as possible, and this definitely helped me to adapt to their accents, slangs, customs, social life, and culture. I learnt a lot from them. I also found that local people were interested in my culture, which is quite different from theirs, while I was learning from them. Do not feel offended when they ask you something that is common sense in your home country. I always felt proud to introduce my own culture to my friends by answering their questions. Being an open person will benefit the international student to adjust to the new environment in no time.

Thirdly, the international student can start his or her own adventure in the new city or new country. Getting lost in the new place is a fabulous way to establish your familiarity with the new environment. I like walking down the streets in different areas of the town, and each time when I was walking, I could always find something new, which was like a surprise to me and delighted my whole day. Do not be afraid of getting lost. You can find someone to ask the direction, and that might be the beginning of a new friendship.

The coping skills of an international student in a new culture are extremely important. Be confident and be open. Remember, those who deny the new culture will fail.

My Opinion about Healthcare in the US

By Jessie Chen

Last Thursday, I attended the lecture from a trustee of Northwest Christian University. As the CEO of Mckenzie Willamette Medical Center in Eugene, the lecture is a very successful business lady in the healthcare administration. Her lecture was mainly about the recent ethics issues and cases in the healthcare industry.

From her lecture, she mentioned that the healthcare professionals are eagerly needed in this country. However, I was very puzzled why healthy people do not pay attention to their health before getting. In my opinion, besides training doctors and nurses, the healthcare industry also has the responsibilities to proactively train healthy people how to lead a healthy way. Most of the diseases can be prevented and predicted.

Actually in most of the east Asian countries, such as China, people have discovered a food treatment system. Chinese believe that the body temperature of a human will determine if he or she lives in a healthy way. Most diseases are caused by unbalanced body temperatures, while from different types of foods and their combinations, human beings can maintain their body temperature, so that people can live in a healthy way. Some doctors from Chinese traditional medicines have written several books related to this point of view. Most of them also recommended people to try the food treatment system instead of traditional Chinese or western medical therapies. Foods recommended in the food treatment system are natural, inexpensive, and frequently seen in our daily life. It takes time for the food treatment system to maintain a person’s health, so the person need to be persistent and strong willed. However, this system avoids harming the person’s health by the side effects of the medical treatment and therapies.

A friend of mine actually told me that most people in the US do not believe there is a healthy way of living. If the food treatment system can be imported to the US, it would be very helpful for people in the US who want to lead a healthy life. Meanwhile, the healthcare industry would probably face another problem. If most of people in the US believe and start to lead a healthy way of life, will the profits for the healthcare organizations be brought down?

My First ThanksGiving

Last Thursday, I was invited to my host family for celebrating one of the most important holidays in the US — Thanksgiving. I had heard about this holiday for a long time, about the turkey, the pumpkin pie, and the family gathering, but this was my very first time celebrating this holiday. It was also my first Thanksgiving in the US. I had a great fun with the Bauer family, who hosted me when I arrived in Eugene and always take good care of me.

Colleen, the host lady, planned to have dinner as early as 4:00pm, so right after I had arrived their house, I started helping her prepare the dinner. Since Colleen’s oldest daughter would prepare turkey, we only had to make some side dishes. Colleen mainly took charge of making the desserts, appetizer, and the broccoli salad, I prepared the vegetable salad and fruit salad, and her husband David prepared the mashed potato.

Almost the whole Bauer family had presented except the family of Colleen’s second oldest daughter, and her son also invited a Chinese student from UofO. We had candles and flowers on the table, and everyone was excited with a warm smile. I felt as if I was celebrating the holiday with my own family members. We passed around all the dishes one by one. I like the stuffing in the turkey very much, as well as the broccoli salad. I made a mistake when asking McKenna, Colleen’s oldest granddaughter, if she would like any turkey. “Would you like some turkeys?” said I, and she answered “yes”. However, I realized that I made a funny grammar mistake, and we laughed out.

At the end of the dinner, we started asking each other what he or she was thankful. When I was asked what I was thankful, I answered that I was extremely thankful to be hosted by the Bauer family, who were always taking good care of me. And I really meant it from the bottom of my heart. This dinner meant more than simply a Thanksgiving dinner to me; it meant love and care from the Bauer family, which made me never feel lonely while staying in Eugene.

Working in the Gallery

by Olivia Lu

At the beginning of my second semester at Lincoln University in Oakland California, the financial crisis environment caused so many people to lose their jobs. So it was hard for an international student to find a job. When I talked to Carmen and Jerry Slack about the situation I met, they tried their best and helped me find work in a gallery at an internship job. Although this job didn’t give me a high salary, it gave me something much more precious, valuable work experience.

The first day on the job, the supervisor told me about the price of handcraft articles, how to give discount to the clients and of course some “negotiation tricks”. Most of the handcraft articles are oil paintings; others were bags, cards and national costumes. I rearranged the oil paintings on my own terms. I tried to display all the beautiful paintings as far as possible. With everything was done, I was waiting for my first client.

It was lucky for me that I met the first client at my first working day. They are a pair of mother and daughter, and we recognized that we took the same bus that morning with each other. So we got familiar with each other quickly. First, they told me that they just want to browse around. According to their behavior, I thought they really want to get something from the gallery. I just stood behind the counter and ready to offer help at any time. The daughter came to me and told me that they wanted to buy some pictures for their new living room and kitchen. They also told me about the color of the wall. I figured out what kind of theme and color they want from the picture and found everything in accordance with their requirements. The mother was a little picky, she comparing all the pictures for a very long time. Her daughter seemed a little embarrassed. As my duty was helping them to find the right pictures, I tried my best to let them feel comfort when they spent a long time to choose. Finally, they got what they want and I felt some achievability because they paid attention to my suggestion and really considered of it. My supervisor satisfied with my appearance and gave them some discount to them initiatively. In order to inform the clients when we got some new pictures, we leave the phone number to each other.

Another typical client was with great passion. He was very excited when he came in the gallery and he told me that he had tried to find this gallery for a long time. I was so glad that the gallery has such faithful client. He knew perfectly what he wanted and quickly referred to all the paintings. He picked his favorite works and promised that he would come again.

Although under the bad economic environment, people pay less attention to the art. Living goods are the most important things in their lives. The gallery I worked doesn’t have as many clients as other stores. I tried different schedule to find out when the tide of patronage is high and also tried different ways to enhance sales achievement. I can learn how to talk with the clients and how to handle problems. This practicing working experience really helps me to build up my confidence in the job market.

US Visa Experience

by Yanan Xue

 

My visa interview was booked at 9 o’clock, September 10, 2009. I arrived at the U.S Consulate Guangzhou around 8:30, and there were already hundreds people waiting outside of the Consulate building. I heard the visa interview is usually started at 7:30. The guards were holding a name list, and gave us a pass card so that we can go into the building. The Visa department was located on the fifth floor. On the fourth floor there were another group of guards holding the same name list and ask our pass cards back, then we can go up to the fifth floor.

First, we need go through the security check, no water, food, cigarette, lighter, cellphone, MP3, electronic dictionary or any other digital products can bring into the visa department, we had to store/consign them outside of visa hall, then we went to the security door one by one. The guards checked/scanned our bags carefully, even a 10ml liquid or a portable hard disk can not be missed.

There are 14 windows/counters and two separated offices in the non-immigrant visa hall. The first one and second one are for us to hand in the application forms, that is DS-156, DS-157, DS-158, Passport, I-20 and Visa fee receipt. The third and fourth windows is to record our fingerprints, both two hands and ten fingerprints will be recorded, then they turned our application forms and visa back, and we went on to another queue. The rest windows are all for visa interview, we went to the VOs one by one, the guard will tell us which window we should go.

The VO who conducted my interview was a white young man with blond hair, the questions he raised were as bellow.

Yanan: How are you today?

VO: I’m fine, how are you?

Yanan: It’s a great day for me, cause I am here to apply for the F-1 student Visa, and I’m gonna study in Northwest Christian University for my master degree.

VO: You just finished one master degree, why do you need another one?

Yanan: Yes, you know all the classed were took in the last year, and my graduation thesis was also about the same company I work for.(showing the VO my graduation paper and the company brochure), but what I learnt were just some basic theories and ideas, it’s too general to apply in the real work life. I want to deepen my study in this area and learn something real practical and advanced.

VO: What’s your major?

Yanan: It’s business administration and management.

VO: What do you do? what are you going to do when you finish your study in America?

Yanan: I am the president assistant, especially for foreign affairs. I arrange the meetings and conference, take minutes of the meetings, communicate with clients, customers and co-workers. After all, I am just an assistant, I aims to more higher position and payment. The company promised me a vice general manager if I can come back with a U.S master degree in two years.

VO: Who is gonna to pay for your study?

Yanan: All my savings will be enough for the first year of my study, you can see my fixed bank account and bank statement. For the second year my parents will support me. I have them financial support letter and their income statements from the employer.

VO: That’s OK(he didn’t look the materials and document I showed to him)

And then he tore a blue pass paper apart, kept my passport and forms, gave me one part of the blue paper. I suddenly realized that I have pass the interview. (All the materials I took with me were in vain, he looked none of them)I was too excited to remember what he said to me. I just remember I told the VO it’s so cold here and made me more nervous, and he told me do not be nervous and I will be OK. He told me I should go to the China Post counter and write down my address, the visa will be sent to my place in three or four days.

I went to the post counter and pay for RMB20 for the visa express delivery. I went back to the security room and withdrew my cellphone with the tag card they gave me. I looked at my watch and It was nearly 11 o’clock. The whole process took nearly two hours and a half.

All in all, the whole process of the visa interview was focused around three themes, just like what you have told me before. What is the purpose of my trip? Do I have enough money for my study in the U.S? Will I come back to my home country when I finish my study?

I am hoping this letter/my real experience will better help the other students in their way for the visa interview.

Here I want to express my gratitude again to Carol, the admission director and Nancy, the visa advisor, and every one who offered me help during my application process. I am really appreciated your efforts and supports.

 

Best Regards,

Yanan Xue

Alexandra: One Student’s Journey Through the Application Process

International students interested in studying in the USA have many options open to them. For Alexandria, her search started in earnest when she found a graduate program that also allowed her to work and earn money to help pay for tuition.

HTIR Work Study USA works with international students like Alexandria, making the application process as smooth as possible. The requirements Alexandria needed for her application were to:

* Download the university application and fill it out.

* Have a passport.

* Download the estimate of cost sheet and fill it out.

* Provide proof of English proficiency. Alexandria attended an English-speaking school in Russia and included a note from her university stating that English is the language used at the school. But even if she didn’t have that English background, Alexandria could take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)

* Demonstrate she’s a good student. Alexandria got a copy of her transcripts showing the courses she took, as well as the grades she received from her university, and included that in her application. She also included a translation of her diploma.

* Write a personal statement. Alexandria wants to get a master’s of business administration degree, which she can take back to Russia and work in an international company in her hometown.

* Submit a resume.

* Include financial support documents – Some students have sponsors to help pay for university, while others pay for schooling themselves. Alexandria’s mom and aunt are helping her out financially. Each university has a minimum amount of savings required for acceptance, and Alexandria needed to provide proof she, her mom and her aunt together could pay this minimum amount via bank statements. Because her bank statements were not in US currency, Alexandria also included an online conversion calculation of the figure in US dollars.

* Include a refundable deposit. Alexandria needed this for her university to save her seat in the program.

When all of these materials were gathered, Alexandria sent it to Jon Cleary, the HTIR admission’s specialist for Coleman University. Alexandra worked closely with Jon until she received her acceptance to the school. At that time, she began working with Carol Massahos to help her prepare for her visa interview. About a week later Alexandra had her I-20 form and was fully prepared to go in for the visa interview.

Earning an MBA: One student’s perspective

Grzegorz Radon wants a better paying job when he returns to Poland after earning his master’s degree in business administration from a California university in May. He was working as a translator for a Japanese company in Poland, and started looking for MBA opportunities online in January 2012.

“International companies are looking for employees (in Poland), and they tend to pay much more to those who have an MBA from foreign universities,” Radon says.

He discovered HTIR Work-Study USA, and was intrigued by not only the opportunity to earn an MBA from Lincoln University in Oakland, Calif., but also to gain work experience in the field.

“It’s not only education that’s important, but it’s important to use the knowledge, the practical experience,” he says.

When he arrived in California, Radon received help filling out all the immigration paperwork required to qualify for a work-study, internship or curricular practical training (CPT) job. He also needed to develop a resume and apply for jobs for international students that met all the immigration qualifications. He received a job offer from a startup company that does research on medical devices. But before Radon could accept the position, he had to receive authorization from Lincoln University that the job work was related to his major.

After starting work, Radon also had to enroll in an internship course, where he wrote reports on his work experiences for credit. His internship was paid, which helped to offset his tuition, and living expenses. He says the work made the cost of his degree financially feasible.

Students interested in earning a master’s degree in the United States need to be open and positive toward the challenges they might face, Radon says.

“At the beginning, it’s kind of difficult. It’s not easy to find an internship for international students, to tell the truth. You need to be patient. Motivated. I think it helped me a lot that I had experience,” he says.

Article Center

Profile In Excellence: Mohamed Eid

 

In this edition of Profile, we proudly introduce student, Mohamed Eid, who is from Cairo, Egypt. Mohamed joins the Lincoln University M.B.A. program with a solid background in Accounting, Law, and Law Enforcement. He has studied Accounting and Business in the United Kingdom and Law Enforcement and Law in Egypt.

 

 

Mohamed is a highly motivated professional, a self-starter with a keen eye toward customer service. Such a perspective is quite advantageous as he’s utilized it in various ways in solving all types of client issues. He also served as a Police Officer in Cairo for six years—it was a great fit, right in line with his academic and professional career goals. Following are some of Mohamed’s thoughts on a few topics we posed to him recently.

 

PIE: What are some of the challenges in getting to know people who are from other countries?

 

Mohamed: It’s vitally important. There is something called ethnocentricity which means you are only aware of your own culture and therefore think it is the best and everyone else’s is not as good. When you learn about other cultures, you learn about other people—how they see life, what they have to cope with, what they think is important.

 

It gives you a better perspective on your own life and you can see how much you have to be grateful for. It gives you more tolerance for ways not your own, and the ability to be friendlier to many different kinds of people.

 

PIE: What are some new and interesting things you have learned about the U.S.?

 

Mohamed: The United States of America was one of the first republics of the modern era, and to this day possesses one of the world’s longest-lasting political regimes. “The United States,” as a single, stable country has survived unmolested since its 1776 founding, and has never undergone a coup, revolution, or other form of internal breakdown leading to the emergence of a new regime.

 

But when you get to be as old as the U.S.A., you start to show signs of your age. Like an old geezer at a rave, the United States is a nation that doesn’t quite fit in with all the other countries a lot of the time. The U.S. possesses a lot of distinct political-cultural traditions that lack international precedent; this is the direct result of the country’s very unique history and demographics.

 

PIE: What seems odd about living in the U.S.?

 

Mohamed: The thing that impressed me most about America is the diversity in the society. The population is diverse and includes people from around the globe. Though it was my first trip to the U.S.A., I felt more comfortable here than I felt anywhere else.

 

One of the reasons was the easy communication. The language of America, English, is familiar to a large percentage of the world population. The whole world has started to realize the importance of English; as such, it has begun to be taught in elementary schools.

 

PIE: What are some of the interesting places you have visited in the U.S.?

 

Mohamed: I have only visited San Francisco and here some of the sites I saw:

 

1: Lombard Street—the Crookedest street (and one of the prettiest) in the world.

 

2: Golden Gate Bridge—just a marvelous site to see, and a very pretty bridge.

 

3: Fisherman’s Wharf—eating the best (and freshest) crab sandwiches.

 

4: Embarcadero Center—lots of things to do (shopping, restaurants, people watching).

 

5: Union Square—shopping, urban little park area.

 

6: Ride a cable car—goes up and down the hills of San Francisco.

 

7: Golden Gate Park the botanical gardens, visiting the Japanese Tea garden, the newly renovated de Young Museum.

 

8: Beaches like Ocean Beach (the sunsets are beautiful).

 

9: China town and taking pictures of the “Chinatown gate” on Bush and Grant Streets.

 

10: North Beach area—lots of Italian eateries (and bars).

 

11: Alcatraz.

 

Thank you, Mohamed, for your thoughtful comments and for sharing them with us, here. Wishing you the most success in your academic and professional career, now and in the future!

Listen to Everyone and Trust No one?

My father once told me to listen to everyone and to trust no one. This is very good advice when making your decisions. Listen to everyone and trust no one.

The hardest decision you will probably make this year is; “Where should I go to for my Masters Degree and CPT?”. There are a number of people out there that you can turn to for advice on this matter but be alert. Be alert to the motives behind their recommendations.

Here I will try to help you identify the Pros and Cons associated with each of the different individuals that may be involved in your decision making process.

AGENTS

Pros

Agents will have a wealth of information for you to consider. They will be able to provide you with information regarding the programs available by different Colleges and Universities. They will be able to provide you with information regarding costs relating to tuition and living expenses for each of the different schools. They should also be able to provide you with the names and contact information of the school representative and other students that have attended.

Cons

They stand to profit from your acceptance by a school. The amount of profit is often significantly different for them from one school to another. Therefore their motivation and enthusiasm from school to school can vary greatly.

SCHOOLS

Pros

They will have the greatest amount of information with regards to varying degrees and their individual course content.

Cons

The school will benefits from your enrollment but this is minimized by the fact that they are required to provide accurate information by their accrediting bodies and are held legally responsible for any information they distribute.

What is a person to do then when making such an important decision? Here is a list of things that I recommend.

1. Gather as much information from everyone on the different schools you are considering.

2. Do you own personal research on such things are;

a. School accreditation.

b. Employment opportunities in the area.

c. Talk with student’s current attending.

d. Talk with employment counselors for the school.

e. Check employment boards (Dice, CareerBuilder, Monster, etc…) for jobs in the area you are considering.

f. Look at both sides of the coin. (Example; 15% unemployment also mean 85% employment. Which one is largest and will apply to you?

Finally and most importantly trust YOURSELF. You are an intelligent individual capable of conducting research, processing information and finally coming to a determination. Once you have done all of this comes the hardest part of the entire process. That is “Make your selection” and “Take Action”.

Taxes, Taxes, Everyone Pays Taxes!!!

This is the truth; everyone pays taxes including International Students. Since this is a fact of life that each of you will have to deal with I wanted to share a few bites of information and a pound of advice.

While you are here in the U.S. as a student participating in the Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) Program you need to know what your tax responsibilities are.

There are a number of taxes that are normally withheld from an employees pay in the United States. A few of the most common are;

  1. U.S. Federal Income Taxes; this is a progressive tax and the percentage withheld progressively increase as an employee makes more money. The tax ranges from 10% to 35%. These rates are subject to change each year as subscribed by Congress. Federal taxes are affected by different treaties that are in place between the U.S. and different countries. Some countries that currently enjoy benefits from such treaties are China, Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines. Be sure to mention this to your tax preparer.
  2. State Income Taxes; These fluctuate greatly from one state to another and range from 0% to 11%. This is in addition to your Federal Income Tax and most states base their calculations on those you provide on your Federal Income Tax return.
  3. Social Security Tax (FICA); the current tax rate for Social Security is 7.65% and will show up on your pay stub as FICA. As an International Student working in the United States you are NOT required to pay this tax. However, often employers are not aware of this. Quite often once they are made aware they can discontinue the withholding of FICA from you check resulting in more money in your weekly check. Often though due to a number of circumstances (i.e. outsourcing of payroll or limitation of payroll software) they are unable to not withhold it from your check. Do not worry you will not lose this money. Instead, at the end of the year you will submit an application for refund to the Federal Government.
  4. Medicare Tax; The current Medicare tax rate is 1.45%. This tax is collect so that when a U.S. citizen reaches the age of 65 they will become eligible for Government Health Care. Again, as an International Student you are not required to pay this tax since you will not be eligible to receive benefits from the program. You will probably have to submit an application for refund at the end of each tax year that you work in the U.S., unless your employer is able to discontinue collection at their end.
  5. Local Taxes; certain states allow cities and counties to impose additional taxes on income earned in those cities or counties. This differs throughout the United States but in very uncommon and will apply to very few students but is something to keep on eye on.

These are the primary taxes that you will be responsible for paying via payroll deduction throughout the year as you work.

Each year during the month of January employers are required to provide the Federal Government, the IRS, and the employee with a IRS Form W-2. This form reports the total amount of wages paid and the amounts of Federal, State, FICA and Medicare taxes withheld from the employees pay.

This is the form that you will need to file you State and Federal tax return. All students earning income are required to file their State and Federal tax returns each year prior to the April 15th deadline.

You can complete and file you tax return yourself for free or you can hire a tax professional to complete them for you. I fully recommend that you seek out a reputable tax professional. Due to the complexity of the U.S. tax code the time necessary to research and prepare your return is significant and often results in not receiving the full amount entitled to. Using a tax professional that is familiar with the tax requirements of the International Student community will result in you receiving a full refund of all monies, including Social Security and Medicare taxes, that you are entitled to.

International student should be aware of those documents that they are required to submit to the Federal Government (IRS) each year. Those forms will include the following:

  • IRS Form 8843

This form is normally required by ALL INTERNATIONAL STUDENT and must be submitted each year by the April 15th deadline.

  • IRS Form NR 1040 or NR 1040EZ

This is the form used to request a tax refund.

  • IRS Form 843 (Refund of erroneous FICA tax payments)

First you are required to request a refund from your employer. If your employer is unable to refund the full amount you will need to submit IRS Form 843. You will need to attach the following items to the Form 843;

? Copy of your W-2 to substantiate you FICA and Medicare taxes withheld

? Copy of the page from your passport showing the visa stamp

? INS Form I-94

? If applicable INS Form I-538, Certification by Designated School Official, and

o Statement from employer indicating the amount of reimbursement provided and the amount of the credit or refund your employer claimed. If you are not able to obtain this statement from your employer, you must provide this information on your own and explain why your are not attaching a statement from your employer.

o IRS Form 8316, if unable to obtain statement from employer.

? Mail Form 843 (with all attachments) to the IRS office where your employer’s returns were filed. If you do not know where your employer filed their returns mail to: Internal Revenue Service Center, 11601 Roosevelt Blvd, DPE 351, Philadelphia, Pa 19255.

? There is a three-year statute of limitations for claiming tax refunds.

So, let me wrap this article up with a few up beat notes. While you are here in the United States the opportunities are truly unlimited. You will benefit not only from the education you receive but through the access you will have to U.S. corporate philosophies and cultural knowledge gain through your participation within the local communities.

While taxes are confusing and complex they are not overwhelming. You have a number of resources available to assist you with your filing requirement. Contact the Student Services Representative at your College or University or the HTIR representative for additional guidance or assistance. They will be more than happy to help you.

Are You a Glass Half Full or Half Empty Person?

International Student Officer at Coleman University August 21, 2009

Which one are you? It is a very important question if you are trying to decide if you should enroll in the Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) Program here in the United States.

Why is this question so important? It is important because of the current state of not only the U.S. economy but the global economy. If you listen to any of the news outlets that cover the U.S. economy it would be very hard to believe that anything is going good for the economy here in the United States. Everyday we hear about job cuts by a number of companies. Every week we see the news reports of current unemployment increases. We have watched the national unemployment rate climb from 5% two years ago to 9.4% today.

I can easily understand “WHY” many of you have chosen not to take advantage of the numerous opportunities available to International Student participating in the CPT program.

Let me help you put the current state of the U.S. Economy into perspective though. Let me present a completely different point of view because I am a “GLASS HALF FULL” person. I believe not in the collective but in the “INDIVIDUAL”. I believe in “YOU”.

With the unemployment rate at 9.4% that tells me that 90.6% of those people that want to work are working. Think about that 9 out of every 10 people are working. This is where we have to think to ourselves, “Is the glass half full or is it half empty”.

If you believe that the “Glass is half full” then you believe that you will be one of the 9 people that find a job and that you will be working. I do not want you to be unrealistically optimistic here. Take a look back at those things that you have attempted over your lifetime. Do any of these sound like you;

? You worked hard in high school and managed to maintain good grades.

? You applied for and were accepted into a good school.

? You went to a university and worked hard to achieve your Bachelors degree.

? Either during or after school you held a job and did well at that job.

These are all signs of a “Winner” and it is my contention that patterns are set very early in life. We learn to succeed by succeeding and once we have learned how to succeed we never forget. So if you are a “GLASS HALF FULL” person and are use to working hard to succeed I really encourage you to enroll today. Be confident in you abilities and your willingness to work harder than the next person to succeed. Join us here today and continue your growth through the CPT Program.

Student Visa Experience

Good morning (the visa officer talked to me in Polish at the beginning which was surprising for me. Anyway, I answered in English)

Good morning (meanwhile I passed my passport, I-20, acceptance letter, confirmation that I paid Visa fee and SEVIS fee. The visa officer first looked at my I-20).

Where are you going to study ?

I will study at Lincoln University in Oakland, California. I will pursue my MBA degree over there.

(Then, she looked carefully through my passport)

I see you have been to Japan many times.

Yes, my major was Japanese language & culture. I got a scholarship in Japan and spent there some time.

How will you pay for your studys?

I will use my savings to pay for the 1st year. Then, I plan to use money which I will earn while doing internship. As you can see on the acceptance letter, my university offers me Curricular Practical Training which is obligatory part of my studys.

Have you been to the US before ?

Yes, I have been twice during my summer holiday. I went there to visit my friends which I met while studying in Japan.

Are you working now?

Yes, I am working as Japanese-Polish translator.

Is it easy to find a job in your profession ?

Honestly speaking, few years ago it was really easy and I could choose between different job offers. But nowadays more and more people is studying Japanese language in Poland. This is one of the reasons why I decided to pursue MBA degree. I want to be more competetive on the job market and MBA degree fills a gap on my CV and opens many doors for me.

When do you plan to fly to California ?

January 10th.

We will send you back your passport and I-20 by courier within 5 business days. Is it all right for you ?

Yes, thank you.

Good luck in your studys.

Thank you, goodbye.

F1 Visa Experience

My visa interview was booked at 9 o’clock, September 10, 2009. I arrived at the U.S Consulate Guangzhou around 8:30, and there were already hundreds people waiting outside of the Consulate building. I heard the visa interview is usually started at 7:30. The guards were holding a name list, and gave us a pass card so that we can go into the building. The Visa department was located on the fifth floor. On the fourth floor there were another group of guards holding the same name list and ask our pass cards back, then we can go up to the fifth floor.

First, we need go through the security check, no water, food, cigarette, lighter, cellphone, MP3, electronic dictionary or any other digital products can bring into the visa department, we had to store/consign them outside of visa hall, then we went to the security door one by one. The guards checked/scanned our bags carefully, even a 10ml liquid or a portable hard disk can not be missed.

There are 14 windows/counters and two separated offices in the non-immigrant visa hall. The first one and second one are for us to hand in the application forms, that is DS-156, DS-157, DS-158, Passport, I-20 and Visa fee receipt. The third and fourth windows is to record our fingerprints, both two hands and ten fingerprints will be recorded, then they turned our application forms and visa back, and we went on to another queue. The rest windows are all for visa interview, we went to the VOs one by one, the guard will tell us which window we should go.

The VO who conducted my interview was a white young man with blond hair, the questions he raised were as bellow.

Yanan: How are you today?

VO: I’m fine, how are you?

Yanan: It’s a great day for me, cause I am here to apply for the F-1 student Visa, and I’m gonna study in Northwest Christian University for my master degree.

VO: You just finished one master degree, why do you need another one?

Yanan: Yes, you know all the classed were took in the last year, and my graduation thesis was also about the same company I work for.(showing the VO my graduation paper and the company brochure), but what I learnt were just some basic theories and ideas, it’s too general to apply in the real work life. I want to deepen my study in this area and learn something real practical and advanced.

VO: What’s your major?

Yanan: It’s business administration and management.

VO: What do you do? what are you going to do when you finish your study in America?

Yanan: I am the president assistant, especially for foreign affairs. I arrange the meetings and conference, take minutes of the meetings, communicate with clients, customers and co-workers. After all, I am just an assistant, I aims to more higher position and payment. The company promised me a vice general manager if I can come back with a U.S master degree in two years.

VO: Who is gonna to pay for your study?

Yanan: All my savings will be enough for the first year of my study, you can see my fixed bank account and bank statement. For the second year my parents will support me. I have them financial support letter and their income statements from the employer.

VO: That’s OK(he didn’t look the materials and document I showed to him)

And then he tore a blue pass paper apart, kept my passport and forms, gave me one part of the blue paper. I suddenly realized that I have pass the interview. (All the materials I took with me were in vain, he looked none of them)I was too excited to remember what he said to me. I just remember I told the VO it’s so cold here and made me more nervous, and he told me do not be nervous and I will be OK. He told me I should go to the China Post counter and write down my address, the visa will be sent to my place in three or four days.

I went to the post counter and pay for RMB20 for the visa express delivery. I went back to the security room and withdrew my cellphone with the tag card they gave me. I looked at my watch and It was nearly 11 o’clock. The whole process took nearly two hours and a half.

All in all, the whole process of the visa interview was focused around three themes, just like what you have told me before. What is the purpose of my trip? Do I have enough money for my study in the U.S? Will I come back to my home country when I finish my study?

I am hoping this letter/my real experience will better help the other students in their way for the visa interview.

Here I want to express my gratitude again to Carol, the admission director and Nancy, the visa advisor, and every one who offered me help during my application process. I am really appreciated your efforts and supports.

 

Why this program is unique?

HTIR work study programs have the curriculum set up so that the internships jobs are mandatory and therefore a student must begin his/her curricular training immediately upon registration and securing his/her social security number.
In HTIR Work-Study Programs students can begin working in their first semester of study. This is very different than CPT programs at most universities where the applicant cannot start the CPT employment until he/she has been in school for at least one academic year (nine months). Also, most universities do not have a unique program designed specifically for the International applicant. HTIR, in alliance with the schools, has created a unique program that helps International candidates be successful in the United States workforce. The international candidate will learn about resume building, interviewing etiquette, and U.S. customs. By the time the candidate graduates from the HTIR work-study program he/she will be a prime candidate for an H-1b or a high level job in his/her home country.

 

HTIR has created unique work and study program at numerous universities in USA. Where students can Study and Work in USA with full-time, Curricular Practical Training (Co-op program) up to 40+ hours a week in U.S. companies for the entire length of degree program.

Work Study Opportunities Include:

  • Employment available for international students
  • Full time jobs with Full time degree opportunity
  • Get 40 Hrs Work Permit per week along with studies
  • Students can apply with/without IELTS or TOEFL
  • All courses leading to get high paid jobs
  • Work during the day and take classes in evenings or on weekends
  • Employment is with off campus companies
  • Students are paid regular "American" wages
  • Both part time or full time employment available
  • The work-study program is available for both Undergraduate and Master students
  • Work-study employment positions are currently available at all schools.

HTIR Work and Study USA

HTIR is the global leader in USA work and study programs. HTIR has created unique work and study Curricular Practical Training (CPT) programs at numerous colleges and universities throughout the United States. In these types of CPT programs, students enrolled will be able to study in a fully accredited U.S. college or university, will have the legal right to work in full-time, paid, Curricular Practical Training (CPT) job internship employment with U.S. based companies for the entire length of their degree program (depending on the school), and will be able to earn U.S. wages, gain valuable work experience, as well as a recognized master degree upon completion of the program.
Our Work and Study program aims to meet the highest standards of professionalism and provide the highest quality of educational and internship experience available. Students are placed in a field based on their interests, educational background, past work experience and their English abilities. Placements are arranged to ensure a positive experience for the student and the company alike.

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