How to study, work and stay in the United States

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How to study, work and stay in the United States

Studying in the United comes with lots of benefits which is why every year, applicants from different parts of the world apply to study in the US. The united states have one of the best systems of education in the world, amply, it provides students with study and work opportunities and permanent residency. Considering that there are many recognized universities and colleges in the US, the country is popular among foreign students. If you desire to obtain a degree from the US, this post will guide you on how to study in the United States.

The United States is one of the preferred countries for international students. Most US accredited universities are ranked among the 1000 best universities in the world. It is virtually the dream of many students to obtain a degree from any of her institutes, but sometimes, the tuition is always a barrier. What if I told you that you can study in the US for free? Interestingly, it is possible to earn a degree from a recognized academic institution in the US. All you need to do is research for available scholarship and internship programs and apply early. Well, this is not the focal point; we’re discussing how to study in the US, work, and steps to getting a permanent residency status.

How to study in the US? See the steps to take

How to study, work and stay in the United States

The USA is home to many prestigious universities. It is difficult to become an international student in the United States. The application procedure is lengthy and demanding, implying that hard work and dedication are required to be offered admission. Furthermore, it is not a short process; students should begin planning months ahead of time and must remain prepared and informed throughout.

To study in the United States, you may need a student visa. Whether you need an F visa or an M visa depends on your course of study and the school you plan to attend.
For more information, read this very helpful article here

If you wish to study at a university or college in the United States, here are steps to take:

How to study, work and stay in the United States

• Find a university of your choice
The first step is to select the university (s) to which you will apply. This can be difficult as there are many universities to select from- Your program choice may influence your decision.

• Check the school website and lists of courses offered
After you’ve selected your preferred institution, you’ll need to visit the official webpage of the institution to see the lists of programs offered and their requirements. If the program you intend to study is available, follow the instructions given, better still, you can contact the school’s admissions office through email or phone as specified on the website.

• Follow the instructions carefully and submit your documents
The next step is to complete the application process. Make sure you adhere to the instructions given. A single mistake can deny you admission. Arrange all your academic documents and forward them straight to the school you’ve chosen.

• Pay the application fee (check if there are waivers)
Following the directions in each application, you may likely pay an application fee. Before you pay, you will be notified by the school to pay. A few US universities waive the application fee for international students, however, you must check as most schools request an application fee between $50-100.

• Wait for the school admission decision
The final stage is the admission decision. You’ll have to wait for the university to make their admission decisions. After you’ve been approved, you’ll receive an I-20 form from the school sent to your mail. This is the form that you’ll need to apply for a student visa.

• Apply for a study visa
Once you’ve been given an acceptance or offer letter, the next step is to visit a US embassy or consulate in your region. Go along with the I-20 form. You’ll also provide other visa requirements.

How to apply for admission

There is currently no application system in place for all universities in the United States. Domestic and international students apply directly to the university website. On the webpage of your selected university, click the apply button to complete the registration process.

Required documents for admission

How to study, work and stay in the United States

The documents required by various colleges and programs will vary. If you wish to apply to a university in the United States, these are documents most US universities often request for.

• Application form
• Standardized test scores
The following tests are accepted by the majority of US universities:
Academic (IELTS): (International English Language Testing Service)
• iBT TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
• C1 Advanced
• Pearson Test of English (Pearson Test of English)
• Transcripts
• Personal statement (SOP)
• 2-3 Recommendation or reference Letters
• CV/Resume (masters and Ph.D. students)
• An Interview may be requested for some students (Masters/Ph.D. applicants)
• Passport photograph
• Application fee of $50-100 per application

US Student Visa Requirements

How to study, work and stay in the United States

• Passport (valid for 6 months),
• Offer letter/acceptance letter
• The Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
• The application fee payment receipt
• Two recent passport color photographs. Note: These must also meet US immigration’s image requirements
• Transcripts
• English Language test scores
• Academic certificates from schools you have attended
• Proof of funds
• And other supporting documents (Showing that you will return to your home country after studies).

Intake period

How to study, work and stay in the United States

Universities in the United States have two main intake seasons: September (or Fall) and January (or Spring). September is the main intake season for the best courses in the United States.


The cost to study in the United States is between $7000- $50,000. Tuition fee varies, public universities are cheaper with an average tuition fee of $20,000 per year. Colleges are cheaper than universities with an average tuition fee of $18,000.

Cheap universities in the USA

How to study, work and stay in the United States

Here are some universities in the US with cheap tuition:

City University of New York- Average cost- $17,400
Tuition is free at the University of the People.
California State University: Average cost- $8,151
Alcorn State University: Average cost- $6,888
Minot State University with a $6,809 budget.
Sonoma State University with a $9,504 budget.
Bachelor’s degrees at South Dakota State University start at $327 per year.
Bachelor’s degrees start at $400 per year at the University of Arizona in Arizona.
The University of Central Florida- Bachelor’s degrees start at $749 per year.
Bachelor’s degrees start at 990 USD a year at the University of the People in California.

Scholarship Programs

The tuition is the most challenging aspect for international students desiring to study in the US. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic there are ways to go about it. The very common ways are to apply for a scholarship or internship program. As a foreign student, you can apply to any of the US scholarships programs. Some of the top US scholarship providers are government, universities, and private individuals. Applicants must be better than other students with an exceptional GPA to be considered for the scholarship. Foreign students interested in studying in the United States should consider applying for one of these USA full scholarships for international students.

Foreign Fulbright Student Program

The Fulbright Program is among the full scholarships available in the United States for international students wishing to study for a Master’s or Ph.D. degree in the United States. Scholarships are also available for postgraduate study that does not require a qualification. The school pays for tuition, textbooks, travel, a stipend for living expenses, and health insurance. Applicants must have a good academic record to be considered for this scholarship.

East Tennessee State University

The International Students Academic Merit Scholarship is offered by East Tennessee State University (ETSU) to incoming international students seeking a graduate or undergraduate degree. According to the academic year, the scholarship costs $12,500 for undergraduate foreign students and $11,500 for graduate foreign students.

Illinois Wesleyan University Scholarships

The Illinois Wesleyan University Scholarships are another US government full scholarship program for international students. It is a merit-based full scholarship awarded to qualified international candidates who have excelled in their academic pursuits and have achieved high ranks on the relevant proficiency test scores. These prizes range in value from $16,000 to $30,000 and are renewable for four years.

Can international students work in the USA while studying?

How to study, work and stay in the United States

Some of the reasons foreign students consider studying in the US are the study and work opportunities and stay back options after graduation. The United States has one of the most expensive tuition fees in the world, which is why most US universities allow students to work while studying.

Domestic students (Americans) and international students are allowed to work for 20 hours per week during an academic session and can work several hours during the summer. This is to help students who may find studying in the United States to be prohibitively expensive. Working while studying can help you save money on your education while also giving you valuable work experience.

Many overseas students question if they may work while studying in the United States. Yes, you can so long you are a registered student in any of the United States Universities or colleges.

To clear you on that aspect:

If you have an F-1 visa, you can choose between two sorts of jobs:
Working on-campus with a commercial establishment that has a contract with your college. Work at a workplace that is educationally related or affiliated with your campus as part of a scholarship, fellowship, assistantship, or post-doctoral appointment. Overseas students with an F-1 or M-1 visa may work on campus and in certain training programs.

During their first academic year, students are not permitted to work off-campus. Working in the library, cafeteria, or student center are examples of on-campus professions that are geared toward students. Optional Practical Training (OPT), Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension, and Curricular Practical Training are all programs designed primarily for overseas students seeking work after their first academic year (CPT).

Is it possible to apply for PR while studying in the United States?

Applying for permanent residence while studying can only be permitted after the first academic year has been completed and your Optional Practical Training (OPT) activity must be connected to your major. For OPT purposes, you must apply for an employment authorization card from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

How can international students Obtain Permanent Residency after completing studies in the United States?

How to study, work and stay in the United States

You can live and work continuously in the United States after completing your studies ‘only’ if you have a ‘Green Card’. A Green Card holder (permanent resident) is a person who has been permitted to live and work permanently in the United States. The United States grants foreign students a stay-back option. After you’ve completed your program, you’re expected to return to your home country but on the ground that you wish to stay back and live legally, here are 3 ways to go about it.

1. Convert status to a dual intent visa
International students are granted an F-1 class of visa, but if you must stay back, you must change the visa to a dual intent visa under the H nonimmigrant visas such as the H-1B visa. The dual intent visa can be effective after you’ve completed your degree through the F-1 visa.

2. Through The Curriculum Practical Training (CPT&OPT)
Working as a research assistant through the curriculum practical training is another way to stay back after studies in the USA. An F-1 student can work at the educational institution where he/she enrolled to get hands-on experience and after 9 months of enrollment in the educational institution, the student can begin CPT. The CPT might last up to a year. If the student meets the requirements, it may motivate the institution to accept the student where he or she can continue as an Associate Professor.

The Optional Practical Training (OPT)

With a student permit, you’re eligible to stay in the US as far as your academic program is still running. To stay in the US, after completing your studies, you’ll need the optional practical program. The OPT is a program that allows international students to get some work experience in the U.S. It can only begin when the student has received their degree. The student obtains employment in their field of expertise with a U.S. firm for 12 months.

3. Marry a citizen of the United States

This looks like an easy path for many international students, but it should be done with clear intentions and not for the ‘papers’. If you are an international student, marrying a US citizen is one route to obtaining a permanent residence after studies. Your status will be changed to an IR-1 visa (Immediate Relative) or a spouse visa.


To study in the US, you may need to apply to at least 3 different schools; it increases your chances of getting your application approved. Once you’ve been offered admission to study in the US, begin the visa process.
The United States is one of the best countries to further your education. You can apply to any school; be it college or university of your choice so long you meet the admission requirements. If you are bothered about the tuition, check any of the scholarship opportunities discussed already. Check the requirements before applying and apply early.