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  Script from the MP3 Audio File: Basic Questions about Studying in the USA and Visa Issues

It had to be you. A classic tune written back in 1924. One of the most recognizable tunes across the United States.

It had to be you. Yes, you: The one who wants to learn more to succeed. The one who knows that the next step toward your success is studying in the U.S. We invite you to join us.

This is Cheryl Darrup-Boychuck of the U.S. Journal of Academics, online (in 14 different languages) at That's We help students learn more about fully-accredited U.S. universities, colleges, English language programs, summer programs, internships, distance learning programs, and more.

It's a great time to study in the U.S.A. Our colleges and universities are eager to accept qualified students from abroad.

(Student:) Wait a minute. I heard the U.S. Embassies are denying student visa applications.

Not at all. We correspond all the time with U.S. Embassies and U.S. Educational Advisors around the world. The U.S. government has implemented new security measures, but they have not changed the basic criteria for visa eligibility to study in the United States.

(Student:) So, it's possible to get a visa to enter the U.S. as a student?

Oh, yes. We recently spoke with the Vice Consul of the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea, and (like many other embassies) he said they're issuing more student visas now than they did before. They issue visas at a rate exceeding 90 percent.

(Student:) So, the process is quick and easy?

It's quicker and easier than it was before. Several U.S. Embassies now have special appointment systems to ensure that students arrive in the U.S. on time for orientation and classes, and they're investing in additional staff, technology, and facilities to provide faster, more comprehensive services. In Seoul, for example, the wait time for student visa approvals decreased from more than one month, to less than one week.

(Student:) I guess a lot of students just like me have gone through the process.

They sure have. More than 575,000 students from around the world chose to study in the United States last year. A lot of them use sites like (that's to help them get started.

(Student:) How will that help me?

We help you sort through more than 3,500 campuses in the United States. That's a lot of choices. First, you want to make sure that the U.S. campus is accredited, and fully compliant with all of the new federal regulations. It's also important that they have the support staff to assist international students. All of the campuses in our exclusive list at meet those criteria.

Academics, of course, are also critical. There are more than 500 fields of study in the United States. So, the more focused you are on your academic goal, the easier it will be to select a university. Location and climate are important, too. While some students thrive on busy, crowded cities, others prefer quieter, calmer environments.

(Student:) I've heard it's really expensive to study in the States.

It is quite expensive, but it's well worth your investment. Employers around the world recognize the value of a U.S. degree.

(Student:) So, how expensive is it to study in the USA?

Costs range from about US$15,000 to US$45,000 per year for tuition, fees, housing, books, health insurance, and living costs. Most international students rely on personal funds for their U.S. study. Talk with your family about how much money they can give you for your study in the United States. A growing number of U.S. universities are offering some assistance, but only about 10 percent of all U.S. campuses currently offer financial aid to international students.

(Student:) Can I work while I study?

It's a good idea not to rely on employment in the U.S. to fund your education. Under some circumstances, you may work part-time on campus. Permission to work off campus MAY be granted after your first year of study, but there is no guarantee.

Check out our Financial Aid page at (that's You may also want to re-consider your academic goals, so they coordinate better with your limited financial resources. For example, you may explore shorter-term options, such as Short-Term Training, Summer Programs, Internships, or Distance Learning / Online Degrees.

(Student:) So, what do I need to do now to get started?

Well, the U.S. academic year begins in late August or early September, and many universities will also accept applications for January admission at that time. So, assuming you want to begin in late August or early September next year:

June - August this year:
* Think about your educational future and career prospects at home
* Visit an educational advising center and become familiar with the application process
* Register for tests such as the TOEFL, which is the Test of English as a Foreign Language

August - November this year:
* Take entrance tests
* Attend university fairs, such as those coordinated by
* Research universities (at sites like and identify between four and ten that meet your needs

December this year - March next year:
* Submit complete applications to at least three universities before the deadline. Be sure that all correspondence includes the spelling and order of your names the same in every document.

April - May next year:
* That's when you'll get your letters of acceptance or rejection; choose the university you want to attend.

June - July next year:
* Apply for a student visa; make travel arrangements
* Attend a pre-departure orientation program at your school or at an educational advising center.

August next year:
* Arrive in time to attend the university's orientation program, and be prepared for an excellent academic experience!

(Student:) Are you sure the student visa process won't be a problem?

It's not likely to be a problem, as long as you follow the rules. To obtain a student visa, you must demonstrate that you:

  • Have the ability and intention to pursue a course of full-time study. This can be demonstrated by official acceptance from the college or university that you wish to attend.
  • Possess adequate funds to cover all of the costs listed by the university on the form that they will send to you when you are accepted.
  • Have sufficiently strong social, economic, and other reasons to leave the United States upon completion of the projected program of studies.

Applicants for U.S. student visas must apply for their visas no earlier than 90 days before the date when they must report to the school in the United States. For procedures in your country, please check with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Again, for the latest information, go to That's

Special thanks to, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Eugenio Martin del Campo, and The U.S. Journal of Academics.

Throughout the year, we'll produce a series of MP3 audio files, all dedicated to helping you learn more about the process of studying in the USA. Stay tuned!