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Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US – an expert opinion by Jimeet Sanghavi

Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US

There is a mass hysteria prevailing in the international students’ community in view of the recent Executive Order on Temporary Immigration Ban on seven countries and proposed changes to the H-1B bill. Let’s understand how these developments can impact Indian students aspiring for higher education in the US.

Firstly, while the EO curtails immigration from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen, the courts have overruled this EO order recently. Similarly, the refugee clause will not apply to Indians as well. Indian students going on F1 Visas, therefore, need not worry.

Moving onto the topic that has everyone on the edge of their seats (moreso, than the NaMo demonetisation effect) – the legislation on H1B (employment) visas. Before we discuss the impact, let’s understand what the H1B visa does – it allows you to work “post” the OPT (Optional Practical Training) period. After the completion of the college program, a student is entitled to work on OPT for upto 12 months for non-STEM and upto 36 months for STEM courses. Thus, a STEM student can work upto THREE years (irrespective of H1B application), which usually is more than enough to not just recover the fees and the loan but also set-up a strong foundation to build upon later.

Thinking from a recruiter’s point of view, if there is uncertainty in the regulations, then the company would be more keen on recruiting interns and people on OPT than on H1B. The OPT does not have a minimum salary requirement as compared to H-1Bs under the proposed regulations. This in turn will increase the opportunities for fresh graduates.

Lets try to decipher a few hidden clauses of the new legislation. Now, the proposed legislation on the floor in the Congress for H1B eligibility prioritizes market-based allocation of H-1B visas for institutions willing to pay 2x of the wage calculated by a survey. Estimates are that the annual salary will amount to a minimum of approximately US$130,000 per year. While the legislation is yet to be finalized, here is why even these rules should not be a cause of grave concern for Indian students:

a) Various such proposals have been floated previously unsuccessfully.

b) The current visa requirements mandate Indian students to prove their indisposition towards migrating to the US permanently. However, the new H1B leaves scope for a “dual intent” which means F1 visas may not be denied on the basis of the student’s intention to migrate. The transition from F1 to H1B in that sense should be lot smoother now.

c) The new H1B rules shall eliminate the ‘country based’ allocation earlier available to ‘Chile’ and ‘Singapore’ thereby creating more opportunity for Indian students.

d) The salary cap of $130,000 on H1B will be applicable to only those companies who have more than 15% employees on H1B visa – this will refrain a few particular companies (read – the beneficiaries of outsourcing policies) to exhaust the quota via the H1B lottery system and open up more opportunities for other companies and startups.

e) The following tweet by Trump talks of his intention to create more new businesses, which translates to more jobs. The new H1B will cut down ‘hoarding’ of talent by a few companies and help small businesses in hiring talented individuals.

Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US

Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US

f) The effect of the proposal will predominantly be felt by those companies who hire Indians on H1B and L1 visas for US-based projects without paying them the salaries that an American University-trained graduate (India-based or otherwise) is in a position to command. The effect thus, will be felt more on a corporate level and not at an employee level, and the Indian students aspiring for American education should not be too concerned with this move by President Trump.

g) The OPT enables the student to work for a total of three years in the US after completion of their Masters. Many of the students who complete their Masters get a starting salary in the range of US$85,000 to US$95,000. Having gained three years of work experience, it is natural for these students to expect the salary in range of eligibility criteria decided for obtaining H1B visa. If the student has successfully proven his mettle to his employer, the employer will not hesitate in rewarding the employee with compensation that is above the minimum amount required to obtain the visa.

g) Since the proposed H1B bill aims at leveling the playing field and curbing companies to outsource jobs, it is unlikely that these vacant positions will be filled by the existing workforce. This will create more opportunities for Indian students available under OPT option.

i) If the reports are to be believed, U.S. colleges will end up losing close $700 million of their annual revenue if Indians decide to explore other avenues. This move can significantly impact US’s undisputed standing as the top study destination. University Presidents are aware of these dire implications and are trying their best to chalk out ways to attract students to the US shores, and in a bid to do so they are likely to ease out the fiercely competitive admission process. The US is known for its inclusive education system and their commitment to diversity. With the ban on seven Muslim countries, chances of Indian applicants being accepted is likely to move up a notch. In fact, we have seen better results so far this year than the previous year in terms of the admits the students have got at Collegepond.

Many brilliant innovations in the US are driven by immigrants. It is a startling fact that all the six American who bagged the Nobel prize in 2016 were immigrants! A large number of international students study STEM courses and contribute significantly to research and economic growth of the nation. Statistics indicate that there is a scarcity of U.S born graduates prepared to work in STEM fields. The universities would try their best to give out admits to deserving international students to ensure their higher-education system attracts the best and brightest from across the globe.

j) For the convocation ceremony at the time of graduation, more often than not, the parents end up visiting United States. The cascading impact of Indians not going to US Universities will affect the tourism industry in excess of US$ 1.0 billion as Indians are amongst the highest spenders as tourists in USA.

From losing revenues in the form of visa fees, University tuition, tourism, etc – the amount will be drastic for the country to suddenly sustain. Several multinational companies have already begun lobbying against the 2x eligibility criteria of $130K, and as per Mr. Vikas Swaroop, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, the concerns about H1B and L1 visas have been conveyed to the US at the highest levels. With President Trump and PM Modi expected to chalk out a long-term strategy of incremental Indo-US collaboration on multiple fronts, expect the deal only to get increasingly favorable for Indians going forward. Politically and diplomatically, it makes a lot of sense for President Trump to work towards creating a foreign policy with India which is mutually beneficial for the two countries.

Thus, it is important to scavenge at the opportunities during uncertain times rather than dwell too much on the negativities that have been propogated by media without even the laws and proposals being legislated.

Please note that this is an interpretation of the current proposals and may require modification with the future developments. Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US

Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US  
Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US

DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF APPLICATION PROCESS

In today’s competitive world, it has become imperative to go abroad for masters in order to fortify one’s knowledgebase, gain a global exposure and ensure a rewarding career. Going abroad for further studies requires a host of meticulous preparations and one of the most significant parts is the application process. Students must keep in mind that the application process is multidimensional and has several aspects that must be considered for smooth and hassle-free admission aspects of application process. Different aspects of application process

Preparation in advance different aspects of application process

International students often underestimate the amount of time required to apply for admission to a university abroad. Beginning the application process at the earliest is the best strategy. You need sufficient time to conduct a thorough and detailed research about the institution and the course that you wish to study. Starting well in advance ensures you meet the application deadlines of the chosen universities.

Admission requirements include personal statements and letters of recommendation from teachers or supervisors who know you well. University website and other academic sites provide access to the application forms; it takes time to research different options. You also need to set aside time to contact your professors for recommendations, arrange for transcripts, and sign up for the required entrance exams in order to meet application deadlines. Different aspects of application process

Setting an Application Timeline different aspects of application process

Setting an application timeline and strictly adhering to it will help you to meet application deadlines with ease. The plan should start 18 months before your application deadline.

18 Months before application deadline different aspects of application process

  • Research various colleges and universities programs
  • Register and prepare for required entrance exams.

12-14 Months before application deadline

  • Choose the universities you wish to apply to
  • Obtain all necessary information and forms for each school
  • Take required entrance exams

10-12 Months before application deadline different aspects of application process

  • Identify your recommenders and communicate your requirements to them
  • Request transcripts from your college
  • Write your personal statement Different aspects of application process

10 Months before application deadline different aspects of application process

  • Retake entrance exams if scores were unsatisfactory Different aspects of application process
  • Streamline financial documents Different aspects of application process
  • Complete and mail applications Different aspects of application process

3 Months before application deadline

  • Research about the health insurance options Different aspects of application process
  • Make travel arrangements for when you arrive. Different aspects of application process

Take Standardized Tests

Universities require students to take standardized admissions tests to demonstrate their knowledge and English language proficiency such as GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS. These tests are a barometer to measure the skills and aptitude of students from varied educational backgrounds. Your performance in these tests will determine whether or not you get admission into your school of choice. To get a good score, you need to plan in advance when to take the test, prepare thoroughly and study well to do your best.

Credential Evaluators

University curriculum varies from country to country. Many universities who accept students from other countries need to verify the authenticity of the documents submitted. Universities may require you to submit your transcripts to a third party credential evaluator like WES (World Education Services). A credential evaluator like WES examines your credentials, evaluates as well as advocates the recognition of international educational qualifications and then translates the documents into your host country curriculum for review. The reason being that due to the diversity of applicants and their respective education systems, there is a need for a common ground for evaluating educational credentials.

Credential Evaluators offer three types of evaluations: Different aspects of application process

  1. Course by Course Credential Evaluation

Documents required, in this case, include originals or certified copies of mark sheets.

  1. Educational Credential Evaluation

The documents required in this case include originals or certified copies of original academic documents – diplomas, certificates and transcripts (indicating graduation date and major).

  1. Professional Work Experience Evaluation

Students must submit certified copies of original academic documentation- diplomas, degree, certificates and transcript (indicating graduation date and major). A resume containing a description of job duties and responsibilities, start and end date of the projects, including tools and skills used and employer’s name and geographical location. Also, reference letters of employment from each employer, indicating job title, start date, end date, and job descriptions. Different aspects of application process

Student Visa diff

An F1 visa is issued to those students who wish to pursue an academic program at a US university. The F-1 visa allows for the possibility of employment in the US during your stay. Students having F-1 visa can remain in the US up to 60 days even after their course is completed, unless they have applied to get permission to stay and work for a period of time under the OPT Program. After you get favourable decision from universities you have applied to, take a final call on which college you want to attend. Once you receive your I-20, an official endorsement of your academic acceptance by the chosen university, you can apply for F-1 Visa. However, as per the US visa guidelines, visas cannot be issued more than 120 days before the programme start date indicated on your form I-20 received from the college you plan to attend.

Thus, if a student considers all the above aspects of the application process and is prepared well in advance, the entire process is bound to be smooth and lead to a timely admit to the student’s dream university. Being systematic and having a careful approach towards all the above-mentioned aspects will go a long way in reducing anxiety while applying to several universities and will make the admission process plain sailing. Different aspects of application process

Packing list for travelling to USA

Packing list for travelling to USA

1.T-shirts (round neck) – 8
2. T-shirts (with collar) – 3-4
3. Jeans (stick to blue/black) – 6-7
4. Formal shirts – 3
5. Formal trousers – 2
6. Undergarments – at least 15 pairs (very important)
7. Formal suit – 1 complete set
8. Ties – 2-3
9. Shorts/three-fourths – 5-6
10. Track pants – 2-3
11. Swimming trunks – 1 (if you plan to swim after coming here)
12. One traditional dress for festivals

EXTRA APPARELS:- Packing list for travelling to USA
1. Towels (any kind, but I would prefer Turkish(Or Tunisian) – 1 turkish,3 Simple
2. Hand towels – 3-4
3. Leather belts – 1-2
4. Belt for jeans – 1
5. Formal leather shoes – 1 pair
6. Woodland all-weather shoes – 1 pair (very important)
7. Sneakers (optional) – 1 pair
8. Sports shoes (optional) – They are very cheap in the US. You will most probably have a pair already. Wear it and come. Wait till the black friday sales where you will get awesome pairs of shoes for cheap.
9. Sunglasses – 1 pair (any good brand is okay)
10. Socks – 6-7 pairs
11. Sweater – 1-2 good warm ones
12. A light jacket (you can get a thicker one once you land in the US)
13. A good umbrella (don’t get the cheap ones, they can’t stand the wind)
14. Handkerchiefs – 12 nos.
15. Hawaii slippers – 1 pair (for wearing inside the apartment)
16. Flip-flops – 1 pair (for summer and spring)
17. Bedsheets – 2
18. Blanket – 1 (optional)
19. Pillow covers – 3
20. A good wallet (leather) – 1
21. A wallet for passport
22. Shoe polish – 1 (don’t get liquid, might spill during travel)
23. Shoe polishing brush – 1
24. Monkey cap – 1

ELECTRONICS:- Packing list for travelling to USA
1. External HDD (get the portable one) – You might need this for bringing all those movies, music and files from back home. Minimum of 1 TB. Any brand is fine. Flipkart has a sale on Transcend and WD till 26th May.
2. USB keyboard and mouse (optional) – gamers might need this. Even otherwise, it is a good thing to have. Get Logitech.
4. If you already have a laptop, you may bring that. Even if it is quite old, preserve it till black friday. You will get super deals, both online and in-store.
5. IPod/mp3 player (optional) – You might need this if you have to wait for long times at airports. Else, get it in the US.
6. Digital Camera- Get it from India. It might be a little more expensive, but you will need it to record all those initial snaps in the US. Preferred brands are Canon, Sony and Nikon. Don’t buy cameras that require AA batteries. Buy models with Li-ion batteries.
7. A good pair of headphones with mic.
8. A branded spike-buster.
9. Indian pin to US pin converters – 2-3. (very important)
10. A small table clock with alarm functionality
11. A scientific calculator (very important) Casio fx991MS or fx991ES – This is damn expensive in the US.
12. A good branded, decent wrist watch.
13. An extra battery for your wrist watch.
14. Blank DVDs – 4-5.

PERSONAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS:- Packing list for travelling to USA
1. Tooth paste – one large tube. Brands also available in the US – Colgate, Close-Up, Pepsodent, Aquafresh (Note: The Pepsodent here is not the same as the Pepsodent in India, it is owned by a different company, not by Unilever. (This is a very important fact))
2. Tooth brushes – 3-4
3. Soap – 1-2 bars. Brands also available in the US – Dove, Palmolive and Pears. If you don’t use any of these brands, then better get used to them. No use bringing lots of soap bars from India.
4. Shampoo – 1 bottle. Brands also available in the US – Head and Shoulders, Sunsilk, Dove, Pantene, Nizoral. Again, get used to any one of these brands.
5. Shaving razor(for guys) – A couple of disposable ones.
6. Shaving foam (don’t buy cream) – 1 small can
7. Cold cream – 1 bottle
8. Vaseline – 1 bottle
9. Good clean combs – 2-3
10. Comb cleaner/old toothbrush for cleaning the combs.
11. Soap cases – 2
12. Hair oil – 2 bottles
13. Deodorant – 1 can
14. Nail cutter – 2
15. Earbuds – 1 small pack
16. Sunscreen – 1 bottle
17. Lip balm – 2 tubes

UTENSILS:- Packing list for travelling to USA
1.Pressure cooker
2. Pressure pan – 1. As far as possible, get both the cooker and the pan from the same brand so that you can interchange the gaskets and the weights.
3. Medium size kadai for cooking vegetables – 1
4. Serving spoons (of various sizes) – 3-4
5. SS Plate – 1
6. Kadai for boiling milk/water – 1
7. Knives – 3-4
8. Vegetable chopping board – 1
9. SS glasses/tumblers – 3
10. SS spoons – 3-4
11. Extra weights and gaskets for the cookers – 3
12. Chapati roller – 1
13. Butter knives – 2
14. SS forks – 2
15. Kadai for making sambar/dal – 1
16. Tea strainer – 1
17. Water bottle (preferably Tupperware) – 1

FOOD ITEMS:- Packing list for travelling to USA
1. Ready-to-eat paste – 5-6 bottles minimum.
2. Rice – 3-4 kg for initial use
3. Maggi – 10-12 (minimum). You won’t get Maggi in the US except in Indian stores. So carry as much as you can.
4. Some home-made sweets for yourself as well as for seniors you need favors from.
5. Pickles – 3-4 bottles
6. Some snacks – how much ever you want, for the initial days
7. All powders – chilli, garam masala, rasam, sambar, asafetida, other powders you use – 0.5 to 1 kg each
8. All dals that you use in cooking – 2 kg each
9. Salt and sugar – 0.5 kg each
10. Papads – 2-3 packs
11. Tamarind – 1 kg
12. Ginger-garlic paste – 2 bottles

STATIONERY ITEMS:- Packing list for travelling to USA
1. Pens – 3-4
2. Notebooks – 2-3
3. Pencils – 3-4
4. Erasers – 3
5. Sharpeners – 3
6. Key chains – 2
7. Staple machine – 1
8. Pins – 2 boxes
9. Glue sticks – 2
10. Markers – 2
11. Highlighters – 1
12. A4 sheets – 1 quire
13. Small ruler – 1
14. Phone book – 1. Keep all your friends’ and relatives’ phone numbers written inside before you leave ( or use Google sync like a normal person)
15. Cellophane tape – 1 roll

MEDICINES:- Packing list for travelling to USA
These are very important since for getting any specialized medicine in the US, you need a prescription.
1. Cold, Fever – Crocin
2. Body Pain – Crocin, Combiflam
3. Indigestion, Gastric Problems – Gelucil, Zinetac
4. Throat Infection – Erythromycin
5. Allergies – Avil .25
6. Vomiting – Avomine
7. Tooth Ache – Combiflam
8. Cold, Head Ache – Amurtanjan
9. Stomach Pain – Cyclopam
10. Diarrhea – Lopomide
11. Dizziness – Diziron
12. Sprain – Esgypyrin
13. Common Cold – Coldact, Vicks Vaporub

DOCUMENT LIST:- Packing list for travelling to USA
(1) Passport Xerox(5 copies)
(2) VISA Xerox (5 copies)
(4) I-20(5 copies)
(5) Air Ticket(2 copies)
(6) Original marksheets + Degree Certificate
(7) Attested marksheets + Degree Certificate (3 copies)
(8 Original transcripts + Degree Certificate (3 copies)
(9) Immunization form(specific to university)
(10) University specific letters like admit, aid, forms.
(11) SEVIS fee reciept(3 copies)
(12) GRE Original + Xerox copies(5 copies)
(13) TOEFL Original + Xerox copies(5 copies)
(14) Final Year Project Report
(15) Syllabus Copies
(16) Reco Letters.

PACKING Packing list for travelling to USA
Don’t procrastinate packing till the last moment as you won’t find time later, and in the tension you may miss out on some important things. Start packing early. Make sure you make a list of all stuff you are carrying. Label all the suitcases both inside and outside with both your home address in India and your university address. Include the phone numbers also. Make sure you are within the luggage allowance (you can do this by carrying the suitcase to the nearest scrap metal shop/rice mundi), though it can exceed upto 1-2 kgs. Packing list for travelling to USA

The University of Rochester (commonly referred to as U of R or UR) is a private, non-sectarian, Research University in Rochester, New York. The university grants undergraduate and graduate degrees, including doctoral and professional degrees. The university has six schools and various interdisciplinary programs.

The University of Rochester is particularly noted for its Eastman School of Music. The university is also home to the Institute of Optics, founded in 1929, the first educational program in the US devoted exclusively to optics. Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics is home to the second most energetic fusion laser in the world.

In its history, five university alumni, two faculty, and one senior research associate at Strong Memorial Hospital have been awarded a Nobel Prize; eight alumni and four faculty members have won a Pulitzer Prize, and 19 faculty members have been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Faculty and alumni of Rochester make up nearly one-quarter of the scientists on the board advising NASA in the development of the James Webb Space Telescope, which is scheduled to replace the Hubble Space Telescope in 2018. The departments of political science and economics have made a significant and consistent impact on positivist social science since the 1960s; the distinctive, mathematical approach pioneered at Rochester and closely affiliated departments is known as the Rochester school, and Rochester graduates and former affiliates are highly represented at faculties across top economics and political science departments.

The University of Rochester, across all of its schools and campuses, enrolls approximately 5,600 undergraduates and 4,600 graduate students. Its 158 buildings house over 200 academic majors. Additionally, Rochester (along with its affiliated Strong Health System) is the largest employer in the Greater Rochester area and the sixth largest employer in New York.

The University of Rochester’s undergraduate enrolment consists of about 5,800 full-time and about 200 part-time students from across the U.S. and over 115 countries. Graduate enrolment comprises about 3,900 full-time and about 1,100 part-time graduate students. The university has more than 103,000 living alumni and employs nearly 2,300 tenure-track faculty, with more than 20,000 faculty and staff across the university and the Strong Health System. UR’s faculty include fellows of all four National Academies of the U.S., Guggenheim Fellows, and recipients of many other awards and recognitions.

UR was one of the 25 New Ivies in the 2007 Kaplan/Newsweek “How to Get into College Guide.” The list names institutions whose calibre of students is considered to rival traditional Ivy League schools. The rankings are based on admissions statistics as well as interviews with administrators, students, faculty, and alumni. UR is ranked 33rd among national universities by U.S. News & World Report and 144th by Washington Monthly. The school places within the top 10 for the staff-to-student ratio.

A great number of notable people have been and are associated with the university. Fields of study particularly well represented are economics, political science, physics, biology, chemistry, and music.

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