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Steps to study in the United States of America (USA)

Many students around the world, especially those in Malaysia, aspire to attend university in the United States. But applying to and being accepted into a university in the USA can be a difficult and complicated procedure. This is an overview of the procedures needed to study in the USA to assist you in navigating this process. This article will outline the necessary procedures you must take to pursue your education in the USA, from looking into colleges and programmes to applying for a visa.



Understand the requirements


Take the Language Proficiency Test


Apply to universities


Apply for an F1 student visa


Travel to the USA

STEP 1: Understand the requirements

By coming to the United States of America to study, you have the opportunity to gain the understanding, perspective, and self-assurance you need to realise your full potential. To ensure that you choose the course that is best for you and your goals, it is advised to understand as much as you can about the diversity of programmes, institutions, and universities that are offered and compare them. Reviewing the course prerequisites is also crucial. Viewing the course profiles on the university websites or the Edu Experts website will help you do this. If you have any queries, you can get in touch with us for information about your courses, scholarships that are available, university applications, or you can ask the institution directly.

STEP 2: Take the Language Proficiency Test

For Malaysian students, it is compulsory to take an English Proficiency Test to study in the USA. The most commonly accepted English proficiency tests are the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). These tests are designed to measure a student's ability to speak, write, read, and understand English at a level sufficient for academic work. They are required by most universities in the USA as part of their admission process for international students.

Typical language entry requirements typically call for the following:

  • Overall 6.5 - 8.0 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

  • Overall 90 - 100 in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

  • Overall 105 - 120 in the Duolingo English Test

There are some exceptions to the English proficiency requirement, such as if English is your first language or if you have completed a certain amount of education in English-speaking countries. However, it is always best to check with the individual universities you are interested in to confirm their specific requirements.

STEP 3: Apply to universities

It's time to get in touch with the universities you want to apply to, get their application packs, and send them early. A dozen universities to choose from can be favourable, but you must take into account the application fee, which ranges from $50 to $200

Don't just apply everywhere. Compare your choices, decide on your preferred programme and university, and then pick one or two backup possibilities. Be cautious when completing the application form, and be sure to include accurate information supported by documentation. The university will give you an acceptance letter once you get accepted to study there. This document is crucial for the next requirements.

STEP 4: Apply for an F1 student visa

It's time to apply for an F1 student visa now that an institution is prepared to accept you. Your application must be submitted with the acceptance letter you obtained in the previous step, your passport, and an official documentation proving you have enough funds to attend college in the USA.

Here are the general steps to apply for a student visa to study in the USA:

  1. Receive acceptance from a SEVP-approved school: You must be accepted by a school that is approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and receive a Form I-20 from the school.

  2. Pay the SEVIS fee: After receiving the Form I-20, you must pay the SEVIS fee online and obtain a receipt to include in your visa application.

  3. Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160): This is an online form that collects your personal and educational information.

  4. Schedule and attend a visa interview: You must schedule an appointment at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate and attend an interview. You will need to bring your passport, Form I-20, SEVIS fee receipt, and other required documents to the interview.

  5. Provide required documents: You will need to provide a variety of documents, including your passport, Form I-20, SEVIS fee receipt, transcripts and diplomas, financial support documents, and proof of ties to your home country.

  6. Wait for visa processing: After the interview, the embassy or consulate will process your application. Processing times can vary depending on the country and other factors.

STEP 5: Travel to the USA

Once the application has been processed and an interview, if required, has been conducted, the immigration officer will decide upon your F1 student visa application. If accepted, it is now time to start planning your travel to the USA. Your pass will have a start date, which is the date from which the pass comes into force. 

The immigration officer will verify your permit and other documents at the port of entry before allowing you to enter the USA. This is the final step of the immigration formalities and you can now focus on commencing your journey as an international student in the USA.

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