SERVICES OFFERED THROUGH USES

Comprehensive admission services

USES provides comprehensive educational counseling. Students receive customized guidance from their USES counselor and receive feedback from our team of experts. School applications can be very time-consuming and stressful, especially when you need to apply for a visa and complete multiple forms. With our help, this becomes a seamless, low-stress process. Applying to graduate programs is a multi-faceted process, given that admissions committees evaluate not only your academic record, but also your extracurricular, personal, and professional experiences. It is important for you to write powerful essays, submit supportive recommendations, and communicate a compelling story in interviews in order to present yourself as well-rounded and desirable. We will develop a comprehensive action plan for you to ensure you stay organized, motivated, and on time for your application deadlines. Whenever you have a question or concern, we're here for you 24/7 so that you're never left navigating the application process on your own.

Student visa services

USES will help the student through every step of the visa process - from sending documents for the I-20 to coaching for the interview.

Pre-departure orientation

This session will offer you valuable pointers to help you adapt to the academic, social and cultural environment in the US. The focus of this session will be on important cultural and social nuances of the ‘American Life’. Additionally you will receive information on important issues like medical insurance, mobile connection, foreign exchange, travel insurance and the like.

Institutional seminars

We conduct seminars in schools and colleges across Kerala to create awareness regarding higher education in the US.

Thorough assessment

We evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in your academic, extracurricular, and professional (if relevant) history, and give students the expert advice they need to develop powerful applications that showcase their accomplishments.

School selection

Learning about the US education system when you live outside of the United States may seem like an overwhelming process.Traveling to visit school campuses is often impossible and expensive. At the same time, determining your ‘fit’ with a school based on your personality and goals is a very important element of the process for selecting a school. We can advise you on conducting thorough research on target schools without needing to visit campuses. Given our extensive knowledge of the colleges and universities in the United States, we can explain the US higher education system to you and guide you in your selection of schools. Based on our analysis of your strengths, goals, and personality, we can suggest a list of dream schools, realistic schools, and safety schools for you. We advise you on which schools to select for early decision and early action.

Test preparation

For students based in and around Kottayam we offer test preparation classes for TOEFL, SAT, GRE, and GMAT. In addition to admissions counseling, USES has a team of tutors to provide the most efficient and effective standardized test prep tutoring.

Application assistance and review

We will guide you in the process of selecting the topics for each of the essay questions in the applications. We will thoroughly read and edit the essays to ensure elements such as proper grammar, appropriate organization, and sentence flow. Before submission of the final version of your application, it will be carefully reviewed to ensure there are no errors, grammatical or otherwise.

Interview coaching

As many schools recommend or require interviews for admission, USES provides expert counseling and interviewing tips. We will teach you effective interviewing skills, give a mock interview, and provide feedback on the interview performance. Students will also be coached on types of questions to ask their interviewers and techniques to demonstrate interest in the specific college they are interviewing for. You will confidently approach each college interview knowing that you are going to make a lasting and positive impression.

Exam Preparation at USES

Financing your study

There are two main costs that students will incur while studying in the US: tuition and living expenses. Tuition varies greatly between universities, but by no means is a higher fee indicative of a better school. State universities usually charge less than private institutions, while community, technical and vocational colleges generally have the lowest tuition fees. The cost of living in the US will depend on where one chooses to study. Larger urban centers like the north-east and west coast will be more expensive than areas in the south and mid-west.

Education loans

Most Indian banks offer educational or student loans of Rs. 5 - 25 lakhs at reasonable rates of interest. Repayments usually start only after a year of course completion or 6 months after you get a job (whichever is earlier).

Some documents required for availing the loan are:

Scholarships

Almost all universities offer scholarships and grants to international students, although these are highly competitive--usually need-based or awarded for outstanding performance in a field of study, performing art, sport, or other category. Check with the university’s international admissions office regarding the funding they have available for international students. Also, keep an eye out for funding opportunities with the Government of India, multinational corporations or other institutions.

Graduate research assistantships

An assistantship is a form of funding in which a student works as a ‘research assistant’ in exchange for partial or full tuition or a stipend. Responsibilities of research assistants vary by discipline but include all tasks needed to pursue research in a given area, such as: data collection, entry, and analysis; reviewing the literature and other library work; writing reports; filing and collating; and maintaining the office or lab. Most research assistants do a little bit of everything. The benefits of a research assistantship lie beyond income or tuition rebate. As a research assistant, students will learn how to conduct research first hand and it can be good training for one’s dissertation.

Teaching assistantships

Teaching assistants (often referred to simply as TAs) are graduate students, often pursuing their doctoral degrees and employed on a temporary contract by a college or university, who assist faculty members in teaching undergraduate classes. Their responsibilities vary greatly and may include: tutoring; monitoring exams; and teaching students in laboratory or discussion sessions. In addition, teaching assistants may be assigned to hold office hours, hold student conferences, evaluate student work, etc. This gives graduate students the opportunity to hone their teaching skills. To be eligible for appointment as a teaching assistant a student must be in good academic standing and make satisfactory progress toward an advanced degree. A teaching assistant must be registered for at least nine semester hours during each semester of the long session. Though the main purpose is to provide teaching support, TA positions provide ample funding for graduate research and often serve as a first career step for aspiring academics.

Campus jobs

Students usually enter the US on an F-1 visa and are permitted to work on campus for 20 hours a week while the school is in session and full-time during holidays. Typical on-campus jobs include working in the university library, café, bookstore, etc. After one year of study, students can apply to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for a special work permit to allow them to work off campus. The international office on campus should be able to provide more information on the application procedure. If approved, working hours will still be limited to 20 hours a week during the semester and full time during holidays.

US academics and culture

Many students who arrive in the US will probably have a preconceived image of American culture, either positive or negative, from what they've observed on television and in movies. However, American mainstream culture is extremely diverse and complex, and varies from one geographical region to the next, between rural and urban areas, and can be particularly influenced by the ethnic communities found in each region. Today, regardless of one's ethnic, religious or social background, American culture values individuality, independence and self-reliance. Competitiveness is encouraged and achievement praised.