Studying in UK
Can I switch to Work Permit employment when I am in the UK?
You may be able to switch if:
» you have completed a recognized
degree course at either a UK publicly funded further or higher education
institution or bona fide private education institution which maintains
satisfactory records of enrolment and attendance
» you hold a valid work permit for
» you have the written consent of any
government or agency which is sponsoring you
» you have not broken immigration law
Can I bring my husband, or wife and children with me?
Your husband or wife and any of your children under 18 can come to the UK with
you during your studies as long as you can support them and live without help
from any public funds.
The authorities must also believe that you are a genuine student, that you
intend to leave at the end of the course and that you have the required
qualifications to take the course. It is a good idea to keep all documentation
in your hand luggage during travel, as it may need to be produced on arrival in
If you are issued with a visa for more than six months it will be the equivalent
of a multiple entry visa. If you are a national of a country where entry
clearance is a requirement and your course is for six months or less you may
want to consider applying for a multiple entry visa in order to leave and
re-enter the UK during this time. Important note: Do not enter the UK on a
visitor’s visa with the intention of changing to a student visa at a later date.
This is because unless you are from a country whose nationals do not need to
obtain a visa before coming to the UK, you will not be able to change to a
student visa and will have to return home to make an application
In self-contained flats, your rent will usually be payable monthly and your
landlord or landlady is unlikely to live on the premises. Any rules you are
required to keep will be written in the lease or agreement you have signed which
is legally binding. The lease will usually be for specific periods and once you
sign you are committed to renting the flat for that length of time. So study the
lease carefully before signing, and if necessary take legal advice.
Studying in USA
What if my English language skills need to be improved? Will I still be
able to complete an engineering degree in the U.S.?
It is extremely important to have strong English language skills,
particularly if you wish to enroll in an advanced degree program (like an MEng).
Poor English skills may jeopardize your ability to excel at required exams.
If you need additional preparation, several options exist. If you are
admitted to a US college or university, it may offer part time or full time
intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) courses for international students.
There are also many private language institutions in the United States and
worldwide, but approach these with caution: Some universities may not accept
credits from institutions that are not accredited by a national accreditation
organization like the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation.
What if I already have a degree in engineering from a school in my home
Because requirements differ from country to country, you may be required to
go back to school for additional training. The most important thing to do is to
contact schools and universities to find out who evaluates international student
applications. Some schools have hired staff members with special training to
evaluate academic credentials of overseas applicants, and others refer students
to outside agencies like the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and
What extra steps do international students need to take in order to apply?
Plan to contact prospective schools approximately one year before you intend
to apply. Spaces for international students can be limited, although engineering
schools tend to accept greater numbers of applicants than other graduate
programs. Nevertheless, apply to several institutions, including a few where you
feel fairly certain that you will be accepted.
Apply to schools in different locations – applying to several in the same
area may make the US consulate in your country think that you are coming to
America for reasons other than education (family, work, etc). Find out what
range of test scores each school prefers and take all required exams well ahead
of time. Be sure to have documentation that proves you will be able to fund the
duration of your stay in the US. If you are accepted, send in your deposit
immediately to contend for financial aid packages and on-campus housing.
Will I need to take the TOEFL in order to apply to U.S. engineering schools?
Yes – whether you are an entering freshman or an engineer who wants to
receive additional education, the TOEFL will be required by almost all colleges
How long are TOEFL scores valid?
TOEFL scores are valid for two years.
The grading system of my school is different than the American schools I want
to attend. What should I do?
You will need to send original copies of your secondary school diploma and
transcripts, as well as any university-level academic records. These need to be
accompanied by word-for-word English translations that follow the format of the
Some schools may also require you to have your school send an explanation of
their grading system. If there is a branch in your country, you can contact the
USIS (United States Information Services) for additional advice.
My school closed. What can I do?
If your school closed, you need to contact the institution or agency (like
the ministry of health) authorized to hold documents for your school. You must
find out who has the authority to validate your records, since many schools will
not accept copies of school transcripts, only official documents.
I have been accepted! What steps should I take to obtain a visa?
As a full time college or university student, you need to apply for an F-1
visa. Upon acceptance, your school should send you an I-20 application form. You
should take this and your passport to a United States Embassy or Consulate,
where an official who oversees non-immigrant visas will assist you. At this
point, you will need to fill out the “Affidavit of Support” form to prove that
you have the finances to fund the length of your stay in the U.S. After you
submit all of these forms, your visa application will be processed.
Since September 11th, some international nursing students have experienced
longer delays in the visa application process. To avoid problems, fill out your
paperwork as soon as you are accepted. Many school admissions offices have
confirmed that they will work with international students to adjust to new
deadlines and requirements as the government enacts additional security
Can I fund part of my engineering education through employment in the
Working in the U.S. can be challenging. If you arrive on an F-1 student visa,
you are NOT allowed to accept any employment outside the campus for a period of
9 months. Moreover, you will not be allowed to work more than 20 hours per week
if you have a job on-campus. In most cases, you will not be able to work full
time during your initial year. Because you must be able to show that you have
the financial resources to fund the duration of your education before you can
obtain a visa, it is crucial to plan ahead. Your time in the United States must
be largely financed before you arrive.
How will my status as an international student affect financial aid
International students are ineligible for United States government funded
loans, grants, or aid programs. Your selected schools will be able to tell you
if there are any loans or aid packages open to international students. You
should consult with individual school financial aid offices to determine what
financial information needs to be provided: requirements for non-citizens often
differ from those of citizens.
Keep in mind that the amount of aid available to international students is
limited and varies between colleges. You may need to rely in large part on your
own savings, but be resourceful: explore funding options in your home country.
Overall, financial aid applications should be sent to schools as soon as
possible, since the awards are made early in the admission process.
Are international students eligible for scholarships or work-study
Some institutions offer scholarships to international students, which may or
may not also provide living stipends. Additionally, individual departments
typically offer teaching assistantships (TA) and research assistantships (RA) to
qualified graduate students, although these are competitive positions.
Eligibility requirements will vary from school to school; it is best to contact
your preferred colleges individually.
What types of housing options can I expect to find?
Most universities have a housing office that addresses student living
concerns. Graduate students often have several housing options, including
graduate dormitories and graduate floors within dorms.
You can also choose to live off campus, although finding an apartment, room,
or shared housing arrangement may require greater preparation ahead of your
arrival. Again, talk to each individual school to determine what options best
fits your needs. Many admissions offices have staff members who can assist you
during the transition to an American university.
If I want to stay in the US after I earn my degree, do I need to receive a
Yes. All foreign students must apply for a VisaScreen under section 343 of
the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), if
they plan to work permanently in the United States of America.