1. How many universities did you apply to?
This is a very basic question, but linked to this is the second question that is shot at you.
2. How many admits or rejections you have received?
As explained in the above question, both of these are interlinked. Now if you applied to 4 were accepted in 1 and got 3 rejects. You don’t have to be Mr. TRUTH. So put it as applied to 4, got 1, awaiting 2, 1 reject or applied to 4, got 1, awaiting 3. (They will have the record of your admits and not of your rejections). But then state as this was supposed to be your first choice anyhow, so even if you would have had the admit letters from any of the other 3, you would certainly have gone for this one.
3. What is the purpose of your trip?
The purpose of my trip is to do my MS in ___________ (E.g.: CS/Telecommunications/EE…whatever or PhD in _____)
4. What is your GRE/TOEFL score?
Always try to speak out the better score first. Like if you have a good TOEFL score, say your TOEFL first and then GRE. Usually people think, they can go and lead them by answering long and sweet, like if asked for scores, the long answer might be : “Sir, I took my Computer based TOEFL and scored 270 at it, while I took the GRE and scored 800 in Quantitative, 710 in Analytical and 430 in Verbal”. Well this can heat up the officer. So keep it short. Try always to answer in short and to the point.
5. WHAT TO SAY FOR THE LOW GRE AND TOEFL?
Variety of things makes up the final decision. Always accept your mistakes and explain what exactly went wrong in the examination.
- Questions were tough.
- Time was not sufficient.
- Had a bad day though prepared well.
- Written the exam in the middle of the project work or the B Tech examinations.
- You think your score is average and on the basis of that the university has given you the admission.
- I answered the first few questions incorrectly and I couldn’t improve my score even after performing well later.
- You can show that the other sections are stressed upon by universities while selection for admission. (like good quant and low verbal)
- If you have a low VERBAL score, but a good TOEFL score, you can always say that “Please look at my TOEFL score Sir, I have done well at that.”
6. Which was your undergraduate college?
My undergraduate college was _____________
7. What was your bachelor’s degree in?
My Bachelors degree is in ________________
8. What are your grades like?
Spell it out as it has been at your university. Say “Sir, We have a percentage system, and i scored xx% overall” IF your final year marks excel the other semester marks, spell that one out, coz usually in someuniversities, they look at the final year marks to grade the student in the Certificate.
9. Which university are you planning to go to?
Name the university you want the visa for. (The University of your Choice)
10. Who is planning to sponsor you?
As mentioned in your I-20. If you have a scholarship, say that. Else in case the I-20 says “Family funds” say that, and you may add that sir, my father and my mother are supporting me for my higher education. If your relatives are also sponsoring you then do mention about them as well.
11. Your passbooks show that a large amount of money has recently been deposited. How would you explain that?
If you have borrowed the money here is what you could do Its quite likely that in the past you may have received huge sums of money like selling of some property, retirement of parents etc so u could say something like) In year X we had received Rs. XXX and instead of depositing the amount in a bank at a low interest rate, we invested it in other sources which gave us high interest rates or we gave it to our needy friends. Now we have taken this money back to finance my education. (Of course it’s really dicey to answer this question, but if you are confident you shouldn’t have a problem. If you have some proof of receiving a huge sum of money some years back, make sure you carry it) You can also say that you had private Fixed deposits i.e you invested in private firms coz they provide higher interest rates (say out figures like 16% per annum as compared to the mere 9% of banks. You can show this receipt and say that now you en-cashed that amount, coz you needed it for your educational purposes.
12. What is your father’s annual income?
This question often decides your ability to pay for your expenses. They think that money can be put into banks, but annual income is a proof which they heavily rely upon to decide the student’s parent’s capability to spend for his educational expenses.
a) What is your father’s annual income?
Explain as per the CA report and the IT returns.
b) What is your family’s annual income?
The moment the words ‘Annual Income” creeps in, state your complete family annual income, i.e. if your mother is also an earning member, if you have agricultural income, if you have rental income plus the interests and dividends…State all of them together. Dont commit the blunder of stating just your father’s income. Many a times it hampers your chances. If it seems low to them. Obviously a sum of mother’s income, your father’s income, agricultural (if u have), rental will be more than a single one. And if they ask for the IT returns, hand over both of your parent’s return statements, plus the agricultural papers plus the rental receipt (duplicate) at a time. And if he/she just argues (usually they don’t) that you were asked about your father’s income. Then say” Sir, MY family is sponsoring me. Along with my father my mother is also an earning member and an income tax payee. Family funds is what the I-20 states, and so my family including my father and mother (opt brother, if u have one earning) are sponsoring me and here are their statements and proofs of other modes of income.
13. I have been offered a partial scholarship. What financial documents should I show?
Amount mentioned in the I-20 form for 1 year MINUS the scholarship amount should be shown in the form of financial documents. You can show funding for the subsequent year in the form of property or liquid assets. You can also show in written form if the university has intention to give aid for the next year also.
14. Can I show an educational loan as my source of funding?
Yes. You can do so. But if doesn’t cover the entire 1 year amount mentioned in the I-20 form then you have to show proof of funding for the remaining amount.
15. Why do you plan to do MS?
Say that you felt that higher qualifications give a better place, a better standard in today’s competitive world. You felt that you have a good know-how of your field, but a bit more technical knowledge in “the field you are going for MS in” will serve you greatly, when you come back here and join the industry of your choice. You will find more opportunities, higher pay and also the growth prospects are much higher compared to the fresh graduates.
16. Why do you wish to study in the US and not in India?
- The courses in the field I am interested in are not being offered or very few institutions offer such courses.
- In addition to that the research going on is something I would like to be associated with. (Speak about the facilities as well). Talk about a few researches being conducted in that field. Technical words work out when other things don’t.
- Speak about the standard and quality of education and the environment and ambiance you find.
- To become more ready for the ever-increasingly globalize Business World.
- Make sure you speak about the scholarships and the assistantships you find in United States. (US is the only country provides 100% waivers and assistantships to the international students.
- Experience first hand different cultures and customs, increase personal confidence pride-in-self by surviving in a different environment. Become more independent. Improve communication skills.
- Learning abroad will set you apart from other job seekers in a very competitive job market. You will highlight your experience abroad in job interviews and on your resume.
- Learning abroad can help you develop new skills, more independence and self-confidence. You’ll return with new skills.
- Studying overseas helps you see the world from a completely new perspective. The simplest things take on a new meaning when you are abroad.
- Education abroad introduces you to a new culture, a new way of life. you’ll learn to recognize and appreciate how culture determines values and behaviors.
- A year or so abroad gives you the opportunity to participate in an international internship, Optional practical training opportunities are given to students and are allowed to do live projects in the companies an impressive asset in today’s global marketplace.
17. Why did u select this University?
This question can be best answered when you do a bit of homework about you university. Browse the Webpage of the University, visit the pages of the professors, and go through their projects. Now remember some of the key words, like:
- The project a professor X is working on. Mention something about the project if the officer is listening and is giving you time to explain. When you do such things, they think that you are pretty serious about your studies and are really into it.
- Mention about the rank of the university, the student to faculty ratio.
- Explain in detail the course curriculum and the concentration that you would take and how good the university is in teaching that particular course.
- Talk about the on going research or project carried by the students or the professors of that university. (You can say all these stuff such as rank and all, but you have to state what interested you and it should be something about research or academics. You can also show letters of correspondence with your University professors).
- Explain about the future plans that you have and how this course is going to help you in achieving those goals. (Eg: Besides technical knowledge, this course also enhances the managerial skills which are the demand of the present-day telecom industry. So while the professors from Computer and Electrical department will be teaching me Signal Processing, Encoding, Communication techniques, networking. At the same time the experts from School of Public Affairs will be imparting me knowledge of Present day competition in Telecom industry, staff management and resource management.)”
18. Does any of your relative stay in the US?
The answers to this vary from person to person. The two basic replies being: Either “YES” or “NO”. But I believe that you be truthful at this instance. I have seen many people who have been true and were not affected by that. If your uncle or cousin or distant aunt stays there, you don’t have to say “YES” coz that doesn’t matter. All that matters is your immediate relatives. I.e. own brother, sister, father or mother. They evaluate you on the basis of your merits and not by what the person staying abroad is going to do for you.
19. What are you plans after Graduation?
Be really well prepared for this question. This answer is not fool proof, but it’s you who can make it seem so. The basic things are:
- Your field is what you will pursue Your field is on a roll in INDIA Your field has great opportunities You get those opportunities even now but you get better opportunities once you do your MS
- Show foreign companies coming to INDIA investing in your field State some technical words expressing the advancements in your field make it seem, this field won’t go ahead without guys like you.
- Various US companies like _____, ________, ____________, are investing huge amounts of research funds and are looking forward to launch advanced Telecommunication methods in INDIA. Besides them, various Indian Telecom Giants like RELIANCE TELECOM, Bharti Telecom, and VSNL are also investing in behemoth amounts into this arena.
- I believe that better technical knowledge will help me to achieve greater heights in this field, having deepened my technical knowledge after completing my higher studies.
- I have seen that there is a dearth of persons with greater technical know-how in this field, and whosoever has it will be benefited highly. So I wish to complete my MS and strengthen my technical know-how and grasp the opportunity”
20. Why are you changing your stream?
This generally occurs coz people having done their BE in one stream would mostly opt for Computers. You can say either of the points:
- During my third semester, when I was introduced to programming languages, I had a great exposure to computers. I gradually developed a liking for it and wished to deepen my knowledge in it.
- I mastered a number of languages on my own, and am also into Web Designing and software debugging (push in technical words).
- I always had it in my mind, that once I strengthen myself in my field, I will go on to enhance my skills in the field of Computers. There were a vast number of options available, viz. CS, CN, CE but I chose CS as I had esteem interest in Software and its working always try to show that you have an interest for that subject.
21. You look like potential immigrants OR I don’t think you will come back to India?
This is a real tricky question. Many get blue when they hear this and lose their senses as how to tackle this question. Stay calm and think what all you can say like: always answer in relation to your future plans and the opportunities that you will get after you return back to India.
- “I am from a very well-to do family and money is not at all essential for me. I stand to inherit a lot from my parents (say this if u have lots of property) so staying and working in the US is not a criteria at all. The only thing I lack is this Masters (or whatever degree) which will make me a better software professional. As far as opportunity is concerned, because of the recession most of the US Companies are turning to the Indian companies for their software solutions. Most of the Indian companies have tie-ups with the US Companies (give some examples). So I am certain that with my degree I will get an equivalent opportunity and pay packet in India.
22. On what basis is the visa given?
The 3 main things that they look for now is:
- Whether u have the capacity to complete your degree
- Whether you have enough money to sponsor your education.
- You should not be a potential immigrant and explains that you would return back to India upon completion of your studies.