USA and UK have been favourites among international students since decades for studies. When you ask a student about their first choice for studies abroad, the USA is the first country that automatically comes onto their lips. The credit for its recognition goes to its reputed universities and multicultural voice. The diverse and dynamic culture of this country has proven to be an attraction to all. One of its most recognized cities is Los Angeles or the City of Los Angeles. It is the second most populous city of the USA. It has been referred to as Creative capital of the world due to its glamorous association with Hollywood. Due to its popularity more and more students are getting attracted towards the city. However, for an international student, only glitz, glamour and popularity are not enough. There is a plethora of other aspects which are important to consider while moving in a foreign country. Find out about these aspects which are discussed in detail to guide you.
The first thing comes to mind when thinking about studies is the quality of education that one is going to get. This is obviously important as international students have to spend a lot in terms of housing, food, clothing and other domestic needs. Without a quality education and lifestyle in a reputable university, all of this seems futile. The city of Los Angeles is no stranger to top class universities with one of its top ranking universities being University of California, Los Angeles or UCLA (ranked 31st). Along with UCLA, the city is known for its other public universities such as California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) and California State University, Northridge (CSUN). The city also boasts of multiple private institutions offering courses in every field imaginable. The Los Angeles Public Library system which supervises 72 public libraries in the city ensures that there is no dearth of study materials.
Los Angeles as we all know is popular for being a centre of Hollywood. In fact, the city is flooded with artistic people. Whether it is writers, filmmakers, actors, dancers or musicians, the city is full of them. It goes without saying that the city provides the artistic impulse which stimulates the creative flow. However, the city does not only have Hollywood to its name. Los Angeles boasts of around 841 museums and art galleries which makes it heavenly for art lovers. Not to forget the ever prospering theatre in the city. The city has more than 1100 annual theatrical productions every week. The city also has vibrating sports scene with top ten professional sports teams residing here. The multicultural voice of the city ensures friendly and hospitable people.
‘’ Los Angeles boasts of around 841 museums and art galleries which makes it heavenly for art lovers’’
Part-time jobs are a lifeline to international students living in a foreign country. It is important not merely in terms of covering living costs but also in terms of the development of one's skills. It is especially necessary in the USA as studying there is costly, what with ever increasing tuition fees. However, it is essential to check the terms and conditions on one's visa. It is especially beneficial then that the international students are allowed to work in the country. Here, one can work in the morning while take classes in the evening. Employment is available both on and off campus companies which opens up many avenues for the students including Undergraduate and Master students. However, the most important aspect of working in the USA is that the students are paid regular American wages. Considering the multitudes of students pouring in the country, most of the universities have introduced a specialized CPT or Curricular Practical Training program that ensures that the students able to work from the moment they arrive on campus. It works by providing employment training and make them able to work in paid internships positions. This makes it easier for the students who are on budget to live decently and without any worry.
The multicultural identity of Los Angeles is duly established as the diversity here is truly enchanting. There is not a country in the world from where you will not find its people here. The diversity ensures that there is no lack of familiar people in a foreign land. That's why it ranks 51st out of 140 on Global Liveability scale of QS top universities. This is consoling for the students who find it difficult to be social. The culture can be intimidating to many people despite its diversity. In such circumstances, it is important to learn about the place beforehand. Culture shock can lead to social isolation which could impact your student learning environment.
Food often becomes an issue for an international student especially if the culture is completely different to one's own culture, for example in the case of Asian students in western countries. However, thanks to America's multiculturalism, the city of Los Angeles boasts of every kind of cuisine that the world has to offer. Whether you crave for traditional Jewish cuisine (Langer's at Westlake), Thai cuisine (Night+Market at West Hollywood), Italian (Jon & Vinny's at Fairfax) or Chinese (Din Tai Fung at Glendale), Los Angeles has an option for everybody. If you are a street food lover then there is no better place than Grand Central Market which is located at Bunker Hill in Downtown area. The city has something for everybody.
The most dreaded word for international students is a visa. Most of the students spend sleepless nights over it. In order to get over such fears, it is necessary to have proper knowledge about the whole procedure and guidelines of getting a student visa. According to the USA visa guidelines, one should have non-immigrant visa for temporary stay and an immigrant visa for permanent residence. In case of students, the type of visa is determined by the kind of study or school that they are applying for. In case of Universities, High school, Private elementary school, Seminary, Conservatory or language training courses, a student will need a visa category F while for other Vocational or other recognized non-academic institution an M category visa will suffice. Students are not allowed to travel on Visa Waiver Program or Visitor or B category Visas. Visitor (B) visa is more suitable if one is looking to study in a short recreational course which is not for any academic purposes. However, before you apply for any of the above mentioned visas, be sure to be accepted by a SEVP approved school. After getting accepted by the American school you plan to study, you will be registered in Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) for which you have to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee. You will get a Form I-20 from the American school in order to present to the consular officer during visa interview.
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