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 iconic cities is San Francisco. The city is known for its flower power in 1960s and frequently visited by people from all over the world. It along with being a starting point of United Nations is also known as the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. The city of San Francisco is located aside the California's Silicon Valley. However, for an international student, only the culture 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. San Francisco is located near two of the most influential universities in the country which are Stanford University and the University of California in Berkeley ranking 3rd and 26th respectively on QS best universities list. San Francisco is a sole campus of University of California reserved entirely to the studies of health and biomedical sciences. According to QS Best Student Index, San Francisco ranked 27th so for students it is undoubtedly one of the best options to study.
San Francisco is known for its easy breezy lifestyle. The city is known for its bohemian and relaxed approach towards life. However, under its relaxed demeanor it hides a competitive edge. This competitive aspect is thanks to hundreds of innovative companies which include big names such as Apple, IBM, Facebook, etc. It is also worth mentioning that the city is known for its LGBT-friendly environment. This is not surprising as the city is known for having first lesbian-rights organization in the United States. There is no dearth of entertainment in the city either. San Francisco's War Memorial and Performing Arts Center is known for their numerous performing arts companies. Also, numerous theatres as well as museums such as San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Palace of the Legion of Honor, offers a delightful day. In short, there is something for everybody in San Francisco.
‘’ the city is known for its LGBT-friendly environment’’
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. Although, living costs are lower in San Francisco than other cities like New York, it is still necessary to work as studying in the USA 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 San Francisco along with the fact that is a financial center ensures an enchanting diversity of people. 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 49th out of 140 on Global Livability 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 San Francisco boasts of every kind of cuisine that the world has to offer. There is no dearth of restaurants in this city. The restaurants offer all possible cuisines. For students who are on budget, San Francisco is almost a heaven. It is full of cheap restaurants, street vendors and food trucks which don't compromise on taste. It goes on without saying that students won't be disappointed here in terms of food.
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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