‘Common college application initiative to ease the procedures’

Getting a visa is among the easiest steps in the process of pursuing higher education in the United States. However, aspirants must begin preparations at least 18 months in advance to zero in on a course and an institution that would best suit their requirements, according to Nelson Wu, Consular Manager in the U.S. Consulate, Chennai.

Mr. Wu was addressing a student outreach event at The Camford International School here on Wednesday, in which students of Classes X and XI took part.

According to him, while studying in the United States offered unique global opportunities, candidates must do extensive research as they had to shortlist from over 4,500 higher education institutions.

“On an average, the interview at the consulate lasted just around five minutes for student visas for a candidate. A majority of the applicants from Chennai are issued visas”, he added.

Speaking on the present procedure of using different application forms for each college, he said that a new initiative called ‘common college application’ was now gathering momentum. Further information about the programme and the colleges that are participating can be obtained from EducationUSA, which has an office at the Chennai Consulate, he added.

EducationUSA is a network of advising centres that informed international students about the procedures for applying to accredited U.S. colleges and universities. It is supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

James S. Manlowe, Vice Consul, said that students must prepare for SAT Reasoning Test and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), standardised tests that are admission requirements for many graduate schools in the United States. Furnishing these scores during visa interviews would expedite the process. The U.S. offered studies in cutting edge technology. Around 1,00,000 Indian students studied at the U.S. annually.

Harvey Beasley, Vice Consul, said that Consular Officers from the U.S. Consulate Chennai would take part on a live chat on Facebook on the topic ‘student visas’ on December 19 from 2.30 to 3.30 p.m. Camford School Chairman N. Arul Ramesh, Correspondent Poongothai Arul Ramesh and Principal S.G. Kavita were present.