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housing arrangements

Obtaining Student Visas

Students are required by the US government to obtain a student visa prior to their arrival in the US. The waiting period for a visa interview at US embassies varies greatly according to country, but generally will take between 2 and 8 weeks. This requires advanced preparation on the part of the student. It is also important to keep in mind that students obtain a visa to attend a particular program at a particular school.  Consequently, when you do go to the embassy to apply for a visa you should have already made your study decision. Changing your decision later, for example, switching from Wharton to Harvard, requires another visa.

After attaining your visa, the US government permits international students to move to the country a month before their program begins. This is advantageous for international students because they are likely to need more time to get their bearings, make housing arrangements, and also take care of additional bureaucratic formalities.

Inquiring About H-1B Work Visas

Working in the US after completing an MBA requires attaining a work visa.  The most common of these for skilled workers is the H-1B visa. A limited number of these visas are awarded each year, and most international students find the process easiest with large corporations accustomed to bringing in non-Americans. This basically means that for those seeking to work in the US post-graduation, they need to begin their job search prior to graduating, keeping in mind that they should target companies that are willing to sponsor international students. Business school career centers will assist in this process by helping students determine which corporations are willing to take on responsibility to hire them.

Important Considerations

  • Consider your fit with the school in terms of teaching and learning style, the school’s location within the US, and whether you’ll be happy there.
  • Be aware of your post MBA goals, including the industry you prefer and the role you envision for yourself.
  • Research the costs and economic feasibility of your plans.

For non-native English speakers, prepare for education in English.

Posted on June 22, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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