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Work on research projects - Deccan Herald
Work on research projects
Uma Aswani, March 16, 2017
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Dear Madam,
Is the new Trump administration going to pose a problem to our children who want to pursue their higher studies in the US? What impact does the recent change in the H1B visa going to have on our children and their job opportunities? Please also explain what CPT and OPT are and how they work.
A concerned parent

Dear Parent,
Nothing has changed with the Trump administration for our students. Universities across the world including America need hard working and talented students. Our students who go to the US need an F1 visa. With F1, students are eligible for curricular practical training (CPT) at either the undergraduate or the graduate level during the programme of study. CPT employment must be an integral part of an established curriculum and the position must directly relate to their major area of study. The designated school official (DSO) will give the students the school’s policy on this option.

F1 students are also eligible for optional practical training (OPT) during or following the programme of study. OPT is a form of temporary employment that directly relates to their programme of study. On-campus employment is work that F1 students whose status is 'Active’ in SEVIS status may apply for. Active F1 students may apply for on-campus employment up to 30 days before the start of classes. In order to apply, they need to talk to their DSO. If approved, their DSO will provide them with a letter of approval. Students, who accept on-campus employment, may not work more than 20 hours per week when school is in session. The F1 student may work full-time during those periods when school is not in session or during the student’s annual break.

Dear Madam,
I am a student of mechanical engineering and have backlogs. I want to study in USA. So, for the next six months I have decided to take training for GRE exams. I have an aggregate of 55%. Can I pursue higher studies in USA? Will I be able to get admission in any good college?
Ravish Chhabra

Dear Ravish,
You can certainly get into a good University in the US. Clear all your backlogs; get a GRE score of 325 and a TOEFL iBT score of over 110. Put together an impressive resume and write a strong personal statement which will appeal to the admissions office. Apart from academics, universities also look for achievements in other fields like extracurricular, community service, sports, work experience, projects etc.

Dear Madam,
I am currently pursuing my BE in medical electronics engineering (fifth semester). I would like to do MS abroad and would like to know some of the areas which will have scope in the future. Also, will USA or Germany provide a better job opportunity in this field?
Namratha Bhat

Dear Namratha,
There is scope for medical electronics in every country and job opportunities are available in both USA and Germany. Take the GRE and TOEFL iBT test. Get good scores. You could pursue Master of Science in medical electronics, medical device and diagnostic engineering, medical imaging, biosignal processing, biomechanics, bioengineering innovation and design, bioinformatics etc. In the US, your tuition fee and living expenses will be around $70,000 per year. In Germany, tuition fees will be very nominal or nothing. Living expenses in Germany is quite reasonable. Long stay visas are offered to students. Placements are also easier. Because of all these attractive reasons, getting into these universities is highly competitive. Learn German, even though the programmes are taught in English, knowledge of the local language will help in the job market.

Dear Madam,
I have completed my engineering this year. I have good scores in GRE and TOEFL. I am in the application process for Fall-2017 in the US. I have six months to go before the programme begins. In the interim, should I look for a job (non-agreement based) or do any course or internship pertinent to my Masters. Would this gap affect my visa approval?

Dear Aishwarya,
Use these six months to work on a research project and have it published. Universities like students who show interest in research work and have some of their works published. Alternately, you could work somewhere full time. The gap will not affect your visa if you are doing something productive with your time.

Dear Madam,
I am currently doing my first year of BE in a reputed engineering college. I have opted for computer science as I have interest in the subject. Could you please suggest some good colleges abroad where I could pursue MS in the same. And also, give information about the exams required for this purpose.

Dear Spoorthi,
If you want to study MS in Computer Science in the United States, Canada, Europe or Singapore, you need to write the GRE & TOEFL. If you want to pursue an MSc in Computer Science in UK, Australia or New Zealand, you need to only take the IELTS test. For a complete list of universities, courses, fees, scholarships etc, visit

Dear Madam,
Im pursuing my BSc degree in Forensic Sciences in Karnataka. I am interested in doing my MSc abroad. Which colleges would be the best? Which country would be the best? Will I get any scholarships for my education abroad? What are the requirements for me to apply for such universities?

Dear Girish,
Forensic science is a very popular subject and is offered by most universities all over the world. In the UK, Australia and New Zealand your programme will be for a duration of one year. In all other countries it will be for two years. Scholarships are offered in all universities for deserving candidates. Your three-year Bachelor’s programme will be accepted by all universities in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The only entry requirement would be a high percentage in your Bachelors and a good IELTS score.

Dear Madam,

I am studying in the 7th semester Civil engineering and my overall aggregate is 65%. I am good at English and can easily crack IELTS or TOEFL, I am planning to take up Masters degree (MS or MBA) in construction management and technology. I am confused whether I should do it in India or abroad, in India I have kept rics Amity as my option since it would give a global exposure. Otherwise, I have thought of doing it in the UK, Singapore or Germany since tuition fees is less there compared to USA and it would fetch me a good job in India with a good salary. I am in a dilemma weather to work or study or pursue it in India or abroad. Please guide. A Student

Dear Student,

Keep your options open. Take the IELTS test. Apply to top Universities in India, U.K, Singapore and Germany. See where you get the best deal and then decide. NUS Singapore, University of Tokyo, Imperial College London, University of Melbourne Australia, TU Delft Netherlands and UBC Canada are some of the best in the world for Construction and Civil engineering.

Hello, I am in my final year BHA(Bachelor in Hospital Administration) and want to pursue my Masters abroad in my field. Please suggest a good university where I can get admission. Preferably a university which offers 50% student scholarship. Elizabeth

Dear Elizebeth,
You could pursue your Masters in Management, Health Care Management, Hospital Management, Hospital Administration or an MBA. Imperial College London, Cambridge, Brunel University and Leeds offer specific courses related to Hospital Management.

Nottingham Trent University U.K offers 50 percent scholarships and University of Westminster London offers up to 100 percent Scholarships.

Uma Aswani is an educationist and consultant based in Bengaluru.

Send in your queries to Education, Deccan Herald, 75, MG Road, Bengaluru-560001 or e-mail us at with 'Study Abroad’ in the subject line.