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Foreign Exchange Students/Studying Abroad/Is my decision to study abroad correct?


QUESTION: I have talked to my parents yesterday about it and they are ready to send me US(texas), to study further in texas A&M university for petroleum engineering.
I'm from India and there is a huge huge competition in India in engineering.For example, take IIT mumbai, which is ranked 1st for engineering in India is actually ranked 200+ globally with a acceptance rate of about 4% only(more selective than MIT,USA !)
And don't ask me if I could afford it or am I able to get admission in texas A&M ... I'm pretty much sure I'm...
What I'm afraid of is I'll be coming alone, and since I'm minority (Indian+black), will my 4 years sacrifice to the university worth it..
Also give me a idea about if you have seen any person with same experience here in US that how is it for him..?
(And I'm male)

ANSWER: Hello Bhavook!
Thanks for your question on What a big and exciting change you are anticipating. I think that pursuing your studies in the USA is a great next step; however, whether or not Texas A&M specifically is the best fit for your goals is hard to say. Have you looked into any other universities that specialize in petroleum engineering? One university worth checking out is Purdue in Lafayette, Indiana. Here are some  other programs worth considering.

I understand your concerns about taking the leap to study abroad. The good news is, even though you feel like you are embarking on this adventure alone, US universities welcome hundreds, if not thousands, of international students each year. You will automatically be tossed into a group of people who, like you, are quite nervous to be living in the USA as a foreigner. This community will help you not feel so alone (here are some other homesickness tips), and will in fact enrich your experience.

It is dangerous to be in the mindset "was it worth it" - of course your university education was worth it, it was the next step and building block for your future endeavors. Follow your gut - if its directing you to the USA, then jump in head first and go for it. If you're having reservations, maybe further research all of your options before committing to something specific.

Best of luck, let me know if you have any further questions.
- Megan

Megan Lee,
Study Abroad Director, Go Overseas

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your answer, it helped me...
I have one more concern...
If I pursue my study in USA , how long after graduating can I stay in US to earn some money, and what are the job opportunities for me when I come back to my home country (India)?
I'm saying the money my parents will spend in my studies , will I have enough time to gain the same amount of money and return the sum back to my parents. I mean they won't give me green card straight off...
Whats the maximum period of time, I can hope for a visa?
Hope you understood my concern..
Ask me if you have any confusion in my question..

You will need to switch to a proper visa in order to stay longer in the US than your student visa is allocated for. It is very tricky to work and study in the US, as my understanding is this is an even harder to come by visa.

I would recommend saving up money prior and working your butt off then enjoying the US and focusing on your studies while on the ground here.


Foreign Exchange Students/Studying Abroad

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Megan Lee


I can answer questions related to specific destinations, different providers, choosing the best program or destination for you, the pros and cons of studying through your university or directly enrolling or using a third party provider, ways to combat homesickness, travel suggestions and itineraries for specific locations, debating where to study a language abroad, etc. I can also provide advice for getting college credits for your travels, different types of housing/accommodations, the benefits of short term versus long term programs, ideas for keeping your study abroad experience green friendly or your GPA high, etc. Most of my answers will draw from personal experience.


I have studied abroad 4 times in 4 very different capacities: a month in Hangzhou through my university, a month in Nanjing through an independent scholarship, a semester in Namibia/South Africa with a third party provider, and a year in Beijing directly enrolling in a university.

I currently work as the Marketing Director of the Study Abroad section of Go Overseas, a website created to help our users find study abroad programs. We feature fun and interactive reviews, interviews, and articles about studying, volunteering, interning, and teaching abroad.

Online: Go Overseas, BootsNAll, Where I've Been, College Prowler, HerCampus, Tripping, DIWYY. In print: The Lighter, Valpo Interaction

I have earned a Bachelors degree in International Economics and Cultural Affairs / East Asian Studies from Valparaiso University (2010) and a Mandarin language certificate from Beijing Language and Culture University (2011).

Awards and Honors
- China's Ministry of Education Scholarship Recipient (2010-2011) - Magna Cum Laude, Valparaiso University, Class of 2010 - Woman of the Year, Valparaiso University, 2010 - Civic Engagement Volunteer Greek of the Year, Valparaiso University, 2010 - Study Abroad Outstanding Ambassador, Valparaiso University, 2010 - Indiana Crusader Connect Grant Recipient, 2008 - Valedictorian, Merrillville High School, Class of 2006

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