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How to Apply to Study in the U.S.A.: A Guide for Philippine Citizens Only

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					                  How to Apply to Study in the U.S.: An Unofficial Guide Only
                                            Rey Ty

I.  General Note
       a. This document serves as an unofficial guide only. Errors and omissions are mine. The
           most accurate pieces of information come from the original sources: Philippine
           American Educational Foundation (PAEF) and each U.S. university, *not* this unofficial
           guide. Hence, read this guide *at your own risk* as there are possible mistakes here.
       b. This guide is only good for graduate studies, such as Master’s degree or Doctorate
           (*not* undergraduate studies). You are completely on your own, if you go for
           undergraduate studies as there are rare opportunities for undergraduate studies for
           non-U.S. students. For undergraduate studies in the U.S., try applying for YES program
           (which is a 6-month to one-year exchange program only).
       c. Admission to U.S. universities is very competitive, whether you apply directly to U.S.
           universities or through PAEF.
       d. You have to take Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Graduate Record
           Examination (GRE) and other tests specific to each discipline (such as Business, Law,
           Medicine, etc.).
       e. Note that if you wish to study abroad, you need more than one year lead time for your
           application process.
       f. You can apply in two ways:
                 i. Through PAEF
                ii. Directly to each and every U.S. university for which you wish to be considered
                    for admission.
       g. If you apply through PAEF, you just submit one set of true copies of documents, PAEF
           takes care of sending out your papers to universities.
II. PAEF
       a. PAEF is located at the Thomas Jefferson Cultural Center (TJCC) in Makati. TJCC is part of
           the cultural office of the Embassy of the United States in the Philippines. You can search
           for their contact information from the Internet. Check which PAEF scholarship/grant you
           are applying for, download the forms, fill out, and submit *before* the deadline date.
           Make sure your papers are complete. One missing document will make your application
           ineligible for competition.
       b. If you are not from Manila, you have a “geographic” advantage, as PAEF seeks to
           distribute scholarships/grants across different geographic areas of the Philippines.
       c. If PAEF selects you (from a pool of competitors), then PAEF takes care of all your paper
           work.
       d. PAEF pays for your testing fees (TOEFL, GRE, etc.). You can take these tests as many
           times as you wish. There are testing centers in different parts of the Philippines. I took
           my TOEFL and GRE exams at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.
       e. Once a university offers you admission, PAEF will let you know.
       f. PAEF will take care of your visa processing and fees.
 Rey Ty, Unofficial Guide to Applying for Graduate Studies in the U.S. Errors & omissions are possible.
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         g. PAEF will pay for application fees. Each application fee runs anywhere from $40 to $100
             or more.
         h. PAEF will pay for your roundtrip airfare.
         i. PAEF will give you monthly stipend, moving-in allowance, book allowance, tuition and
             student fees, and fees for conference attendance.
         j. However, you still have to look for a place to live in the U.S. (with the money you will
             receive)
         k. Mandatorily, you will have to go back to the Philippines for two years to serve our
             country.
III. U.S. Universities
         a. In general, note that each faculty member, each department, and each university are
             different.
         b. Apply directly to U.S. universities of your choice. Go online to look for their contact
             information. Download application forms, fill out, and submit before deadline dates.
         c. Each university is ranked yearly for its quality of teaching, research, and publication.
             Each department of each university is likewise ranked yearly. Different universities
             become top universities in different years.
         d. You have to take care of your visa application and fees.
         e. You have to pay for each application fee.
         f. You have to pay for your roundtrip airfare.
         g. You yourself have to pay for all tests: GRE, TOEFL, etc.
         h. You have to prove you can afford to live in the U.S. while studying:
                   i. Plan A: Show the U.S. Consulate that you have money in the bank.
                  ii. Plan B: You get a graduate assistantship (GA) from the university. There are
                      many kinds of GA: research assistantship, teaching assistantship, staff
                      assistantship. Usually, if you are in the hard-scientific field, your academic
                      supervisor in the U.S. will offer you an assistantship. In the non-hard-scientific
                      field, (such as education), you have to seek assistantship elsewhere (such as
                      work in the library, cafeteria, or general offices). You can prove that you can
                      afford to live in the U.S. if you can show a contract from your U.S. university
                      employer. Again, you need one-year lead time to make all preparations,
                      including seeking a university-based job.
         i. You might want to find out which faculty members share your interest in teaching,
             research, or publication. Email them. If they are interested in you, they will support your
             application from the U.S. side and offer you an assistantship (for hard-science fields,
             especially).
         j. You have to find your own housing in the U.S.
         k. There is no two-year home-country rule, if you are not sponsored by PAEF.
                              Best wishes for your educational success!




Rey Ty, Unofficial Guide to Applying for Graduate Studies in the U.S. Errors & omissions are possible.
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