Study English in the USA

The Perfect Place To Study English: Discover California

California is one of the most famous states in the world with idyllic beaches, beautiful landscapes, and cities that combine the classic with the modern. It is also an excellent location to start or continue your studies. The history of California has Hispanic roots. The city was colonized by Spain, then won by the Mexicans. It was finally granted to the United States at the end of the war. Here is perhaps the explanation of why this is one of the most attractive states for students to study English in the USA and develop their careers.

California’s economy is among the ten most important economic powers in the world. The main economic activities of the state are agriculture, leisure or entertainment, electricity, and tourism. In California, some of the most important economic cities in the world are located, such as Los Angeles (entertainment, leisure), the Central Valley (agriculture), Silicon Valley (technology companies) and the Napa Valley (wine). California has a modern and postmodern cultural heritage that even influences America today: from the creation of Hollywood to the technological impact from Palo Alto, where inventions such as personal computers and Silicon Valley were created, which is the area that brings together companies such as Google, Facebook, etc. This guarantees that your plan to study English in the USA is a wise decision.

The Major Metropolitan Areas

The majority of California’s population is concentrated in three major metropolitan areas: Greater Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area and the San Diego-Tijuana metropolitan area. Other cities of importance are Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield, Riverside, Stockton, Modesto, etc. Since California had a Hispanic origin. Spanish is the second language in a number of speakers, with 35.8% of the population. However, English is the official language, so you can study English in California but feel at home. California has a Mediterranean-like climate. The ocean generally moderates extreme temperatures, creating a warmer winter and colder summers, especially along with coastal areas. California has a special destination for every type of tourist, from adventurers to lovers of the tranquility of nature. This state catches your attention for sure. There are a lot of beautiful spots in this state that will want you more to study English in the USA. 

Study English in the USA

Amusement Parks

Visiting the state of California is an unforgettable experience for many because of the many different destinations it has, from amusement parks to beaches and sanctuaries where whales can be observed. If you travel and study English in California, you cannot miss the opportunity to get to know Yosemite National Park. This natural area of ​​more than 300 thousand hectares has meadows, rock formations, and waterfalls. One of its main tourist attractions in Yosemite is the Glacier Point. It is a viewpoint located on a cliff almost 2,200 meters high where you can get a panoramic view of the park.

If you long to see the whales, Monterey Bay is your ideal destination. Dozens of blue whales, humpbacks and dolphins are seen from April to mid-December in the national marine sanctuary. To see gray whales and dolphins, you must travel between the end of December and the entire month of March. Lovers of emotions and adventure should visit Lake Tahoe, located in the high mountains of Sierra Nevadas. This area has a track for mountain bikers and trails between forests. The second deepest lake in the United States amazes tourists with its blue hues. You can go kayaking and diving during the summer and skiing in winter. While you study English in the USA, it is best that you check this marine sanctuary to enjoy more your stay in the country.

Hollywood

Hollywood is one of the most important sites in California. You should visit the studios where hundreds of films and iconic series of today’s culture have been filmed. This district located in Los Angeles has dozens of hotels and bars to enjoy the nightlife of Hollywood. Downtown LA is a thriving business center and art district. Beverly Hills houses the famous shopping district and full of Hollywood celebrity mansions. Other areas to visit include the Sunset Strip music clubs, the Santa Monica waterfront, and the Venice waterfront. There are many tours that operate to give you a preview of the lives of the rich and famous of Hollywood. In addition, it has the Walk of Fame, where more than 2,000 celebrities have captured the palms of their hands. 

Death Valley is the warmest, driest, and lowest place on earth. It is worth visiting during your stay in California. The landscapes are so varied in the Death Valley that you can see snow-capped mountains, dunes, dry salines, and lush forests all on the same day. Some of the most popular places to visit in the valley include Zabriskie Point, Wildrose coal ovens and ghost towns along the way. Use the small community of Death Valley Junction as your base of operations to explore these diverse and inspiring sites.

A few days in San Francisco is a must when you plan to study English in the USA. You can see the steep streets, Victoria architecture, the Pacific coast, and the Golden Gate Bridge. It is famous for its liberal atmosphere, LGBT communities, sourdough bread, seafood, and an occasional earthquake. The most popular areas of the city are Golden Gate Park, Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square and Chinatown. It is also worth visiting the peculiar neighborhoods. 

Sacramento

Sacramento is the capital of California, but there are more than just government offices in this city of central-northern California. It has become popular as one of the main cities, with museums, architecture, and galleries to satisfy any art lover. Performing arts are also a big profession here, so check out a theater or comedy show during your stay. Be sure to spend some time in Midtown, a trendy neighborhood with modern restaurants, bars, and boutiques.

If you have not traveled a lot in California, you may have felt that California has to do with beaches, surfers and movie stars only. Since California is the most populous state and the most diverse state in the United States, there is more to this state than it seems. With this, your plan to study English in the USA is worth preparing. You can learn more about your student visa application in the United States by browsing our website or contact us below. Let the adventure begin!

English School in the USA

Dealing With Culture Shock While Studying In An English School In The USA

When you decide to study at an English School in the USA, it is not always easy to adapt to a new culture, and you may suffer culture shock. However, this phenomenon is not as worst as it may seem. Many measures can help you prevent or overcome it quickly. Climate, language, financial situation, physical or mental health, among other things are factors that can contribute to making this adaptation even more difficult. You must be aware that when you study English in an ESL School in the USA, customs and traditions are very opposite or somewhat contrasting from your own culture. It is expected that this causes a feeling of frustration and depression. If this happens, you must face your goals and purpose as to why you have decided to study abroad and evaluate whether you want to continue.

Studying in an English School in the USA can be a big dream for many people as this is one of the best methods to improve your English communication skills and learn a different culture. But often, in the excitement of traveling to a different location, people end up not getting ready enough for a possible culture shock, or sometimes they don’t even know it exists. But yes, it does exist and is very common to countries that have significant cultural differences compared to your country of origin. So in this post, you are going to know more about the culture shock that you may experience in an ESL School in the USA, how to avoid it, ensuring you are prepared to make a meaningful study.

Culture Shock Defined

Culture shock is a mixture of sensations and feelings that a person can experience when he comes across a different culture that he is used to living with. It becomes noticeable when there are differences in people’s daily routines. This includes the language, traditions and customs and the way of life. This shock can cause surprise and uncertainty, generating some anxiety. It varies significantly in intensity, as some people may find it easier to adapt to new situations or even better prepared for it. It is more common to happen at the beginning of your study in an English School in the USA and, during the stay, the new environment becomes more familiar.

ESL School in the USA

Why does culture shock may happen when you study at an English School in the USA?

Culture shock generally occurs when you lose enthusiasm about staying abroad. However, you can get used to these things to lead a new life in the best possible way as you study in an English School in the USA. The time it takes to overcome a culture shock can be very different. When you already arrived in an English School in the USA, it is common that you can see differences. It takes time to understand the culture and get used to it. And the more different the country’s culture and the less prepared you are, the harder it can be. However, culture shock is not bad. When overcome, it is beneficial in your personal development.

What can be done against a culture shock?

There are some aspects that you can take into account to avoid or minimize culture shock. You don’t need to worry. You will gradually adapt and integrate the culture. This is part of your precious experiences in studying in an ESL School in the USA. Some of the most common recommendations are:

  • Do research about the country: Knowing where you are going is one of the best ways to minimize culture shock. Reading the country’s history, its politics and language are ways to get tourists closer to the place. It is cool to dream about those beautiful photos and perfect landscapes seen on Instagram. However, be sure to search a little beyond what you see there. Social networks allow you to get closer to the place and will give you ideas or information about the country.
  • Keep an open mind: Accepting differences or new aspects of culture is the most crucial step. It is not advisable to continually compare how things are in your own country; in fact, this can be one of the big mistakes. Also, a negative attitude can not help at all. When studying in an English School in the USA, make sure to focus on enjoying diversity.
  • Try new things: Do not intend to continue with the habits you had. Try new flavors, have contact with the culture and local people. Immerse yourself into the culture around you.
  • Find your hobby: Whether it is a sport, dance or yoga, the important thing is that you like it. This will also help you increase your social network. People who can be your potential friends will open doors for you.
  • Communicate with your friends and relatives: Something as simple as signing up on Facebook, Twitter, or sending emails. Reading your local newspapers online can help you relax. Also, thanks to Skype, you can talk and even see your friends and relatives. This will allow you to have a quality conversation with your family and friends. Just don’t forget those postcards because they are still useful.
  • Find joy in small things: Do not only give importance to differences but also look at the details that make a country unique — kindness, hospitality, and how people establish social relationships. If you look at the bright side of things, for sure, this will attract your attention.

Extra Tip

The fewer worries you have during your study and stay in an ESL School in the USA, the better. Having a complete preparation and an open mind helps you to manage when you encounter a possible culture shock. Make sure to keep in mind these six points and let yourself enjoy your study in an English School in the USA.

Student Visa

How To Pass Your Student Visa Interview

One of the best milestones that a university or a high school student could reach is the opportunity to study in the U.S. To realize this, you must have been accepted at an institute certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and have paid the SEVIS I-901 fee. When completed, you can start to process your application in getting your F-1 Visa, J-1 Visa, or M-1 Visa, as appropriate, in an embassy or consulate of the United States. The application process is not easy. The thought of your F-1 Visa interview might be a bit stressful as you will not just prepare yourself to be accepted in your desired university in the United States, you need to convince the U.S. Government during your interview for them to grant you a student visa.

The interviewer will be a consular officer or a state representative. They will ask questions and make sure to prepare. It can be very intimidating, especially if English is not your native language, but preparation is the key. Knowing some possible questions and preparing their answers are some of the keys to ace the student visa interview. With this, it is essential to have ample time to do your research and list down those questions and their answers. The internet offers you a list of tips about student visa interview. Compile, then study and practice these tips beforehand. The winning formula is similar to any important interview: prepare, be positive, and be yourself!

F-1 Visa

Categories That You Need To Prepare For Your Student Visa Interview

Study plan and university choice

The interviewer will ask you about your plan and goals in studying in the U.S.A. While questions are almost similar to questions being asked in your local university application essays and interviews, you need to prepare your answers. The interviewer wants to know the reason for pursuing your higher education in the U.S. instead of your home country or a different country. Make sure to study the background of the university you have chosen. They may also ask questions about other universities you applied, which schools were you accepted, and which schools you got rejected. These questions will help your interviewer decide your capacity to study and survive in the U.S.

Academic ability and financial statement

Another factor that needs to be reviewed is your academic and financial capacity. Bring with you a copy of your test scores, and last academic accomplishment for evaluation. The interviewer needs to identify that you are a genuine student aspirant that is able not just to succeed in studying in the U.S. but to excel as a student.  On the other hand, your academic qualification is not enough as your financial statement should be evaluated. You should bring proof that you have enough funds to support your stay and study in the U.S. A financial plan is needed, which includes your food, housing, health insurance, tuition, and transportation. Moreover, the interviewer will ask your relationship if you have a sponsor and will request documentation like a bank account and the letter of support. Your F-1 visa will not be granted without proof of your sponsor’s financial statement.

Post-graduation plans

You need to point out the need to return to your country after you finished your studies at university. While you are interested in working in the U.S.A., the student visa does not give you permission to work and live long in the U.S. With this, you should inform the interviewer your intent to go back after graduation, such as showing proof of ties to your country and evidence of your intention to return. The interviewer will verify what is your next plan after your studies and how you intend to use your education, you need to reaffirm your plan to go back to your home country and that you are not permanently staying there. 

Student Visa

Ways To Prepare For The Success Of Your F1-Visa Interview

Gather all documents

It is a must that you gather all documents for evaluation by the consular officer. Preparing all the required documents and organize them in a folder is the most crucial thing you can do to guarantee that your interview will run smoothly. One of which is your acceptance letter as it will serve as proof that you were already admitted by an American institution. Also, submit your financial documents, SEVIS I-901 payment receipt, Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. Your financial capacity document is a must. The consular officer will ask for proof that you or your parents have the capacity to pay your expenses. Do not forget to let the interviewer know if you are granted a scholarship or financial assistance. Lastly, be sure to bring your academic records such as copies of your standardized exams, report cards, certificates, and leadership programs you have attended.

Prepare your answers

Your full attention should be focused to the consular officer. Make sure to listen and think carefully, and keep your answers short and concise. You can research online the most frequently asked questions during visa interviews and prepare your answers. While it is necessary to prepare your answers to some of the most common visa interview questions, practicing them should also be part of your schedule. It is a great idea to have a time practicing those questions and answers. Go and sit in a quiet room, imagining that you are in an actual interview. Say your answers aloud and repeat this drill 2-4 times until you have mastered all the answers.

Enhance your English communication skills

Enhancing your English is a good option as this will also assist you to have a smooth flow of your study in the U.S. This will also help you communicate well with the consular officer. There are many ways you can practice, such as watching American TV shows, listening to your favorite songs, reading English books, and many more. While the interview questions vary by individual depending on background, it is a good way to prepare when you practice your answers. This will add up to your confidence. Get your guide questions and practice your answers. This will help you organize your thoughts and prepare you for what you may be asked. If English is not your native language, you should practice with a friend or family member.

Stay calm and be positive

Be confident, stay calm, and smile. While projecting a confident image is a must, you should always think positive and remain calm. This is the most important thing to remember during your F-1 visa interview. This ensures a smooth flow of your student visa interview. Moreover, being well prepared is equally important. With this, be sure you have all the required documents and receipts. This ensures that you can focus on answering all the interview questions.

American Student Visa

Sample Questions In An F1- Visa Interview

  • Why do you want to pursue your higher education in the U.S. instead of a local university? 
  • What decides you to choose this school?  
  • What are the results of your exams (TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, etc.), your GPA, and your performance as a student?
  • How can you support your financing in housing, transportation, and other major expenses?
  • What are your plans after graduation? Do you plan to stay or return to your home country?

Here are some final tips on your F-1 visa interview

  • Dress professionally.
  • Answer all questions clearly.
  • Tell the truth.
  • Stay calm and confident.
  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer.
  • Ensure your body posture conveys confidence: Sit with your back straight, shoulders held back, and head high.
  • No slumping nor fidgeting.

By following the above tips, and providing honest answers to all questions, you are directing yourself to a successful interview. For the steps on how to apply for a visa, you can visit the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. For other concerns related to studying English in the U.S., don’t hesitate to contact us.