Monthly Archives: December 2008

Five Tips for International Students Studying in the USA

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Contributed by Maya Richard, content writer, primarily writing about comcast deals

The university system is the United States provides an extensive research network that allows international students to work with world-renowned scholars. While these opportunities are great, so are the guidelines and restrictions that apply to students coming from abroad to study in America. We consulted with some leading international education experts to gain insight into the top tips to help students seeking to study in the USA:

 • Select Your College Institution Carefully During the Admissions Process Although you may be tempted to apply to the most highly rated academic programs overall, there are a number of important factors that will determine the success of your international study program. In particular, inquire into the specific international student cultural and academic programs to help you get acquainted on a new campus. Once you feel comfortable with the accommodations, then look into the specific courses of study and the academic resources (including professors), especially if you're considering graduate study.

• Look into All of Your Financial Options Today's student loan market is much more competitive than it was a few years ago, so tuition and living costs should be a primary factor to consider before deciding upon a college. Inquire with the prospective college's financial aid department to determine the merit scholarships or work-study programs that might help you to finance your education.

 • Find Options to Continue to Develop Language and Cultural Skills For many students, coming to the US for studies can be an extensive transition from their home country. Even if you speak fluent English, there are a number of colloquialisms and regional dialects that will take some time getting adjusted to – check if the college offers programs for students who speak English as a second language, along with cultural groups, to help you get acquainted to American culture.

• Make Sure You Apply Early for your Student Visa Often times, you can work with the University you intend to enroll with to get all of your student visa paperwork figured out. (see Student Visas.) Take the lead on the process by ensuring that you have a passport from your out-bound country, as well as an visa, along with demonstration that you have the necessary funds to pay for your course of study. If you're coming into the country with a domestic sponsor, fill out your I-134 affidavit form in advance. For students who intend to remain in the US for the long-run, begin to look into the citizenship acquisition process.

• Once You Decide Upon a College, Make Contact with the University Early After you go through the decision process, take extra care to cover all the bases in the enrollment process as well as reaching out to University representatives early on to facilitate the transition process.

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The One-Million Children’s Book Drive

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The Make a Difference in India LinkedIn Group that I started is launching an ambitious program to donate one million (1,000,000) children’s books to rural and disadvantaged children all over the world where Asian-Indians live and work by December 2009. This initiative is for anyone with a love for children!

Read this message, spread this message, and act!

The program works as follows:
1. Donate new or used children's books to a rural school, library, or organization of your choice.
2. If you wish, write the name of the donor and the slogan – Making a Difference!
3. Send an email to MillionBooks09@gmail.com with your name, contact details, number of books donated and the name and address of the school or library to which you donated. Please indicate if you wish to remain anonymous.
4. Plans are underway to work with a Trust (in the interest of disclosure, please note that this is my family trust) in India to facilitate this project.

Need for volunteers!
1. We need an army of volunteers to spread the word, particularly those with media experience and those with access to the publishing industry.
2. Need experienced volunteers to mobilize groups and create a grass roots movement.
3. Need one volunteer with good record-keeping experience.
5. Need a financial institution with trust management experience to volunteer for pro bono work.

For all inquiries and suggestions, please send an email to MillionBooks09@gmail.com.

Thank you and I look forward to working with you on this exciting adventure!

Uma Gupta

Ratan Tata – India’s Obama? He may be one step ahead of Obama.

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Many Indians living abroad, including those living in India, have at some time or the other experienced a tight knot in their stomachs when a politician from India is on the news or is giving a media interview. We are embarrassed that so many of them come across as such bumbling idiots – unprofessional, ignorant, and pompous. And then there is Ratan Tata – spit-polished, dignified, poised, and as original and authentic as they come.

I sat glued to CNN as Fareed Zakaria interviewed Ratan Tata. With an underplayed grief in his voice and sorrow in his face, he vowed to rebuild the Taj, gave all the credit to his employees, reminscinded about his great grandfather and urged India not to sweep its mammoth problems under the rug. How can you not love such a man? Many of us from India have a long, long love affair with the Tata's for good reason. Their pedigree shows in such elegant and enormous ways. Ratan Tata is the most authentic leader that India has and God knows, Indian leaders need authenticity and a large dose of reality and humility.

In the report, Forbes Magazine's Senior Editor (Asia) Robyn Meredith writes, "While India has the sympathy of the world after the recent attacks, India could have an Obama moment -one in which a leader, whose personal history epitomizes the country's principles, marches forward to unite the country during its very moment of trauma. India has a chance now to get it right, but it needs a strong, credible leader to step up." (SI Dose)

Ratan Tata operates in a political world in India that is highly bureaucratic, intensely corrupt, callous, and even lawless sometimes. Yet he stands tall – unwilling to be bought or sold, a visionary who leads under enormous challenges. He is what India's spirituality teachings teaches us to be and yet is so rarely, rarely practiced among Indian leaders. Yeah, Ratan-ji!