F1 Visa Interview Experiences

F1 Visa Interview Accra,Ghana – PhD Biochemistry

> Following post was shared by Kwaku

I had ma visa interview in Accra Ghana on the 18th of June 2011. There were about three VOs. One was being quite mean and refusing so many people ahead of men. So before it got to me i was really tensed up.

My interview was a pretty short one and luckily i got a really nice Visa Officer. Here is how it went…

F1 Visa At Accra, Ghana

VO: Hello
Me: Hello. Good afternoon
VO: Good afternoon. Passport and receipts please.
I handed them over

VO: What institution are you attending.
Me: North Dakota State University

VO: Hmmm… how come Ghanaians are so drawn to the cold states like North and South Dakota, Montana and so on. {she said this with a smile}
Me: { I smiled back and said} haaaa, when i was applying i was just interested in the Universities, their faculty and the research they do. It was after i got admissions that i thought of the weather. But i think i’ll live.

VO: {She laughed and asked} What programme are you going to read.
Me: PhD Biochemistry
She typed something

VO: Pass me your SEVIS receipt
I pass it to her

VO: Do you already have a Masters degree?
Me: No, I have a Bachelor’s degree and some work experience in the field

Ok. So its a sandwich Masters and PhD programme?
Me: Yes please.

VO: So when did you Graduate?
Me: 2008

VO: Did you take the GRE?
Me: yes

VO: What were your scores?
Me: Verbal: 610 Quantitative: 670.
She types for a few seconds

VO: What about the Analytical?
Me: 3.

She types some more

VO: So what do you do?
Me: I’m a Technologist in the Molecular Biology Lab of the Animal Research Institute.

VO: How will this PhD degree be of benefit to you?
Me: I am currently a tech in the lab. When i get my PhD I will be up graded to a Scientist where i will have the freedom to undertake my own research projects.

She types for a while

VO: so what area of research are you interested in?
Me: Synthesis of Plant natural products… I realized she didn’t understand me so I rephrased. “I am interested in chemical produced by plants that have medicinal implications.’’

VO: That’s an excellent area of interest. It’s about time people gave the medical area some attention. So she smiled and said “Your visa has been approved. You can pick up your passport in two days time come at 3.30pm’’
Me: Thank you.

That was it. Very straight forward. I just picked up my visa a while back. I’m all set for this fall. I know grad school in the States will be very challenging and totally worth all the hustle i had to go through to get there.

My advice is for visa interviews is that just relax and be polite,truthful and confident. You should do just fine.

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  1. It depends on which country you are applying from. If u had ur undergrad education in an English speaking country and the language of instruction in your university was English then for the following schools that i applied to, you dont need to sit for toefl.

    1. Univ of Maine
    2. Univ of Colorado (boulder)
    3. Miami Univ @ Ohio
    4. LSU
    5. Utah State Univ
    6. Wake Forest Univ
    7. Univ of Montana

    1. Hi Kwaku,

      Congratulations for your visa. I’m also from biochemistry background. I did my bachelors (3 years) in chemistry and masters (2 years) in biochemistry from Indian universities since I’m a native of India. I have no research experience. I’m now trying for doing my Ph.D in Biochemistry in US.
      I have some quiries to ask to you. So, could you please tell me your facebook name. My face book name is Sibin George Sam.
      Please do that because I really need help from you.

      Hope to contact you soon. Bye.

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