> Following post was shared by Anurag Wazalwar (Indiana University, Bloomington)
I have been following happy schools blog for quite a few months now, and as a way of contributing, I’d like to share my Visa interview experience.
I attended my interview at Mumbai consulate on 26 June. It was a special Students Day at this consulate, so only Student visa candidates were given appointments for that day.
The entire atmosphere at the consulate was very vibrant with logos and flags of many universities adorning the walls and the ceiling, photographers clicking away etc.
At the end of the interviews, students were offered some snacks and a soft drink too.
However, the main purpose everyone had come for was going on unaffected. Some counters had tons of rejections, while at others, almost everyone was being approved.
I was quite confident because I had good acads in my BE (Computer Engg) from Mumbai University, continuous work experience of 5 years that too with the same company, and also had already visited the US twice for short stays involving meetings with clients, on a B1 Visa.
After two people immediately before me having been rejected, I was starting to wonder how I’d do.
VO and me (simultaneously): Hi, good afternoon (1pm appointment and interview was around 2pm)
VO: Documents please (I gave)… So, Indiana Bloomington. I went there!
Me: (yeah!) Oh cool…
VO: Which program?
Me: Computer Science
VO: When and where did you graduate?
Me: 2008, right here in Mumbai, with a college affiliated to Mumbai Univ. (told in just couple of sentences)
VO: What major?
Me: Computer Engg.
VO: So what were you doing past 5 years?
Me: I’ve been working with an MNC.
VO: Why do you want to quit your job of 5 years?
Me: I was always sure I wanted to pursue a Master’s degree, but I was not sure if I wanted to do an MBA or an MS. So I took this time to think well and decide.
VO: Good… How will you be funding your education?
Me: Well, my family will be sponsoring me – my father has Rs. 16L savings and I have a sanction of education loan for Rs. 27L.
VO: Good good… you Visa has been approved, you’ll get your passport in 3-5 working days!
Me: That’s great, thanks!
Overall, I think if you are able to communicate fluently and effectively without faltering much or asking the VO to repeat what he/she said too often, then half your battle is won.
If you communicate effectively, the VO will very easily be able to judge how genuine you are as a student, how clear you are about your reasons to do a Master’s in the US, and how confident you are of being able to fund your education.
So go with a clear purpose, confident in yourself and communicate as best as you can!