From Aspiration to Realization of Studying in USA

Following F-1 Visa Interview Experience is shared by  Rajat Bhambani.

My Profile:american flag student

  • Name: Rajat Bhambani
  • Undergrad: B.Tech(ECE) from IP university –Passed out in 2010
  • Scores:
  • GRE – 1210(Q-740; V-470)
  • TOEFL – 110

Work Ex– Working as a Solutions and Network Engineer in TATA Advanced Systems Ltd since July 2010

Universities/Courses applied to:

  1. University of Pennsylvania – TCOM Program – Telecommunications
  2. North Carolina State University – ENE Program – Networking
  3. Arizona State University – MSE – Electrical
  4. University of Maryland, College Park – ENTS – Telecommunications
  5. National University of Singapore – M. Sc. – Electrical
  6. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore – M.Sc. – Communications Engineering
  7. University of Toronto – M. Eng – Electrical Engg

Admits received: University of Maryland, College Park – April 13, 2012

Introduction:

It all started with my friend and fellow Happy School Blog follower Apoorv Gupta mentioning something in general conversation, over GRE preparation during the 4th Year of my engineering, ‘Are you following Happy School Blog for the latest on US Education’?

The mention didn’t ring a bell at first as the name wasn’t a convincing (in terms of a blog giving insight about the ‘highly spoken about’ US education system), but in need of curious information, I visited the blog in the evening itself and became a member. Soon I was hooked; waiting for blog’s digest mail I had subscribed for, at night (as per IST).

The amount of information, provided in the blog is immense, and covers all the major aspects, right from GRE preparation strategies, Time tables, books to follow (constantly updated), TOEFL – strategies, to even Booking tickets (mistakes to be avoided), Living in USA.

I must say I am a believer in helping others about things I know and the same philanthropic ideology can be seen in this blog.

While I was not able to follow the regimen mentioned about the GRE preparation, which reflected in my score, I duly made it a point to follow the rest of the advice.

I can testify for one that this blog has helped me realize my American Study Dream and I would have gone wrong some way or other had it not for this blog. And I am writing this blog on the Istanbul Airport on the way to my university, even after a not so augur start with respect to my GRE score, goes on to show that the advice/information shared by the blog actually works.

I would like to contribute the vast databank of the Visa Interview Experiences compiled at the blog, to help future applicants.

F1 Visa Interview Experience

I was not tensed as I had read several (probably all) Visa interview experiences at the blog since my day of enrolling as a follower.

I had carefully made a profile of myself in my head using which I would answer all the questions with utmost honesty and true facts and no dubious/nervous responses.

Also, the fact that I had profiled my university using the Points for College Comparison given by HSB, which I can vouch is the best thing possible if you can make an excel and fill up all the cells with information.

Your decision making on where to apply and where to go after you get the admit becomes simplified.

  • Date: June 1, 2012
  • Embassy: Delhi Embassy
  • Time Slot: 10:30 A.M.

Documents Prepared:

  • High School, Secondary School and College Transcripts, Degree
  • I-20, Sevis Receipt, Visa Fees HDFC Receipt, DS-160 confirmation, Interview Appointment Confirmation Letter
  • Office Experience letter, Payslips
  • Affidavit of Support from Father, Mother and Brother, along with Bank statements and salary slips of 1 month

I had all of them in a plain plastic bag in the above categorization order, using paper separators. I didn’t use any of those special plastic organizers.

I reached at 9:45, after hearing my friends and the blog’s advice to not reach very early. I waited till my time-slots queue was formed and we were let into the security post where our basic security check was done and the cell phone deposited.

I then followed the queue to the security check and then the inside waiting hall, stopping in between to get my I-20, Sevis Fee Receipt and DS-160 receipt stapled to my passport.

I was allotted a Token number (I guess the nomenclature refers to language confirmed for the interview and not the type of visa category applied to, as per general mis-belief).

I followed the signs leading to the VI hall and had my finger-prints scanned before waiting for about 30 more minutes while hearing a lot of interviews taking place in front of me.

My number was flashed and I stood in front of the VI officer, who appeared really friendly, especially after hearing him conduct the previous interview in accented Hindi, ending with Namaste.

Questions round:

Me: Good Morning!

VO: Good Morning (Inaudible, as he was away from the Mike, I had to make do with lip-reading)

VO: Pass me your passport (Inaudible again, but lip-reading and hand-gesture came to help)

I handed over my passport along with the stapled documents.

VO: SO, why are you going to United States? (Inaudible again, this time I made a gesture for him to understand and he readjusted and spoke again)

Me: I am going to pursue my Graduate Studies

VO: Which university are you going to?

Me: University of Maryland, College Park

VO: Why University of Maryland?

Me: It’s the only admit I got (I spoke with extra confidence to negate any lack of ability).

VO: (Giving me a look) How many univeristies did you apply to?

Me: 4, UPenn, ASU, NCSU, UMD-CP(Spoke Full names)

VO: (Looking a bit pleased) Did you apply in India?

Me: Indian universities don’t offer any course with similar content structure.

VO: How do you know?

Me: I have researched for 2 years for relevant course and also I have done my studies from India so I know the education system as well.

VO: You have done your Masters from India (He probably misinterpreted my answer)?

Me: No! I have only done my Bachelors.

VO: OK. Who is going to fund your studies?

Me: I have accrued some money over the two years I have worked and my mom and support with the rest of the amount.

VO: What do they do?

Me: Father is a Government Employee at Ministry of Earth Sciences and Mother works as a Senior Manager at Servotech….(I got stuck a bit, didn’t get panicked, picked myself up, closed my eyes, took a deep breath and started again)…Servotech Power Systems Pvt Ltd, Delhi

VO: Your VISA has been approved sir. You will receive the passport in about 5 days.

Me: Ecstatic! Overjoyed! I proceeded to the VFS counter at the exit of the hall to enquire whether I could receive my passport any earlier (by myself) and they gave an information sheet to follow.

 

Last Words:

Keep up the good work here in the blog. This blog is doing great job of motivating and helping students gain self-sufficiency for the application process and helping them get rid of the intermediates who claim a great admit percentage.

 

7 Comments

  1. ANUJ on May 20, 2015 at 1:38 PM

    Hello ,

    I have a query regarding US VISA slot booking.
    I got admission into an University for Fall through referral.I received confirmation from University just a few days ago.. I have TOEFL slot on May 30. Kindly let me know is the time sufficient to apply for Visa

    Thanks in advance.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 20, 2015 at 2:52 PM

      Yeah.. you got plenty of time to apply for visa after TOEFL.

  2. shravanthi on August 27, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Please evaluate my profile.
    I have completed my Engineering in computer science in June 2012 with an aggregate of 80.35%.My gre score is 310 (verbal : 152 , Quant:158). Have to write Toefl yet.
    I want to apply to these universities :
    Virginia tech
    University of Buffalo (New York)
    Michigan state University
    University of Texas (dallas)
    Please suggest me other safe universities to apply and what are my chances of getting into any of the above four universities.

  3. Wura on August 23, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Congrats Rajat! Will tell your kind of story soon! All the best!

  4. santoshkalyan on August 23, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    congrats…dude

  5. debabrata saha chowdhury on August 17, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    congrats bro…
    Hav a gr8 future…

  6. Vaibhav Singhal on August 17, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Congratulation Bro… 🙂

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