F1 Visa Interview Experiences

F-1 Student Visa Interview Question — Why this University?

The number of students visiting Happy Schools Blog in the recent days who are appearing for US visa interview (Student F-1 Visa) for Fall 2009 semester is increasing.

There are over 50 articles that were written specifically about the U.S. F-1 Student Visa interview and bank statements for visa interview.

Most of you preparing for your F-1 visa interviews will normally feel some amounts of tension. Feeling some amount of tension is good, but too much tension will already affect your performance during your visa interview at a U.S. consulate. I encountered an interesting comment from Akshay:

Akshay @ F-1 Student Visa Interview Tips

hi friends,
This is akshay n my visa date is 29th july. I’ve got i20 from Fairleigh Dickinson University only. I’ve applied for MS in Biology. So what should i do if VO asks me why only this university? Pls reply quick i m really tensed…

Note – When writing a letter or question, your introduction should be like Hi Friends, not hi friends. If you happen to write an email to a professor or (during job search) to an HR manager, they are likely not going to consider replying back to you. I hope you take this suggestion in a nice tone.

VO – “Why this University”

Good news, it’s not just you. Every student in your situation are pressed to find answers to this question. But I know exactly why is it so hard to an answer to that question.

I think you didn’t do much research when you’re looking for a U.S. university. Most of the time, a consultant could have picked up Farleigh Dickinson University along with a few other universities.

If you have applied to U.S. universities for grad. school admission by yourself, then some of your friends could have had admissions from FDU for similar scores. So you applied and got admission.

Now you are finding it tough to answer the question, “Why you selected Farleigh Dickinson University”.  If you have done adequate research about the university before applying for grad school, it will be much easier to answer this question.

By now, you will know the name of a few professors, their research areas, student contacts, and you should have exchanged a few emails with professors with university.

Without all of the above, it’s hard to give the true answer to the question during a U.S. student visa interview. [Sample U.S. Student Visa Interview Questions]

Visa Interview Question and Answers

You can answer this question in a multiple of ways, but any answer you provide will not be the true answer, right? That’s because you are likely going to come up with made-up answers.

But if you lie during a visa interview, they can find out from the way you answer the questions. So never try to make up an answer while attending a U.S. visa interview.

If you were caught lying, your entry to the U.S. will be impossible because you can be banned for lifetime. Since you don’t have much time, try to find more information about FDU from their website so as to try to answer the question.

If you have other admits, try to compare among the schools to conclude that FDU is better than other admission. In this way, you will not give false answers.

I’m Really Tensed for US Visa Interview

There has to be a certain level of tension or else there will be overconfidence in you. So some amount of tension is good.

  • Prepare to face all possible scenarios.
  • Answer with a smile.
  • Be confident and look confident.
  • Read the visa experiences posted by other students. If you read 5 to 10 student visa interview experiences, you can see a pattern of what kind of questions a VO asks and why do they ask such questions. So understand the pattern and expect to face the questions.
  • Remember – Always smile and answer the questions with confidence.
  • If you don’t understand their question, politely ask the VO to repeat it again.

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  1. hello,
    This is devina and my visa date is 6th june. I’ve got i20 from Fairleigh Dickinson University only. I’ve applied for MS in computer science. So what should i do if VO asks me why only this university? Pls reply quick i m really worried..

  2. hello everyone

    I got admits from SEMO,USA,MSU & waiting for TAMUK,received scholar from SEMO.Which univ is better to attend for VISA?? am in cnfusn plzzz hlp me out

    Awaiting for ur reply

    Thanks in Advance!!!!!

  3. heyy.. i have applied to 9 univs.. But i got an admit only from 1 univ. SUNY BUffalo.. will that affect my chances of getting a VISA..???

  4. A common mistake many applicants make in this phase of the interview is to answer this question with a memorized group of sentences from the school’s own pamphlet or other printed material…and it sounds like a robot reciting something in a monotone…and doing such a thing will almost instantly result in your application being denied (though perhaps not at this specific instant, but it’s coming after a few more random questions)…why? because you will give the impression that you know absolutely nothing about the school (which will be true) and all the CO has to do is interject a question in the middle of your recital, and that will interrupt your train of memorized thought, and off the rails you go. Memory tricks don’t work…because the person recalling the memorized words goes into a sort of a trance while babbling…easy to spot.

  5. I got an admit from lamar university in cs department and some other colleges and i’m going to visa intrview through lamar i20. What my question is VO may ask the why lamar university?
    plzz post the correct answer friends i was little bit confused.plzz help me out………………

  6. Hi , I am Tanveer Ahmad ,Final yr Electronics Engg. Student at Aligarh Muslim University. I have a CPI of 7.18 … i had applied to university of Toledo only as I had a senior in there.got an admit and full tuition scholarship.have received I20. My GRE is 315 and TOEFL is 108. With my CPI and scores I fear i may not get much good offers than this ,as i m much dependent on scholarship. Now the problem is i have applied to only 1 university as i was late in applying and got admit letter quickly. And i would be able to get my provisional degree by 9th july. so when should I apply for VISA and what r my chances of getting visa since i have applied to only 1 university. On my I20 ,9th August is given as the date to arrive. Please advice me how to move ahead.

  7. VO denied my F1 visa and when i asked what are my weaken points, he said your financial position is shattered and i dont not give enough reasons why i cannot study my law program in my home country

  8. Hi friends .
    I am engineering graduate and am an 2006 passout. My IELTS score is 6 . But in my graduation i have backlogs around 19 and i finished in the 6 years of time. I have 3 years exp in a MNC as procerument specialist.Now i am planning for MS .I had applied for 3 universities but i got I20 for only one of the university(EVEREST UNIVERSITY) in ILLINOIS .Can i go a head with 1 university.As i am planning to do my masters now with 3years of work experience. Is there any chances of getting visa rejected with 1 university and also with my backlogs. If so how to getover that problem. I had applied for summer intake 2012.
    Please help me.

    Thanking u All in Advance

  9. Hi friends,i changed my course from Earth science/geology to business administration(undergraduate) because i intend to take over my fathers business.I have once been rejected on earth science/geology,because i could not defend it well,and i did not have my tofel result then.Please i want to ear from everyone.

  10. Dear Friends and HSB,
    My TOEFL score is 99 an I have received i20 for my MBA from ITU, Sunnyvale. Could you please suggest whether I should apply for my F1 using the i20 from ITU or should I apply for another University.
    Thanking you in advance and your help/advice would be much appreciated.

    Warm regards,

    1. Hi Ritesh

      Please don’t to that blunder by attending F1 visa interview with ITU I-20. It’s shady university and visa office will defiantly say sorry your VISA rejected.Please work hard and try to get admission in good school.ITU is a just status maintaining university in US not for study even if you get visa your future prospects will be ruined because of this university.

      1. Hai swetha,

        How are you.

        I am planning for Aug-2012 intake at FDU, MBA- Pharmaceuti…..

        I am saikrishna, supposed to join FDU for this Aug…

        Scheduled my interview this i.e April- 27th at chennai embassy….

        Can you help me with any information….concerning Interview….

  11. please let some want help me iam, having a visa interview this coming month on the 25 of may .i need possible question and answer

    like why you choose fall session ?

  12. Helo my name is Rahul, i was rejected once for fall. For spring i am going for visa(Nov 17) on another university. My question is that will the VO have my previous university details???
    If yes, then wat should i answer for the following question.
    Why did you change your university?

  13. Hi friends . I am engineering graduate and am an 2007 passout. My gre score is 1120 and toefl is 84 . But in my graduation i have backlogs around 30 and i finished with in the 4 years of time. My visa got rejected because of backlogs . Since then i have been working in a software firm. Am planning to do my masters now with 2.5 years of work experience. Is there any chances of getting visa rejected for the backlogs. If so how to getover that problem.

  14. Hi All,

    Firstly would like to thank happyschoolblog for this great support for all willing to apply for international studies. Now i have a question as i'm willing to apply for a gradute program and i have done my Bachelors in Civil Engineering. My area of interest is MBA in Business Administration as i worked for monster.com in sales for 3yrs from 2007 till 2010 and completed my engineering in the year 2006. The question that i've is on what would be VO's view about my interest on the program that i'm opting as my bachelor's and graduate program is no where related. Will this affect my visa chances in anyways? Kindly help me with suggestions.

    Thanks & Regards,


  15. Hi Friends,

    I am from Ethiopia. After I have subscribed here, I am benefiting much. Thank you. I will have my Visa Interview in a week time. My facts are the following:

    I am married and a father

    I have my own residence

    I have my own shop

    I have my own car

    I have my own private school having 535 students and 35 employees in it

    I have private college investment license

    I can deliver an evidence for all mentioned.

    My questions are

    Ø In addition to delivering these documents if asked, what can I say if the VO asks me how can I prove that I will come back?

    Ø The only US University I applied and being accepted is MUM. So, what can I say for the question: why not other universities?

    Ø In the year 2009 I applied at Monash University, Australia, and I was accepted. But, I did not join because cost of education was very high. Do you think that I shall mention this for his/her question: why only USA why not other countries?

    can you answer me as soon as you can?

    Kind regards,


  16. My response to HSB follower’s blog

    Alright !!!! I accidentally came across this blog and found this thread interesting. I came to USA in mid ’90 s as grad student. I can tell you that its not the university or college choice or number of I-20s but its your CONFIDENCE that gets you visa. In my Visa interview , I greeted lady consulate officer in French ( knew little bit back then ) I can still vividly remember the joy on her face in encountering somebody different as to my surprise she spoke french fluently. She didn’t asked me a single question about school or funds or scores . I told her mumbai weather was foggy and how much I hated standing in a line and getting up at 4 am in the morning and catching a local train and then cab to consulate from my hotel ( I lived in a different state ). I scored on empathy factor . After getting american student visa , I extended my stay for 5 days in mumbai and even got visitor visa to United Kingdom ( I visited UK for a week before landing in usa ) . Anyways, my one and only one I-20 was from some shitty business college ( barely a university ). My GRE score was indeed poor ( school didn’t even required gre ) . My toefl was allright. But its my sheer confidence that made the difference. Needless to say , after coming to usa , I changed my school in 3 months and got my grad in computers from a reputed university. I went thru hoops F1->H1-> GC but thats a different story. I teach in a state college these days .. ( getting old .. its hard to compete with fake ‘h1b coolies’ these days ). I guess you can say consulate officer made a right choice ( wink wink).
    All I can say is that USA is not for weak hearted. America is not for people who blame on others for their failures. America is for those who are brave and who face challenges and eventually overcome obstacles ( trust me there will be plenty over the coarse ) .
    Now here is the other interesting story about my brother who was rejected 4 times ( twice by in person interview and twice by mail decision ) by US consulate in Mumbai in early 90s ( 91 ) but never gave up. He wrote a detailed letter to consulate officer ( supervisor ) highlighting technical flaws in visa officer’s decision and was finally granted interview on technical grounds and a visa. He came to america as student but realized in 6 mths that America is “Not” for him . He went back to india without finishing his studies and started his own business from scratch with as little as 5000 rupees ( and modest bank loan ) that he had saved working as sales rep in india .( My parents were middle class govt employees and contributed nothing ). In 20 years of economic boom , he has worked hard to be an Indian millionaire. Lives in a 5 bed big house, 3 new Japanese ( toyotas ) cars and business is still growing . He has somebody to walk his dogs, chef, driver, gardener and a house maid . ( how many of us in america can afford that luxury?). He has 3 large format machines that were imported from usa ( Yes Made in good ole USA. Each costs little over $100,00 ) . He refuses to buy chinese crap. As such he deals with American multinational companies in india and they expect same quality in india too . He nowholds multiple entry Business Visa and can choose to visit ( usa ) whenever he wants to . He uses it to visit trade shows in vegas etc .

    So the bottom line is .. Mr. Hsb follower ( or whatever your name is ), Don’t be a follower of others rationale . Be a leader . Don’t think Negative . When you go for visa interview, go there with a huge smile and positive thoughts in your brain (think in your mind about returning to india that you love so much 🙂 Don’t think about getting h1bs and greencard or citizenship..thats in far far wishful future ) . Tell them that you “chose” American University because United states has the best graduate schools in this world . ( take I-20 from one school only. No need for 5 I-20s ). Tell them that besides education, You wanna learn and interact with american students/ people and their culture and way of life which will give you broader perspective and edge over others when you ‘return’ to india ” after ” your education ( not just degree ) . When you say that, say it with HOPE and that sparkle in eyes and a smile instead of acting like a nervous paranoid dork with a mustache & glasses . United states visa officers are aware of the fact that out of roughly million indian students that went for grad study , hardly 1 percent have returned in last 25 years. But I can tell you that they don’t want morons in their country !!! 🙂 ))
    So Good luck . Give it a shot . Apply again even if they rejected you twice . If america rejects you. So what ? Its not the end of world. Try canada. try australia . But don’t give up trying ..
    May Force be with you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Note: Also I ‘d like to add that I was an average student in india but I had that desire to study. I have 2 simultaneous college degrees from india . I could beat the indian system by attending morning college and a different evening tech college ( different university system. So it was ok . Please don’t ask me details how one could’ve done that ).

    I came to america on F1 and converted my F1 to H1 ( I miss those Dot com years ). I was able to study part time while working and thus able finish my college degree as I was no longer subject to stupid F1 rules about full time courses, insurance etc. I have 2 college degrees in america so far. Maybe will earn Phd someday too if I get motivated to return to school 🙂

    p.s . To my aging parents…… Everything I wrote here is truth !!!!!

    1. Hey thanx a tonne fr sharin this wonderful experience with us… i ws so nervious fr the questions tht culd b askd… bt aftr readin ur experience there ws an adrenalin rush tht took over… Thanku once again

  17. Hey my visa date is on 2oth Aug. I got I20 without Gre/Toefl.

    So if he asks me why dis university wat shud i answer???

    1. dude just tell them that its not required by school . GRE & Toefl are corporate run ( private as they say in india ). They are Non Profits but money they raise helps to pay their employees and research staff. By staying Non Profit ETS ( ?) are probably on Tax Exempt status . Most universities / colleges don't require Gres etc . To my knowledge Harvard don't care about your test scores but your achievement in previous schools !!!!!!!!!!

      Take Your I-20 and go get that damn visa . Goodluck

  18. Hello guys !


    SPEAKING IS 7 Band and LISTENING IS 6 And rest is 5 & 5.5.

    & I GOT DUBAI,U.A.E 3 yrs work experience…..



  19. Hi

    I m Bachelor Of Commerce Graduate with 62 % & have DUBAI,U.A.E 3 yrs of work experrience.





  20. Hello every body

    What should i say if the Vo askes me why i haven't choosen universities where my sister(sponser) lives?She lives in New york and there are bunches of universities who gives the field of study i have choosen

    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer me


  21. Hai, HSB and Viewers. Here, is my experience of visa interview got rejected on 21st of July. Here's the Conversation Between Me and VO

    ME: Good Morning Madam,

    VO: No, Reply

    VO: Pass U r Documents

    ME: Passed In

    On seeing my i20 and data base

    VO: Y NPU?

    ME: told

    VO: Wtz ur B.tech %

    ME: 62.12

    VO: How many Backlogs

    ME: 8

    VO: How many Universities Didu applied?

    ME: 3 . I named them

    VO: Have u Taken ur GRE

    ME: S

    VO: Wts the score

    ME: 540

    VO: Sorry, U got rejected she gave a signed paper Better Luck Next Time .

    According to me,

    My positives —- i had scored 108 in TOEFL and first class degree with 62.12%

    Negative —- Low GRE – 540, 8 backlogs.

    Plz suggest me, How to give my best answer to VO question regarding my negatives. Frankly, i never experience this type of standard exam ever in my life. so, being tensed i scored low in GRE but, after i build up my confidence and done well in TOEFL..

    Lastly , Plz give a gun shot answer to my negative make them look positive to VO's

  22. Hello friends,

    I need your views on my visa rejection . I got admitted to UT arlington , lamar and NJIT. I opted to goto UT arlington. The VO after knowing about my acceptances asked " Why did you reply to Lamar?" , I said I applied to many colleges in Texas and Lamar was amongst them. He then said " I didn't asked about which colleges you applied in Texas but why did you apply to Lamar" and i got paused for a while. He then rejected me. I want to know has it got anything to do with the Lamar university because I had a good admit from UT arlington.

    Please Leave your comments on how you examine the situation and I'll really appreciate your guidance. Maybe some of you will also benefit from this discussion.

    1. from the explanation/you wrote..that you didn;t understand the question properly..so you gave inaccurate answer..bt the VO has given another chance to you ..and asked the question clearly..,, then why u struck at that time…..

      it shows that u can say only prepared answers….

      bt the thing is VO needs genuine , spontaneous , accurate and confident answers..

      still if u prepared any stuff before visa..say that as u r generally speaks to ur friend,,,

      Never repeat this mistake again..and moreover u need present mindness at the time of interview…and be confident ,,n have little bit smile on u r face..

      no doubt u will get it..


  23. Dear Friends,

    I have MSc in Chemical Engineering.I have 6 years work experience in National Iranian Oil Company.

    I get admission in MBA from Georgia Southern University.

    I have 2 questions:

    1- My uncle works in Georgia Southern University, Is it ok if I say I choose this University because of my Uncle?

    2- I applied for PhD in several University in USA , Unfortunately I dont get admission from each of them. Is it negative point in my Visa Interview?

    Kind Regards

  24. Hi HSB members,

    Please kindly advice for me to get an I20 without any consultant. I want to do MBA in US. I have done my IELTS and have secured band 7.0 over all. I have not done my GMAT and dont want to do as well. Please kindly advise what is the possibility of making it up for Fall 2010 or Spring 2011. Please advise good univ with job prospects, specialization in MBA or general along with Univ and procedure to get I20 online. I have got my B.E. in CSE from Anna Univ and currently working in UAE.

  25. Hi Friends,

    I am Jay and i got acceptance from STEVENS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, NJ and CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY, OHIO. I want to pursue my Master's in Electrical Engineering and i am confused about selecting college for the same so please tell me which university i should go for and why?

    and i got 1000 (Quant:720, Verbal:280) in GRE what should i answer if VO asks me about my low GRE score?



    1. Buddy You should apply to Steveons as this univ is famous for Engineering programs and also consider internatioanls tudents for scholarship..with your decent score in GRE YOU ARE LIKELY TO GET VISA..BEST OF LUCK..

  26. Hello…………….frds

    I did try for a number of days but I did not get the slot for Student Visa interview so

    I am going for Emergency slot on July 1st …Am I going to face any problem?

    What type of questions can I expect?

    Please do reply to this………..

    1. Do not stand fro an visa interview with anemergency date..without sufficient reason you will be REFUSED….

  27. On a more serious note it does not have to be Hi Friends but Hi friends dear HSB. Couldn't resist sorry!

  28. i really read all the comment questions and answers…. But i'm so sure for questions, everyone are worry including me because i will get visa interview next week. I'm not ready but i just guess maybe specific questions are one sponser and purpose….

    who can tell me about more serious questions that usually will be asking?

  29. Hi friends………….

    This is charan…………….

    I got admitted into University of New Orleans and Lamar U of TEXAS for MS in CS. Can you suggest which one is better for studies?
    and Which one has better Visa rating?

    I got I20 from both Univ. I am going attend interview with in this week only please give reply
    to me as quickly as possible…………

  30. I am appplying to M.S. in electrical engineering to a few universities. What should I answer to the VO if I am admitted and choose to attend them?

  31. Dear friends and HSB I seriously want a career in research and possibly I want to settle in German after completing M.S. and then phd in US. My background is M.Sc. in Physics. What should I answer to the Visa Officer?

    Should I tel a lie?

  32. From my personal experience and that of friends who've applied for MS in Biotechnology or related courses, I would suggest that you do not mention anything about your research experience(s) and not show any inclination towards pursuimg research in the US when you answer the VO's questions. As soon as the VO hears the word 'research' alarm bells ring in his ears. In my case he wanted to see my resume and acceptance letter from the university as soon as he heard me say biotechnology. A friend of mine going for the same course was put on some kind of waitlist for the visa. So guys keep mum on the research bit, be confident and relaxed.

    1. @PNM:

      I agree with you. The VO doesn’t have any technical idea about the “research” that we would mention. Just on the basis of a few terminologies and our expressions, he/she decides whether or not to send one for the additional check that results in the delay.

      I have posted detailed comment regarding the same in http://www.happyschoolsblog.com/f1-student-visa-d

      Warm Regards,

  33. @Sazal : Thanks a lot for your response. I feel much. Just hope that my visa arrives in time. Thanks once again!!

  34. @Tanushree:

    Usually students who had their visa approved but delayed for some reasons, get their visa BEFORE the class start time(according to I-20). So you dont need to be much worried. Hopefully you shall get visa before your class start date.

    Best of luck.

  35. Hey!!

    I was asked the same question on 15th of July and I had gone all prepared for my interview. My true reason for having chosen University of Houston was that my sister was there but since I was asked by one and all not to mention that as my reason, at that point, I did hesitate a little. I told her that it was because of their research facilities and some of the professors have the same research interests as mine.

    Now, this lead to the 2nd question which was "what are your research interests?" and that was another thing that I was uncertain of answering as I had moved from Metallurgical Engineering to Software Engineering during my professional life and then I wished to get back to Materials Engineering. I faltered with the answer but did mention a few areas as my interests.

    At this point I noticed her writing my name on some green-form. Along with that she started asking me other straightforward questions as "Who will be funding?", "What does your father/sister do?", "Where does your father/sister work?", "How long has your father been with the company?". I was confident about these answers but the green-form was already on its way.

    At the end of the interview she asked me to wait saying that some more information would be required for the processing of my visa. I thanked her and waited till my name was called from the first counter that had verified my visa forms earlier. Here, I was told that my 'visa was APPROVED but was DELAYED' and it can take a MAXIMUM period of 2 months for its processing. They needed details regarding my research/work experience, my areas of interests, my past projects and publication details, plan of research I wish to pursue in US.

    I submitted the documents over email on that every evening. I have my classes beginning on 24th of August and if I do not get my visa by 21st of August, I would have to get my admission deferred. I have no clue as to how to expedite the process(as there is no option for that). Only thing that I can do is to check my visa's status online. I had inquired at the visa collection center the following day and one of them informed me that it can take a week or 15 days but the exact time cannot be said. When I mentioned about the maximum period of 2 months that was told to me, he said that generally for student's visa it happens faster. Things are so very uncertain right now for me and I feel more and more anxious everyday.

    I just wished to share this experience with Happy Schools Blog so, that other students can learn from it and avoid making the same mistake. If any of you have had a similar situation, kindly tell me how long had the visa processing taken in your case.

    Kind Regards,

  36. Hi all,

    I remembered my situation when I applied for F1 Visa last week.The VO should make sure that you are applying for a certain University for something you need.So, you should act like one has constantly have chosen this University for a purpose .Therefore,I urge you to answer with confident and eye to eye contact because most of lairs emotionally/unintentionally will make a certain move or eye glance that would send a lie message to the VO and you will be denied right away.

    I understand these fairs and I answered these questions accordingly with straight and honest answers.If you are serious student that would give you a bonus and don’t worry you will give the right answers with a convincing point of view.

    Good look

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