indian students in the usa wants just 2 things

Guests post by Vishnu.

After working for three years in MNC, I finally came to the United States.

I said the following in my guest post that I wrote three years back  – Joining MNC instead of higher education in the USA was a big mistake 

Plus, I shared my needs and wants and why I am working towards my dream of going to study MS in the U.S.

But my perspective completely changed when I started my journey to America.

Flashback: 3 Years

After working for two years in MNC, I was pretty comfortable with my work.

I got a good salary increase and promotion; life was settled without any hurdles. But deep inside, I still had a dream to study in the US, which was not allowing me to concentrate on my day job, which was luxurious life (believe me, it was luxurious because, after my promotion, I got a hefty bonus with flexible work time).

I finally made the decision to study in America and acquire knowledge, which would fulfill my dream.

Finally, I came-up with a one-year plan, including my GRE and IELTS scores and applying for multiple universities.

I did just enough on both of the tests and got accepted into all of the five universities I applied to.

Impact of Working Experience 

First, in obtaining my F1 Visa to study in the USA.

The visa officer asked just two questions, which university and where I worked. After listing the company name, he approved my visa.

I enrolled in a MIS program. After arriving at the campus, I contacted my Dean with hopes of getting a scholarship or any other assistance due to my previous work experience.

There was a special scholarship for students pursuing MIS at my university. Unfortunately, they have not offered it for over  three years due to insufficient funds. Luckily, the Dean said that they were offering this specific scholarship from this semester.

So, I applied for the scholarship by writing a personal essay, including my primary goals.

I got 50% of the scholarship. I do believe that my work experience played a key role in getting it.

In the MIS course, we have many management and technical subjects to study.

Due to my previous work experience, they waived two of my management courses, which ended up saving me a lot of money.

A Note from Raghu:

After I read the above experience, I felt there were many unanswered questions. So, I compiled a list of questions for Vishnu. You can read his answers below.

1. Can you describe your luxurious life in India? 

I used to work for Brazilian clients and my office hours is between 4 pm to 2 am from home or the office, depending on my preference.

I was given a laptop, phone, Wi-Fi, and a car to pick up and drop me off.

I used to get a very good salary and two friends and myself stayed in a nice 3-bedroom duplex in a very nice area.

We would enjoy roaming the entire city, visiting pubs, parties, taking long drives, etc. Working from home daily and partying every day is a lot of fun!

2. What made you think that you wanted to study abroad? When did you think this, what events made you think about it on a day to day basis?

Eventually, after two years, I got bored of the same routine in my  life (my friends too). But they feared losing this comfort if they changed a company or followed other dreams.

I can’t even believe that I spent two years just like that.

I needed some change.

I started planning everything for one year and got books, inquired about good institutions, read all posts of HSB regarding GRE test prep tips.

3. Which university did you attend, and where did you work?

I am studying at the University of Houston – Clearlake.

I came to the U.S. to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, but switched to UHCL shortly after coming here due to course work of UHCL.

4. How did it feel when you landed in America?

It was amazing, I can’t express it in words.

The day I landed, it felt like I was entering another world, like a dream came true.

Luckily, I have a brother in Houston who helped take care of almost everything required for me.

5. Why did you contact the Dean, you could have just gone about life?

Our university has one scholarship, which will be given to almost 50% of students.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get it. Before coming, I applied for a loan and it was sanctioned.

They didn’t approve my loan transfer to the other university and it got rejected.

I just thought that it was a good idea to meet with my Dean, explain my situation and hope to get some insight on how to obtain a TA (in order to convert my tuition to instate).

6. How did you find out about the special scholarship?

When I checked on our website, there was one scholarship specialized for MIS students. But the seniors told us that they were not offering it for another three years.

7. What was the primary goal that you stated in the scholarship essay?

In my essay, I mainly said that I wanted to join a small/medium-sized business and wanted to play a key role in developing that company into a multi-billion dollar organization.

I explained to them how this course and subjects helped me in different aspects to achieve it.

8. Why do you say others goals are grades and job?

When I came here I saw almost all (99.99%) students from India came here for one primary goal:

Get a Job and Earn boatloads of money in the shortest span possible. 

I saw 60% of students in my branch transfer to other universities or other branches, because the course was tough.

It’s actually not tough, other branches are just easy. That’s the shortcut to get a degree, then a job.

9. Why entrepreneurship? Why this change of mind? What inspired you? 

After reaching the U.S., I saw my life in a different way.

When I was in India, I used to think everyone from the US was rich. But I came to know that everyone is happy with what they get.

At the same time, I’m seeing several opportunities here.

For instance, I saw a small mechanic earning $150,000 per year. This is just because of his place and low labor charge. I thought about why to work under someone and make them rich where we have plenty of options to start our own business.

I wanted to become an entrepreneur a while back, but due to the fear of failure, I didn’t give it a try.

Now, I have no fear of losing; I just want to give my best.

When I was working in India, I saw some drawbacks in my work. I want to improve myself, express to you in person some of my improvement ideas, as well as other ideas (I really appreciate your valuable suggestions).

10. What kind of job is an instructional assistant? Describe the duties. How much does it pay?

Instructional Assistant is a different kind of job from TA/RA.

We have no contact with students directly.

We need to prepare materials for students and make our professor’s work easy.

We need to prepare quiz questions, materials, weekly assignment questions for students. The TA will evaluate the answers and have direct contact with students.

11. How much did you earn when you start working in India, and how much when you describe life as a luxury?

I worked for Oracle Corporation back in India, and made 65,000 INR (1300 USD) after deductions.

This is when I started studying for the GRE.

It was not the fear of quitting the job, it was the fear of quitting Oracle, which made me think twice. Because getting a job at Oracle was not an easy task.

I cleared nine rounds of interview to get this job.

Face Fear Head-On

Like many others, my primary goal when I reached the US was to acquire knowledge and get a job after graduation.

But eventually, after the first semester, I am working towards an entrepreneurial opportunity.

I feel that I am more comfortable working as an Instructional Assistant and gaining knowledge than working in India. This is my journey so far and I will continue to update as I make progress.

See Also:  An Awe-Inspiring Story of Student’s Journey to the USA. Emotional and Motivational.


  1. gv on October 8, 2019 at 1:57 PM

    Good Article but missing on some important facts: Let me put my feelings and per age so that it can guide all youngsters especially of American dream:

    24-30 : Don’t have to worry about savings, generally one thinks about getting H1b and earning decent wage.
    30-40: Assuming you applied for green card by now and you would have quickly realized that it is never going to happen in a human life time in the US(around 540K waiting and 10k are allocated to Indian every year = 54 years wait time). It will make you worry about future and put you in a constant state of limbo and uncertainty in life( always worried whether your extension will be approved, whether VO will approve your visa) and top of it employers can take advantage of modern slavery as they know one cannot easily switch jobs on H1b.
    40 — Don’t know how it feels yet, but I have bad feeling about it as many of the above commentators mentioned.

    Conclusion/advise: Most of the young generations may be tempted as the US has huge job market but don’t think short term(till age of 30), plan long term. The STEM JOBS are picking up in other countries like Canada, Germany , Australia etc and I am sure the education institutions are comparable the one USA.
    My self — Living and Working in the US for past 7 years..

    • Raghuram Sukumar on October 8, 2019 at 2:58 PM

      Well said GV! Which phase of the life are you in?

  2. r p sharma on March 20, 2018 at 9:25 AM

    to live in India is better,never ever think about other country if you are Indian.Money and wealth have no value after certain level,it is your country ,people,sukh-dhukh and culture. ASK OLD people after age of 40 if it is good to be away from your motherland.

  3. Nasser S on March 17, 2018 at 9:53 PM

    I am in consensus with every one. I am stuck here and with a job but every second I miss how beautiful and great India is. I am unable to go back because, although I have some savings, my kids are born here (6 and 12 years old). The educational system is good in India is but too expensive. I wonder how long I will last in India if I can’t get a decent job to support them. I have a PhD in Toxicology and I am 42 years old. I am depressed constantly and feel like a guinea pig doing its routine every day. Hopefully I will gather enough courage one of these days to go back to my love – India. USA is beautiful and good and I have experienced my share of bad issues here but I don’t hate this country. I want my kids and myself to be in the middle of good old Indian family life with friends and all the diversity India has. I miss the festivals and functions from all traditions of India.

  4. Srinivas Raju Nanapuram on September 14, 2017 at 7:08 PM

    This article is written exactly without any exaggeration to the content. Appreciate your work!!!!

    It made to know what exactly you are doing now and what’s the next step ahead.
    kindly post further details.
    Srinivas Raju, USF, BAIS

  5. Raj on April 19, 2017 at 5:38 PM

    Hey ,
    I am really great for this blog !
    Amazing insights..
    I wanted to ask , if going for a PhD from US at 26 years is good? I hv done Masters & have 2.5 yrs work exp too in the similar field. Parents are fine with it. But I’m kinda thinking about the average age to settle down and marriage as PhD takes 5-6 yrs on average. How do most Phd grads deal with it ? TIA

  6. na on February 17, 2017 at 8:36 AM

    One has to struggle in india in the very beginning years of the career.after one becomes strong financially ..the life here in india is much more comfortable , spend time with family , neighbors , do learn indian culture and traditions.each festival kids feel so heaven bcoz of festival weather and all of the family members.
    15yrs back here not much living standars but now a lot better.get into a big 20+acr communities you will find much rich life than usa.
    The schools are now much much brtter than Usa.
    Like this life living standards went up a lot.

    But its upto an individual what they want in thier life.

  7. Amit Gupta on January 16, 2017 at 10:35 PM

    I agree with Srikanth Bollampally.

    I came to US in Aug. 2006 and finished my MS by July 2007 and working in a semiconductor company since Aug 2007. It’s almost 10 years now. I am married and a father of one (6.5 yrs).

    My dream once was to come to US, work for a big company and settle here in US. But the reality now is that my life has become extremely boring here especially for the last 2 to 3 years. and May be I am feeling depressed too. I have tried very hard to get my life lively by going out to different places and making friends but all attempts have failed. Sometimes I feel good about couple of days or 1 or 2 weeks and then again mired in the same boredom.
    We just visited India in Dec 2016 and have now decided to go back to India after 2 to 3 years (we don’t have much savings so we wanted to work and save in $ for the next 2 to 3 years to have little comfortable life in india once we return. We didnot save anything till now because we never thought of going back to india. Part of my dislike is the life how old indians live here. it’s pathetic. Kids who grow here will be fully american. I heard some old people here don’t even know where their kids live. My wife works as a Nurse. I hear from her, some kids don’t even come or call when their parents die. The staff calls the agency with which the old people have deposited money for their last rituals. Their ambulance come and pick up the dead body (so sad). I don’t want to be in this situation when I am old so I am heading back to India. Luckily I bought a good home in india during my initial 3 to 4 years and it is fully paid.

    But beware guys, living here a few years vs settle down here are two different things. Think Carefully.

    I am not saying everything is bad in US. There are so many good things here but after some time i see them not making any difference to your life. I miss little little stuff from India that I realize now were so valuable!!

    • shay on July 17, 2017 at 9:27 PM

      i can relate to you on so many levels. It is not worth settling here.

  8. jahnavi on January 10, 2017 at 2:23 AM

    I had complted by b pharmacy my dream is to study ms in abroad but I got admission into manipal university but aftr my pg can I puruse ms plz suggest me.

  9. Mike on December 22, 2016 at 6:54 AM

    Brother “Study in USA” is not a dream. Get a life.

  10. Sho Zaman on August 25, 2016 at 10:11 AM

    Thats very inspirational. Would u be able to recommend any uni for phd that offers fellowship/ Assistantship ?

  11. Abhilash on June 20, 2016 at 4:49 AM

    Is it better to go for ms or to do job in India for 2 years and then go for ms??? I am so confused…. about this… please suggest me… a better way

    • Vishnu on September 13, 2016 at 9:00 PM

      Hi Abhilash,

      It depends , it’s all about what you want to achieve.

      Through my experience I can say it’s not easy to do masters and get full time job in usa until you try for one from day one you land here and start improving your coding skills.

      If you want to get more exposure towards work environment and coding skills work there and come here. If you think you can learn some technology while studying go for MS.

      Think about your priorities, your goals and responsibilities.

  12. Gaurav Sharma on December 26, 2015 at 2:08 AM

    What is the cost of MS programme?
    I have just finished my degree in mechanical engineering and now I am preparing for GRE ( to have MS in mechanical engg. from USA) but it appears to be a very costly program.
    How can I support my studies ( financially )by having a part time job and how much can I earn?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on December 26, 2015 at 11:58 AM

      Search around this blog for cost and expenses.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on December 28, 2015 at 10:05 AM

      Referr to Dollars and Dreams course on how you can fund your Education.

  13. siva kumar on February 17, 2015 at 6:10 PM

    You mentioned that working in India is not correct but you forgot that because you worked in India that’s why you got USA student visa easily and because you worked in India you got scholarship.

    you thinking that working in USA will gain knowledge but the knowledge you got in India makes you survive in USA.

    you may save some money till you get marry but once if you get marry you will understand how much you save 😛 ….i am sure you are going to end up feeling alone one fine day after MS. then you will realize that working in india is far better working in usa.

    • vishalgupta2 on February 18, 2015 at 3:07 PM

      @Siva: How long have you worked in India and USA?

      Whatever you said, just sounds vague and dramatic, nothing concrete or backed with anything.

    • Srikanth Bollampally on November 7, 2016 at 11:27 AM

      This is really amazing. Every Masters Student from any part of the world in the USA thinks in the same way. Even my story is almost same.
      But one day we all definitely regret that we missed our family,friends, Neighborhood in India.
      This will happen to everyone.
      I recently got a job.
      So, I want to go back to India after 3 years of work and I want to be an entrepreneur in India.
      This sounds some different but I don’t want to miss my India and I don’t want to regret in my life after 10 years….

      Lets see whats gonna happen!

      • Ramesh Kumar on January 29, 2017 at 2:58 PM

        Srikanth. I fully agree. You really miss India, family, neighborhood, way of life once you reach mid life in US. I dearly wish I had the guts to go back when I was younger and my kids were small.Yoy had the guts.. well done. There is.much much more to life than worldly pursuits..

  14. kirthana on February 10, 2015 at 4:42 AM

    This is awesome!!

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