Mila Gagarina, expert in the field of overseas education, representative of INTO University Partnership*, spoke about opportunities to stay for work in the United States, the visa application nuances, internships during study, performance of Russian students and the General advantages of campus universities.
EI: When selecting a programme, many Russian students are interested in the prospect to stay and to work in the United States. What programs allow after the end of the American University to become a sought-after expert in the international market and to increase the chance of employment in America?
A bachelor's degree or master's degree in the US in any specialty, the student has the opportunity to remain in work for 12 months – this is called Optional Practical Training (OPT). If a student studied one of the specialties, which is included in STEM – Science, Technologies, Engineering, Mathematics, the OPT period is increased to 36 months. The labor market is glutted spectrum of humanitarian experts, while technical and scientific workers in shortage, specialists in these areas lacking in permanent jobs, since science does not stand still and evolving, creating new jobs. One of the most important areas is computer science and technology, for example, is a very popular program for web app development, as the number of mobile devices is growing every day. Another profession of the future is a virtual reality and all that goes with it – again the area of computer science. If you are inclined to study business, but want to be able to 36-month OPT, then taking a program in Management Information Systems, you will study both business and technology, as well as get the opportunity to stay on OPT for 3 years. And, of course, for 3 years in the United States is very large it is likely that internship turn into a job.
It is very important to explore all possibilities, since there are programs that have 100% statistics of employment of graduates, for example, in 2016, 100% of the program Physics in State University in Oregon were employed in the Intel upon completion of the program degree.
EI: are There any programs in U.S. universities that train specialists in high demand by the market today, which are not represented in Russian universities?
Honestly, hard to answer this question, because not familiar with the entire list of programs offered by Russian universities. I can say unequivocally that the resources offered by the American universities can't compare with anything in the world. There is the Carnegie classification, which evaluates the quality of scientific research University, funding for research and other settings, and identifies several categories of universities: Tier 1 – universities in the highest research category. This means that in all of these institutions - the incredible research resources, the most modern equipment, the best trainers are experts in their fields who are engaged in the research, so students learn the most advanced science and get access to the latest technologies and scientific developments. The group Tier 1 includes all 115 universities (out of 4000+ universities in the U.S.), including the Ivy League and State University of Oregonthat says a lot about the quality of education and research in the University.
In the US, scientific discoveries are made right in our universities: science and learning are not separable from each other. Professors who make discoveries in labs, teach students, and students can work together with the best teachers on research projects during the training. It is an undoubted advantage of American education.
Programs in the US very often are developed in accordance with needs: for example, the program Web App Development in State University of Oregon was established with the filing of Facebook, who have offices in Oregon, they applied to OSU the establishment of such a program, as they require expertise in this area.
EI: There are certain visa rules and regulations, according to which at the end of University studies the student must depart the U.S., however, also provides for the extension of visa status to undergo professional practical training at one of the us companies. Please explain how this mechanism works in practice: what programs give such benefits, what is the mechanism of obtaining permission for an extension, whether at the end of practice to change status and get a work visa without leaving the States?
The University support students in finding OPT, but it is important to understand that the student must work with Career Services that teach students how to improve chances of successful employment. And with University advisors, which help students to OPT. The student may apply for OPT no sooner 60 days before the end of the program earning a degree. It has a maximum of 90 days after the end to find the OPT and start working.
EI: Can foreign students undergo practical training during their studies? Is there a possibility of part-time work and how realistic is it to find a part time Russian-speaking student?
Yes, of course, State University of Oregon has extensive contacts with industrial and business companies and actively encourages students to internships during training. They may be unpaid, but they allow you to gain valuable experience and enrich your CV that will be of great value when applying for a job. OSU also offers paid internships for students of business and engineering courses – a six-month MECOP and CECOP – on a competitive basis.
Training at American University provides many opportunities for students to Express themselves: volunteering and participation in research, and a variety of clubs and societies on campus.
A student visa also lets you earn up to 20 hours per week on campus during the training (this is likely to be assistant in the library, a janitor, a Barista in a cafe, etc., can earn about $ 10 per hour) and up to 40 hours during vacations off-campus including.
Any student can find a part time job on campus, regardless of linguistic background, the main thing – the level of English, and students have a Pathway it needs to be below 5.5, which is sufficient for adequate communication, if the work it implies.
EI: Campus universities are very popular in the United States. What, in Your opinion, the advantages camponovo University? What advice about camponovo University would You give to parents who send children to undergraduate programs?
The campus is a city where there is everything. There are educational buildings, laboratories, libraries, dormitories, cafes, restaurants, canteens (often several of them, and there you can find food from all over the world, because on campus there are students from all countries), the Student Union which runs a variety of events, sports centres (in the US, the cult of sport, and sport resources with nothing to compare), there are shops, Bank, post office and more. Most importantly, living and learning on campus, it is impossible to stay away, students are always involved in something. School Spirit is something that distinguishes American universities: each has its own character (mascot), their colors, the colors of Oregon State University – orange and black, and the symbol – beaver benny. Students imbued with this spirit, feeling of solidarity, of belonging that stays with them for life – each University has a Alumni Association, where to go when looking for a job even after 10 years, and as you can imagine, OSU graduates work around the world and are always happy to help those who, like them, became part of OSU.
Universities in the US compete with each other, and, of course, on campus there is a stadium where you can gather the whole city is cheering for their team.
Communication with American and other international students allows us to expand the horizons, develop communication skills and make friends.
Training on the campus of the American University will be an unforgettable experience of a lifetime!
EI: How manifest themselves Russian-speaking students in the American universities? If they have a good performance? What difficulties do they face?
Russian students get a strong academic education in school and University, and they usually have very good knowledge, so they achieve good results in University in the United States. The most difficult moment is often the academic English how to speak English and learn in English (according to the requirements of the American system) is not the same thing. But the program Pathway eliminate the difference in education and give a great start to achieve the best results, and a good academic base, tenacity, desire to prove themselves is something peculiar to the Russian students.
EI: Mila, thank you very much for the interview! Finally, what advice would You give to our readers who choose the University and program abroad?
Dream boundlessly, work hard, don't be afraid to take risks, succeed! And INTO be there to help you on your way.
*INTO – is a unique collaborative project bringing together leading British, American and Chinese universities. Challenge INTO is looking for talented and motivated students worldwide, their preparation for learning in higher education and guarantee of enrollment in universities in the UK, USA and China.