What is the most common way for an international student to study in the U.S? Do most students use an exchange program, or can I contact individual schools and make private arrangements?

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Yamini Pathak, Yamini Pathak is co-founder of K-12 Education resources website Schools 'N More

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The most common way for an international student to undertake an academic program of study in the US is by obtaining an F-1 student visa. For students who wish to enroll in a non-academic, vocational program of study (other than a language training program) in a US school, an M-1 visa is required. You will need to contact the schools of your choice and complete their application requirements. Once the school has determined that your application is complete and you are academically eligible, they will issue an I-20 form to enable you to apply for your student visa. You will need to apply for the visa at the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your home country. http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/study-exchange/student.html

Another way for a foreign national to study in the US is through an Exchange visitor program (J-1 visa). J-1 exchange visitors travel to the United States through a Department of State approved sponsor program to teach, study, receive training or demonstrate special skills. To obtain a J-1 Visa, your sponsor must be accredited through the Exchange Visitor Program designated by the U.S. State Department. You can find out more about the process at this website: http://j1visa.state.gov/

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