In the previous series of Students Speak blog, we learnt about Vrushali Lawand’s research mechanism, her motivation to embark on her current academic journey and more. In this episode, let’s understand everything about her travel and accommodation plans, visa application process and more.

Travel and accommodation plans

Vrushali’s study program begins on 18 January 2022. She plans to land in her host country by the 10th or 11th of January 2022 so that she can attend the orientation program on 12 January. When asked about her accommodation plans, she mentioned that her university, Stevens Institute of Technology, has shared a list of apartments to assist her with the same. She highlighted that the university provides on-campus accommodation, too, but it is not available as of now. Since these apartments are closer to the campus, she plans to shortlist one of them from this list itself. She mentioned during the conversation that students should arrange their accommodation beforehand to avoid the last-minute hassle.

Visa application process 

Vrushali has completed her application process and is currently awaiting her appointment slot. Although the slot is scheduled for March, she is trying to get a rescheduled date for the next available slot. Before you start the visa application process, ensure you have all the important documents in place, including an acceptance letter from your university confirming your admission, proof of funds, academic documents, financial documents, I-20 form, SEVIS registration and other related documents. You can visit the official website of the embassy or consulate to finish the online application. Post completing the visa application process, the slots will be activated within 4 hours to two days so that you can schedule the slots as per your course commencement date. Also, please don’t stress about the I-20 form and SEVIS registration, as your university will assist you every step of the way.

Let’s understand if Omicron will influence her study abroad plans

When asked what students must bear in mind while planning to study abroad during the Omicron situation, she quickly said, “be patient”. According to her, there is very little that you can do about the things that are not in your control so worrying will not solve the problem. Ideally, you should simply follow the process prescribed by your university and your host country. For Vrushali, the RT-PCR test is mandatory in addition to the COVID certificate when she lands in the USA.

During her academic journey planning, Vrushali personally witnessed the GRE entrance exam, institution fees, and application fees being waived off completely. Her advice to other students who are set on the same journey is to stay updated with the latest developments because the procedures are constantly changing and are being updated as per the need of the hour. According to the latest development, if you are applying for a visa for the first time, you will have to appear for a visa interview. However, if you have a visa, you will be granted an exception allowing you to skip the visa interview. This development is subject to change depending on the prevailing conditions. Hence, it is best to watch the news and check communication from your university to stay updated.

Her plans and views on part-time jobs

If Vrushali finds the right opportunity, she will be happy to work part-time. However, she is keen on pursuing on-campus jobs over off-campus jobs. According to her, finding off-campus jobs can be challenging. She plans to get in touch with the faculty members to find appropriate on-campus roles such as lab assistant, junior supervisor or library assistant, etc.

So this is all about Vrushali Lawand’s travel and accommodation plans, the visa application process, views on part-time jobs and more. In the next episode, let’s discover how she found a perfect financing partner and some important tips for study abroad students. Meanwhile, if you have any doubt, remember we are just a call away. All the best!

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