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Connect With EducationUSA

EducationUSA programs help students orient themselves for studying in the United States.

I am from New Delhi, and I contacted EducationUSA after receiving acceptances from the universities I had applied to. My counselor, Zafeena Suresh, helped me and my parents make an informed decision. Having visited the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania herself, she could answer all our questions from personal experience. This made my mother feel more comfortable about sending me to live alone in a different country.

Before going to the United States, I attended a student orientation program organized by EducationUSA. Students who were studying in the United States or had completed their education from a U.S. university shared their experiences with us. As the challenges faced by international students, especially from the same country, are more or less similar, their experiences helped cushion the cultural shock, considerably. They talked about everything—from academics and how to be involved outside the classroom to food and cultural norms.

The students also talked about who should be our point of contact in case of an emergency. This is something really important but tends to get neglected. They were very encouraging and answered all our questions.

Another really helpful program organized by EducationUSA was the visa orientation, where a U.S. Embassy representative who conducts visa interviews, guided us on applying for a U.S. student visa. He also busted myths surrounding the student visa application process. For instance, he told us we do not need to carry a huge stack of papers with us for the visa interview. Generally, the interviewer does not ask for any document aside from the ones listed on the application. If he or she does, the interviewee gets a day to drop them off at the Embassy.

These events gave me an opportunity to meet other people planning to study abroad. In fact, at one of these orientations, I met a girl who was also traveling to Pittsburgh.

Having completed one year at the University of Pittsburgh and having dealt with culture shock myself, I can see how much these orientations benefited me. I would recommend all students going to the United States for further studies to take advantage of the resources offered by EducationUSA—the amazing counselors and the informative programs.


Riddhi Jain is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance, along with a minor in economics, at the University of Pittsburgh. She is also pursuing a certificate in Asian Studies.