With over 400,000 international students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the US, known as STEM and more than 80% of international students from Asia pursuing STEM majors, the number of these courses is increasing. If you are interested in getting more information about STEM, please refer to the following 5 tips:
5 Tips to Study STEM Subjects in US University
Understand the concept of STEM
The term STEM is an acronym for Science (science), technology (engineering), engineering (engineering), and mathematics. These programs are prioritized in the US because they contribute to innovation and job creation. STEM graduates play a role in increasing US competitiveness in the global economy.
Know how to participate in a STEM program
Look at schools certified by Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) offering STEM courses. As an international student, you can only enroll in a school accredited by SEVP.
STEM programs are available at 4year universities, as well as most community colleges. Some vocational schools also offer STEM programs. You need to carry out your own research into US schools to ensure that the offers and requirements of these schools meet both your academic interests and requirements
Know what a qualified STEM qualification is
In 2012, as part of a plan to attract good and hardworking international students to the United States, the US Department of Homeland Security expanded its list of STEM programs. The advanced list includes designated STEM degree programs such as pharmaceutical sciences, econometrics and quantitative economics.
Maintain your immigration status while performing laboratory tasks
Many STEM courses require you to participate in laboratory research tasks such as collecting data and specimens, observing or experimenting. Always check with school staff about the requirement for a fulltime course, especially since the qualifications will have different requirements from the undergraduate program.
Get practical training
Many international students are eligible for up to 12 months of optional internships when completing a degree program. International students who receive a STEM qualification may be eligible for an OPT STEM program that extends 12 months than the usual OPT program. This allows them to stay in the US for up to 29 months after graduation.
To qualify, you need to possess a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree on the US Department of Homeland Security’s STEM program list, your employer must use the EVerify program, and you must not have OPT’s 17month extension beforehand. In addition, you will need to obtain a work permit through the US Department of Immigration and pay an application fee.