Short-term study programs may last for a summer, one month, one semester, or an entire academic year. These programs are great options for Indian students of all levels, as well as for working professionals who would like to gain additional knowledge and enhance their professional qualifications. Short-term programs are ideal for anyone who would like to gain U.S. experience, but may not able to travel to the U.S. for a full degree program.
There are two main ways to complete short-term study in the U.S.:
participate in a university-sponsored or private exchange program
apply directly for a short-term non-degree or certificate program at a U.S. university
University-Sponsored or Private Exchange Programs
Certificate Programs in the U.S.
Many Indian universities have now established different types of exchange or programs with U.S. universities. Under this type of arrangement, Indian students can study for a limited period of time (semester or academic year) on a U.S. campus. It is likely that your university has already worked out details about how your credits will transfer once you return to India. In a university exchange program, international students generally pay their own institution's tuition fees rather than those of the U.S. university. This is often less than the cost of tuition that would be charged to a U.S. student. If funding is a significant restricting factor, you may wish to consider summer programs which are shorter in length and therefore may be less expensive.
If the university you attend in India does not sponsor exchange programs in the U.S., it is possible to apply directly to U.S. universities as a "non-degree seeking" student or to apply for a short-term exchange program through a sponsoring agency. Keep in mind that some universities may not have an option for visiting students.
Another option for short-term study is participation in a government or private exchange program. The Fulbright program in India offers different types of short-term study options in the U.S.
If you are not currently enrolled at a university, it is possible to apply directly to certificate, diploma courses, or other short-term non-degree programs at U.S. universities. Many of these programs have been designed for working professionals and/or for recent graduates who are looking to enhance their professional credentials in their field of study. Short-term certificate courses are offered in a variety of fields of study, ranging from music and the arts to business and leadership.
Certificate programs provide an opportunity to complete degree-level coursework and have access to university and department facilities, similar to that of degree-seeking students. As a non-degree seeking student, you will likely pay similar tuition and fees as full-time, degree-seeking students. Consider investigating external funding bodies and applying for bank loans, or you may wish to consider summer programs which are shorter in length and may be less expensive.
It is possible to search for non-degree or certificate programs using Petersons and other search engines. Applications to non-degree programs may require a transcript, essay, and/or recommendation letter(s).
If you are travelling to the U.S. for any purpose aside from personal travel, you will need to secure an appropriate visa. The most common visa categories for short-term programs are the F-1 Student Visa and J-1 Student Visa. For more information, please see the page on visas for undergraduate study. For specific enquiries, please refer to the U.S. Embassy New Delhi website (http://newdelhi.usembassy.gov/)
For any query on U.S. higher education, call us on our EdUSA toll-free hotline 1800-103-1231 between 2pm and 5pm (Monday-Friday)