The Visa Hour "Education in the U.S.A."
ROBIN DIALLO, PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER: Welcome to this months’ episode of “The Visa Hour” called, “Education in the U.S.A.” I’m Robin Diallo I’m the Public Affairs Officer, and I’m Chairman of the Board at the public – the PAEF – the Fulbright organization here And this episode of “The Visa Hour” is live streamed via Google + Hangouts on air and can also be viewed on demand at YouTube.com/USEmbassyManila Are you interested in studying in the U.S.? I hope so, ’cause we are going to tell you everything about it right now You can ask questions; post them on Twitter using the hashtag #thevisahour or on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/Manila.USEmbassy So I wanted to say hi and introduce this episode because I think it’s really important to understand what we’re talking about here The most important thing about studying in the United States is having a goal Why do you wanna study in the U.S.? What is your goal in life? OK? That’s important If you don’t know what you wanna do, the United States is far away, it’s expensive, there’s a lot of paperwork, so you have to know what you have to do So any time you’re looking at higher education, the most important thing is your goal What do you wanna do? And then the question is, if an education in the United States is the best way to achieve that goal If the answer is yes, or even if the answer is maybe, then I hope you’ll come talk to us at the Philippine-American Education Foundation or at the U.S. Embassy, on our Facebook page, Twitter, because we can help you figure out how to achieve your goals and how to get an education in the U.S There are lots of ways to do it, and one of the problems is we have over 3,600 universities in the United States, so you have to not only have a goal, but then how do you choose the right school? Actually, there’s probably many schools that would be just perfect for you, but we can help you narrow down the list so that you have better choices and you know exactly what you’re going to do and how to get there And, of course, everybody thinks that the hardest part about studying in the U.S is getting a visa That’s not true That’s probably – if you’ve done all your homework and you have your goals and you know what you wanna do and you’ve chosen your school and you know how you’re going to pay for it – the visa is kind of the easier part And we’ve got our visa officers here to talk to you about that So I wanna let you know that it’s up to you You have to decide what you wanna do, and does an education in the U.S. make sense? And I just wanna spend one minute on common sense And I wanna tell you when I was a visa officer, I wanna tell you my story of somebody who wanted to study in the U.S., and you, right now, are going to be the visa officer and you tell me if this story makes sense and if you would give this person a visa So a man comes to me in his mid-30s and he says, “I wanna study in the U.S.” And he gives me the form and I say, “Oh, where do you wanna study?” He says, “Oh, it’s on the form there I don’t know.” It’s like, “Oh. How did you choose this school?” “My friend goes there He says it’s fun.” “Oh. What do you wanna study?” “Well, I don’t know, maybe law or maybe computer science.” “Oh.” And I said, “So once you’re a lawyer or a computer scientist, then what do you think you’re gonna do?” He goes, “Well, I don’t know Maybe I’ll stay in the U.S and get a job.” Now, would you give him a visa? Does that make sense? So no, it didn’t make sense I said, “No “You have to have a better reason than, “It’s fun and I don’t know what I wanna study and I wanna stay in the U.S.”, right? But I have to tell you the end of the story A little while later, the ambassador in this country – not in the Philippines – called me up and said,
“Robin, you just refused somebody a visa.” I said, “Yes, sir.” He said, “Why?” And I explained to him and he said, “Thank you very much I’ll let the president know,” because the applicant was the president’s nephew And the president’s nephew we sent for education advising with our education advisors, and I’m not sure if he ever actually went to school in the States, but I want you to think of that story when you’re trying to choose your school and then when you apply for a visa, because it really has to make sense OK? So today, we have with us here M.J A recently-returned Filipino student who got his Master’s in Sports Psychology at Texas Tech Marcus Jarwin Manalo, but you go by M.J M.J.: Yeah I go by M.J. Yeah MS. DIALLO: Welcome How was it? M.J.: Overall it was a great experience I mean, from meeting other international students, to the actual studying; the actual graduate school It was a great experience overall, really I mean, I can’t be more thankful for the opportunity given me – given to me to study in the U.S MS. DIALLO: So what message do you have for other Filipinos who might wanna study in the U.S.? M.J.: Well, I just highly encourage everyone to take their chances This is gonna be an amazing experience for everyone As I’ve mentioned earlier, we’re gonna meet other international students there You’re gonna be more culturally aware Be more aware about cultural diversity And, besides, the U.S I believe provides the best avenue for us to hone our craft to the fullest, so to speak So I think the U.S can provide the qualifications that we need in order to meet our professional goals So, yeah, just take your chances It’s not really hard to apply as long as you have the requirements, as long as you have the necessary documents It’s not really hard to apply MS. DIALLO: When I was talking about common sense, does your goal make sense in having a goal? Is that right? M.J.: Yeah, definitely goal-setting is very important It will also motivate you, actually, because while you’re there doing your graduate studies, there will be sometimes when you’re going to question your decision Why am I still here? I should just be in my home country with my family, but then when that time comes, you’re just going to go back You’re just going to reflect on your goals, like what did I – or how did I decide to go here? So you’re gonna go back to your goals and then your goal is just going to motivate it It’s just going to motivate you to keep on going MS. DIALLO: How long were you there? M.J.: I was there for two and half years MS. DIALLO: And was it – did it go fast? M.J.: Yeah It was fast If you’re busy – as, you know, even in our daily lives, if we’re busy doing things then time just flies MS. DIALLO: And so when I said before that if you have your goals and you know and you do your research and it all makes sense, the visa is the easy part M.J.: Yup MS. DIALLO: Is that true? M.J.: Definitely MS. DIALLO: Tell them M.J.: Definitely Applying for a visa is the easiest part, again, as long as you’ve already made up your mind with which school you’re going, what degree you’re gonna get or what course are you gonna get, and then as long as you have all the requirements needed All the information are in the website There is the EducationUSA under Philippine-American Educational Foundation that can help you with the advising Basically, they’re gonna provide you all the information that you need about educational opportunities in the U.S So it’s not really hard MS. DIALLO: Yeah Now one thing that’s hard is that it’s expensive And that’s true And I have two sons in college It’s expensive for everybody But the Philippine-American Education Foundation – PAEF we call it – which is why I keep tripping over the name – can help with some ideas for how to pay for it So the Philippine-American Educational Foundation website, www.Fulbright.org.ph – F-U-L-B-R-I-G-H-T only one “L”, .org.ph – Also on Facebook, Philippines.FulbrightCommission or EducationUSA.Philippines
on Facebook So there’s lots of information and we wanna help you and we wanna help your parents, ’cause we know sometimes parents are very nervous about this Tell me about that M.J.: Of course I experienced that And after – after deciding on the school or the university where I’m gonna go, I went to EducationUSA for advice and I looked for assistance programs that were gonna help me throughout the application process, and I was fortunate enough to reach the PAEF website – the Philippine-American Educational Foundation – so they helped me with the initial expenses of my education and also with my tuition for the first few semesters because they granted me a partial scholarship which really helped a lot MS. DIALLO: Who did? M.J.: The Philippine- American Educational Foundation MS. DIALLO: OK M.J.: And, aside from that, I also applied for teaching assistantship in the university and I was fortunate enough to be hired as their teaching assistant, and so I had this monthly stipend and then some waivers in the tuition as well which really helped a lot MS. DIALLO: That helps a lot M.J.: That helps a lot Yeah MS. DIALLO: I did my master – I did my undergrad at Michigan State University, which for all of you, is the best university in the United States Do you believe that? M.J.: Yeah. Sure [LAUGHTER] MS. DIALLO: Good job! Anyway, some of our other people who are gonna talk later might disagree with me And I did my master’s at the University of Southern California, and I was a teaching assistant, so I got tuition The tuition was paid for and I got a small monthly stipend So it really is possible to do this Anything else that you wanna share about this? Oh, what are you doing now? M.J.: I’m actually about to start teaching in the university level this coming June MS. DIALLO: And did your U.S. education help you get this job M.J.: Definitely Definitely Everyone speaks highly about U.S. education I think my U.S education really boosted my chances getting those teaching jobs MS. DIALLO: Yes. Yes And that’s what we like to say We think that the United States has the best education in the world It’s not the only education, and sometimes you can get a good education right here in the Philippines So if that makes sense, that’s a good education, but we really are proud of our education system So any other last minute? I wanna pass it to the real experts Our visa officer and our PAEF education advisor So any last thoughts for our – M.J.: I just really encourage everyone to take their chances and visit the PAEF website, the Education USA website, and all the information that you’d need is gonna be there MS. DIALLO: Yeah Because doing your homework is the most important thing Please don’t go to your visa interview and say, “I don’t know the name of my school My friend said it was fun.” [LAUGHTER] OK Have a goal Get your – do all your homework and know what you wanna do And I’m sure, that for some of you, that’ll be awesome ’cause it was awesome, right? M.J.: It was awesome MS. DIALLO: That’s my word, so – M.J.: It was an amazing experience MS. DIALLO: OK So now I would like to introduce our Vice Consul from the Non-Immigrant Visa Section of the U.S. Embassy, Diego, and Eileen Consuelo Valdecanas – we call her Con – who’s a Program Officer and Educational Advising Coordinator for the Philippine-American Educational Foundation or PAEF So they’re gonna talk to you and I hope we’re getting some questions on Twitter #thevisahour, Facebook and we’re gonna turn it over to them Thank you very much We’ll come and say goodbye to you Ask them or talk to us on Facebook any time Very best of luck, and thank you for watching [BACKGROUND NOISE] DIEGO: Welcome back CON VALDECANAS, PAEF: Hi My name is Con Valdecanas and I’m the Educational Advising Coordinator from the Philippine-American Educational Foundation or PAEF We’re also known as the Fulbright Commission, and here in the Philippines we host the EducationUSA centers
all over the Philippines As an EducationUSA center we help or we assist students who are interested in studying in the U.S So if you have been watching this episode much earlier, Robin mentioned about figuring out which school rightly fits you and if you have all the documents that you need ready, just like what M.J. said, then you are ready to apply for your student visa And with me this afternoon is Diego from the Non-Immigrant Visa Section DIEGO: As you may see I have a very awesome hat on my head right now, and his is the best university in the United States [LAUGHTER] It’s the University of Arizona I also wear it on my tie So I just wanna to show you that this is probably the best school that you can aspire to, and if you’re lucky to get into it, you’d be very lucky ’cause I went there But one thing I wanted to mention as a follow-up on what Con said is, once you decide what school you want to apply for, feel free to apply Do your research, look at what schools offer what types of programs The United States has all kinds of different things you can study from, you know, you can even take Tagalog lessons and classes in the United States But once you figure out what school you want to apply to, apply and maybe you’ll get the great notice that you’ve been accepted Once you get that acceptance letter, you’ll work with your school and you’ll discuss how you’re gonna finance your education Education in the United States is kind of expensive There’s different ways to get that financed Maybe your family can help pay for it or there’s other things available like scholarships MS. VALDECANAS: Assistantships – DIEGO: Yeah, assistantships MS. VALDECANAS: Fellowships – DIEGO: Yes You’ll work with your university or your college and you’ll figure out how you’re gonna do that When you guys have that conversation with your school – you’ll get issued something called an I-20 They’ll give that to you That’s a very important paper So you’ll have that So what you wanna do immediately then is apply for the U.S. visa So go to the website and apply for a U.S. visa and pay for the fee It’s about $160 and you can pay for that at the local bank here So once you got your I-20, you have your – you got your appointment letter, you’re good to go You’ll go to the Embassy and you’ll have these with you So what do you want to bring with you to the Embassy? What do you think you need to bring? Well, all you really need to bring is your passport, because that’s where we’ll put the visa, your appointment letter and your application You would have already gone online and typed in your application saying why you’re going to apply for your visa in the United States This form is also sometimes called the DS-160 So once you have that, you’ll also have your I-20, and hopefully by then you will also have paid the S-E-V-I-S fee Also called the SEVIS fee So we’ll also keep – that’s someplace else you have to pay – that’s on another website We’ll have the link for you available But you’ll have to have a receipt for that So then you’ll come to the Embassy and you’ll have an interview with someone like me or one of my colleagues, and you’ll need to explain to them what your plan is and why you wanna study in the United States And like we’ve heard before, it needs to make sense You need to explain why you selected that school and, more importantly, how you’re going to finance it and that’s why the I-20 is so important MS. VALDECANAS: Because all the details are in there DIEGO: All the details that are there So we’ll look at that and we’ll say, “Wow, OK, “it looks like the parents are going to pay for some of this “Maybe they have some good scholarships This looks like it’s viable.” MS. VALDECANAS: And the school is accredited DIEGO: And the school is accredited. Correct And that’s also something the SEVIS fee helps us ascertain as well But after we look at that, we’ll see this and we’ll ask you some questions, but we also wanna know what your plans are after you complete your studies And this is really key because we wanna know – we might like not to hear people say, “Well, maybe I’ll just live in America.” We’d like not to hear that What we’d like to hear people say, “I wanna learn what I can in the United States; take this degree and come back to the Philippines and use it in the Philippines to improve whatever in the Philippines.” So those are kind of the key things I want to impress upon you when you think about applying for a visa So I just wanna also mention that, last year, the Embassy gave out 4,148 educational visas So that’s quite high I would say MS. VALDECANAS: All right Thanks for that Diego I think we’re ready to answer questions We have one from Leni [INAUDIBLE] from Twitter And Leni asks, “How can I study in the U.S.?” Well, basically you’d have – the first step would be to evaluate your aptitude Meaning, look at yourself What are your plans? What are your goals? What do you want to achieve if you want to study in the U.S.?
And then try to do your research; look at which universities offer the program that you want to pursue in the U.S Apply to those schools Try to see if there are scholarships or financial aid available; apply to those as well Sometimes even if the students don’t actually need – even if your parents are rich – if they can send you to study in the U.S., we would still recommend that you try to apply for some form of financial assistance If that will be granted to you, if you’re competitive enough, why not? It helps to have savings also for your parents Visit the EducationUSA website – it’s EducationUSA.state.gov – and that has the five steps to U.S. study and it’s a wealth of information there All the steps are outlined It gives you links It gives you videos Testimonies of successful Filipinos or other nationalities who have gone and applied and have been admitted and are currently studying in the U.S DIEGO: And just to follow-up on that, there’s not anything that we’re looking for specifically on what you plan to study in the United States If you wanna study nuclear engineering in the United States, you’re welcome to do so If you wanna study poetry in the United States, you’re welcome to do so We’re not gonna really look at what you’re going to study so much as the other things I’ve mentioned The viability to pay for your education What you plan to do when you return So that’s more important than any actual subject you wanna study But, like I said, the United States has all kinds of different subjects you can study, so if you’re really interesting in something you think you can only study in America, make sure you mention that when you apply for your visa because that will make sense to us Like, why did this person wanna leave the Philippines, pay all this money and come all the way to the United States to study English? Well, that doesn’t make sense ’cause they have English here But if you have something like nuclear engineering or American studies or American political science, that’s a little different That makes more sense to our officers MS. VALDECANAS: Also, you can also contact me at the PAEF office We see advisees by appointment, so you can drop us an email at [email protected] or Facebook I think everybody is now on Facebook So that’s simply EducationUSA.Philippines on Facebook DIEGO: And I think one thing I also wanna mention is the minute you understand that you’ve been accepted to a U.S. university or college, that does not necessarily mean you get the visa That’s two separate things going on there But the minute you do get accepted, please apply for a visa You can apply for the visa long ahead of time before you need to leave, and that’s something we recommend so you don’t have to wait ’til last minute and maybe timing will be bad and you miss your flight or something like that So we recommend that the minute you get accepted, please apply for a visa, even if it’s months from when you need to leave MS. VALDECANAS: We have 120 days before your program start date before you can apply for your student visa DIEGO: And you can also apply for the visa, but you cannot go to the United States more than 30 days before your classes start MS. VALDECANAS: Exactly DIEGO: That’s a very kind of confusing rule However, you can also stay after you graduate for about 30 days And that’s the idea is where you come back to the Philippines where you have ties, where you have family and where you wanna continue your lives MS. VALDECANAS: Diego, I get this question quite a lot: Some of my students who I’ve seen at the center, they do have their B-1/B-2 visas and one question is, “If I apply for a student visa, what happens to my B-1/B–2 visa?” And the second is, “OK, with the F-1 visa I cannot enter the U.S 30 days prior to my program start date However, my family would like to take a vacation with me because I’ll be gone for a long time Can I enter using my B-1/B-2 visa and then how do I go about shifting to my F-1?” DIEGO: That’s a great question Yes, if you have a B-1/B-2 and you could also get an F-1 We will not cancel out the B-1/B-2 ’cause those visas are for two different purposes So you can travel to the United States more than 30 days before your classes start and when you enter the United States you would show them your B-1/B-2 visa You would say, “I’m’ going to go to Disneyland and then I’m going to go study.” However, once you decide you’re going to start classes under the F-1 visa you have to change your status
Now, you can do that two ways: one way is you pay a fee and you do that, if in the United States, at the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service Those offices are all throughout the country You can go to their website and you can schedule an appointment where you would pay the fee and switch your status Or you can decide, “Hey, I wanna go on a vacation to Canada or Mexico.” MS. VALDECANAS: OK, so you would have to exit the United States — DIEGO: You actually exit the United States and then re-enter on your F-1 visa So that’s what – those are two options available to them OK? I think we have an email question here “How fast is the application for student visas?” Well, we have a four or five-day waiting period for F-1 visas MS. VALDECANAS: That’s fast DIEGO: Yes, that’s rather fast So I still recommend you apply with plenty of time Don’t wait ’til four or five days before you need to get on the plane [LAUGHTER] That’s how long it takes for you to – once you schedule the appointment when you might be able to get in for an interview So that’s what you’ll have to do Once you get your visa approved, you’ll come to the interview and you’ll have an officer like me say, “Yes, we approve your visa.” Or maybe, “We can’t approve it for whatever reason.” Give us about a week because we need to print out the visa, put it in your passport and then we’ll send it to you via courier You don’t have to come back to the Embassy So just go home and relax, and study MS. VALDECANAS: So that’s about five days after the visa interview? DIEGO: Correct MS. VALDECANAS: OK DIEGO: Well, four, five days, five, seven days, depending on how busy we are. So – MS. VALDECANAS: OK Here’s another question by email “I already have a student visa but I want to go around different states for pleasure before my course starts Am I allowed to do that?” DIEGO: I think that – MS. VALDECANAS: Thirty days? DIEGO: Yes, you can do that MS. VALDECANAS: Can you do that? DIEGO: If you’re coming less than 30 days before your classes start, you can travel around the United States That’s part of the reason we want you to study in the United States is you learn about U.S. culture So you can do that if you already have a B-1/B-2, you can do what I suggested earlier and adjust status once you’re in the United States MS. VALDECANAS: But on an F-1 they can enter 30 days prior to their program start date, but they are not restricted to, let’s say, only enter the state where they will pursue their studies DIEGO: No, you can travel within the United States MS. VALDECANAS: Great DIEGO: Yes. Please do MS. VALDECANAS: So ask your questions by posting them on Twitter using the #thevisahour or on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/Manila.USEmbassy Tell us about how long have you been here for, I mean, interviewing the students? DIEGO: I’ve only been interviewing students since January when I got here And I – MS. VALDECANAS: Is there a particular scenario that’s stuck to you within – DIEGO: Not as great as the other first story That was a fantastic story Most of the interviews I have are very straightforward People wanting to study, getting to American universities that even I am like, “Wow, I’m not that smart.” So there are many smart students here that I envy in their knowledge But I haven’t had any great stories so far I’m just impressed by the level of knowledge that the students have in the Philippines MS. VALDECANAS: That’s good to know So all of you out there who are planning or interested in studying in the U.S., very impressive if you have all your documents, apply for your student visa and you’re good to go DIEGO: Yeah Here’s another question we got from Facebook “What if I’m already studying in the U.S and I want to shift – [NO AUDIO] No you do not You have to – once you enter on an F-1 you can shift to another university MS. VALDECANAS: OK DEIGO: You can shift to another school as well, but you still have to be considered a full-time student You can’t just decide, “Well, I’m just going to take one course a month and go work.” That’s not considered what the F-1 visa is for So you can change courses – maybe you found a better program, but you can – you’re allowed to change schools and subjects Maybe you wanna switch – you understand you didn’t like nuclear science or nuclear engineering , you wanna study poetry – MS. VALDECANAS: OK DEIGO: You can still do that on your F-1 [LAUGHTER] MS. VALDECANAS: All right So they can shift between programs DIEGO: Yeah MS. VALDECANAS: And not apply for another student visa DIEGO: No As long as they’re considered a full-time student, I think the caveat and the key is they go to a school and they continue studying full-time. So – MS. VALDECANAS: All right I’d like to let everyone know also that EducationUSA Center is not only located in Manila We also have seven satellite centers and all of them are American Corners We have two up north: Ilocos and Baguio City We have three in the Visayas: Bacolod, Iloilo and Dumaguete And down south we have Davao and Zamboanga So we have volunteer advisors there
If you’re not from within Manila area, you can very well visit the closest EducationUSA Center that’s available to you DIEGO: Yes We have another great question here “Can I bring my spouse and child while I’m studying – completing my studies in the U.S.?” Yes, you can, but you have to explain how you’re going to support those – your spouse and your child They’re not allowed to work while they’re there So it’s going to be very difficult for you to adequately explain how you’ll support a whole family there when you’re just a student It’s possible Maybe your scholarship will pay you something or you’ll have some other opportunities to make some money at the university Some universities offer some kind of jobs, but it would be – you can apply with your family It’s just you have to explain very well how you plan to live there. So – MS. VALDECANAS: All right So an F-1 visa holder can bring their family but will have to show proof that he or she can support the family while they’re in the U.S DIEGO: Correct, because most studies are multi-year, so you have to take into account how you’re gonna feed and house your family for two, three years MS. VALDECANAS: Plus insurance DIEGO: Plus insurance You have a lot of things you need to think about Those are things you have to really explain to the officer and you have to come and explain how you’re gonna do that So it is possible, and I have seen applicants do that, so – MS. VALDECANAS: All right Maybe a bit related to that, but I see some high school kids ready to go to the U.S These are 16-17-year-olds They’ve been admitted to a U.S. university and they’re ready to apply for a student visa, and now the question is can their parents accompany them for the visa interview? DIEGO: I’ve never seen that actually happen I would recommend that the parents apply as a B-1/B-2 I don’t – that’s just – MS. VALDECANAS: No, I mean for the interview – DIEGO: For the visa candidate? MS. VALDECANAS: Can the parents accompany? DIEGO: Yes, they can Yes, they can, especially if the child is a minor still Yeah, that’s allowed and they can come in and they don’t have to be applying for the visa themselves, but they can accompany the student Yes MS. VALDECANAS: So for more information about studying in the U.S., visit www.Fulbright.org.ph – www.educationusa.state.gov – and on Facebook we are EducationUSA.Philippines You can also follow us on Twitter EducationUSA_ph And Fulbright also has different educational exchange programs, so you can visit the PAEF website which is Fulbrigh.org.ph and on Facebook also Philippines.FulbrightCommission, and on Twitter, Fulbright_ph DIEGO: And I also would like to mention that I was also a study abroad student many years ago, when I was much younger, and I studied when I was in college, I went and did study abroad in England And I think just living in another country and going to a different school system that was in itself almost as important as the courses I took there And I think back to my time as a student there, and really I’m thankful that I took that opportunity I kind of pushed myself to do it and I didn’t have many friends doing it, but I thought I really need to leave my country to get a better understanding of the world, and I thought doing that and living in a different culture was very, very, very, very beneficial So just think of that as well as another benefit to studying abroad MS. VALDECANAS: Which is exactly the purpose of the different exchange programs that PAEF administers We have the Fulbright Graduate Student Program which allows Filipinos to go to the U.S and pursue a master’s or Ph.D We have a list of required documents It’s by open competition Applications for graduate studies under the Fulbright program happens every year A year in advance So we actually just closed the application period last week for the Fulbright Graduate Student Program for academic year 2014-2015 So for the academic year 2015-2016, watch out We will launch the competition period sometime in December, and we’ll have a deadline in late March of 2014 DIEGO: There’s another good question I think it’s more for you “What kind of scholarships are available, and what documents should I need to prepare to qualify?” MS. VALDECANAS: As I said, for the PAEF programs that we administer, it’s more for the graduate studies or graduate programs and it’s by open competition
The required documents are on our website and competition is usually December to March of each year DIEGO: One last question “I want to take my internship in the United States Can I go using a student visa?” MS. VALDECANAS: Internships? DIEGO: Internships That’s a very interesting question There’s different types of internships The most common one we see here in the Philippines is, yes, a J-1 type of internship and there are specific requirements for that So that internship is mainly for students who wanna work and learn like different technical skills or trade school, like culinary arts and things of that sort In order to do that, you will have to have studied in a university or a school that studied culinary arts for example, and you wanna go to the United States and study and work in a kitchen in the United States to learn how we cook in the United States That’s what you’ll have to do to apply for a J-1 You’ll have to show that you studied in the course that’s relevant to what you’re gonna do in the United States You’ll have to go through all the steps I explained earlier; you’ll have to pay the fees, pay the SEVIS fee as well, and you’ll have to show a training plan that explains what you’ll be trying to learn while you’re in the United States MS. VALDECANAS: So it’s not on an F-1 visa then? DIEGO: It’s not an F-1 visa But there are other internships available, but I’m saying the most popular in the Philippines is the J-1 type of visa which is mainly for interns MS. VALDECANAS: All right We have another question: “Can I work while I am a student in the U.S.?” DIEGO: Yes, and I think our previous guest told us how he did There are some jobs available to people and students, but that’s only from the University that you could accept that work Under an F-1 visa, you’re not allowed to go outside the university or the college and work at, say, the local restaurant or the local store It’s only jobs that the university has that you’re allowed to work at MS. VALDECANAS: And I believe not more than 20 hours per week DIEGO: That’s correct Right And the idea is of course if you’re going on a student visa, so you’re there to learn not work MS. VALDECANAS: Yes, not to work All right Last question: “I heard someone – I heard from “someone that after studying in the U.S “you have to stay in your country for two years Is that true?” Probably that someone you heard from went on a J-1 visa, which is an exchange visitor’s visa, and that has a restriction to have that J-1 holder return to the home country because, again, the purpose of an exchange program is actually to learn about other cultures and come back, bring back what you’ve learned and share it with your colleagues here – back here in the Philippines So minimum two years, I would say, but again, whenever I advise students, I would often let them know my thoughts about studying in the U.S and coming back, because it’s actually here in the Philippines where you’re needed – your expertise are needed You study in the U.S Learn as much as you want, and then come home and be the best that you can be here in the Philippines DIEGO: For those of you though who did not go on a program that was funded by the United States government, you can reapply for a visa and come to the United States, but that’s specific for those programs where the funding was financed by the U.S. government You must stay in the Philippines for two years as she explained MS. VALDECANAS: All right, for those questions we won’t be able to answer, please send them to [email protected] and also check out our website at www.Fulbright.org.ph DIEGO: And we also have our blog available about visas which we’ll have available on the website link. So – Thank you [INAUDIBLE] MS. DIALLO: OK Thank you very much to both of you We’ve learned an awful lot We’ve given you lots of different websites and ways to get information on the internet And these days – no! [INAUDIBLE] I’m in Michigan State land now So we’ve given you lots of websites and you’re young people so you always websites and all of that, but I do just wanna let you know that we have Con and we have our seven centers at different universities, so for example, in Baguio it’s at Saint Louis University, and you can get that information by going
to the PAEF website MS. VALDECANAS: That’s correct MS. DIALLO: So there are these seven advising centers around the Philippines, but everybody – I know you love the internet, but there’s also real, live people, OK? So again, www.Fulbright.org.ph – on Facebook, Manila.USEmbassy – we have Philippines.FulbrightCommission EducationUSA.philippines – those are all on Facebook Twitter USEmbassyManila And we have a visa blog VISASatifiedVoyagerblogs USEmbassy.gov/Philippines So there’s a lot of information online and we hope to bring you more alumni like M.J., because I really think hearing it from him is a lot better for all of us than hearing it from me or Diego or even Con because he was there Here, come over here with us again So here he is Here’s M.J Say hi M.J Thank you very much M.J.: You’re welcome MS. DIALLO: OK? I hope this was useful And this is just an introduction There’s a lot more information and we are so happy that you joined us and we hope you keep asking questions and we wish you the best of luck on your future studies in the United States or wherever they may be Thank you “Salamat po.” Thank you very much all of our guests and our technical team Thank you See you soon DIEGO: Bye