US born Citizen raised in Pakistan wants to study in United States

Question:

I’m a US citizen who has never been to the US (in Pakistan right now). I have no relatives or friends in the US. I’m 22 and I want to give US a try.
My question. How bad is the recession there in the US and which state is best for me as far as employment opportunities and living costs are concerned. I have an engineering degree, however from what I have read, getting a job (in the current financial climate) related to what you studied is hard enough with an American degree. Thanks

Answer:
Asalam-O-Aliaikum,

Your question needs a very detailed response and you will have lots of thinking to do before making a decision to finally move to the United States. Engineering is in demand and its usually easy to get job with engineering degree however people with American degree are preferred. It also depends what you are earning in Pakistan and what you are expecting to earn in United States.

If you have only done bachelors in engineering then you might need to do Masters before getting a good job. Regarding cost of living, mostly opportunities are available in bigger cities and cost of living is also very high there. New York, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois (Chicago), Virginia are states where mostly Pakistani live and work and these are also the most populated states, you can Google the cities where most people live in the United States to see where most opportunities lies.

If you don’t mind me asking, can you tell me your area of degree, I can see if I can provide you more specific details, also if you are a bachelor or married with kids because it make a huge difference.

Question:

Thanks for replying so soon.
I’ll graduate this summer with a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering. I’m not married. I’ve thought about it a bit and I think I have two options.

  1. Applying for masters at an American college. But this option is expensive, unless I get financial aid of some sort. Borrowing money for college doesn’t seem wise, given the number of people stuck in college debt.
  2. This one’s for Texas. Texas has a few great state schools that aren’t very expensive for in-state students. So the idea is to work in Texas (Houston sounds like a great place) for an year and then apply to schools as an in-state student.
  3. The seconds option would require me to get a job and residence as soon as I land. This seems like a tall order from over here, given I have no job experience.

Answer:

No problem, I will try my best to guide you with best of my knowledge. The best way to start is to do masters. I think what you can do is to contact few of these universities you are talking about and see if you will be eligible for instate tuition fee? residency of 12 month is required normally for in-state however in your case I am not sure whether you will be eligible or not.

Funding is normally available in engineering field, you just need to talk to a professor to see if he can fund you. I know a university “Virginia polytechnic institute and state university” commonly known as “Virginia tech”, its in Virginia (City Blacksburg) and very famous for engineering and technical subjects. Its in very small town so the cost of living is very low there. Students share accommodation and mostly cost of rent+utilities can be as low as $300 per month. If you are able to acquire funding then you will not be paying any fee + you will be paid with a stipend enough for your monthly expenses and even you can save some money (Stipend: $1000 – $1600 per month).

http://www.ece.vt.edu/faculty/area.html

Go through the link, find a field of your interest, contact the professors and see if they can fund you.

Getting a job is not easy with bachelors from Pakistan and it needs big investment, at-least a few month expenses keeping in mind that you might get a job in few months (around $1000 per month) + cost of one way ticket ($800) etc so I think its not the best option.

Final response:
I better start studying for my GREs then. Virginia tech seems like a nice school. I’ll look into it more.
I greatly appreciate the assistance you provided me. Thanks.

3 thoughts on “US born Citizen raised in Pakistan wants to study in United States

  1. Umair Ali Usman Reply

    Salaam,

    Great question and superb response. Just want to chime in a bit.

    Any university you wish to attend, the program mentioned above is called a ‘Graduate Assistant-ship’ it is a very common practice and many departments have funding available to hire students. Some universities might only pay you for up to 2 classes per semester and there is a requirement of you to work minimum hrs for that department, as well as a small stipend. As the Admin mentioned at VTech, the stipends can be anywhere from 1k-1600, Unfortunately in Chicago that is far fetched. Most universities will give you anywhere from 500-900 a month.

    A prime example that a friend of mine who was born in Pakistan and raised in Kuwait that studied in Illinois(http://illinoisstate.edu) She did her graduate assistant-ship with the Dormitory on campus as an RA(Residential Adviser) so not only did she get her classes paid for and a stipend for her work, she also received free housing since she worked in the dorms.

    Not everyone can have this great opportunity, its definitely worth a shot, Tons of engineering jobs in the states, but do you want mediocre pay? Also, once you bring your BA here and they evaluate it through the ECE(https://www.ece.org/) it might not be up to par. but then again, i don’t know much about that.

    To Admin : you have done a great job by making this site. I have just came across it today 6/29/2012. You have very good information and i love how you are helping the community abroad on in the US.

  2. PaKiBaDSha Reply

    Salaam,

    Great question and superb response. Just want to chime in a bit.

    Any university you wish to attend, the program mentioned above is called a ‘Graduate Assistant-ship’ it is a very common practice and many departments have funding available to hire students. Some universities might only pay you for up to 2 classes per semester and there is a requirement of you to work minimum hrs for that department, as well as a small stipend. As the Admin mentioned at VTech, the stipends can be anywhere from 1k-1600, Unfortunately in Chicago that is far fetched. Most universities will give you anywhere from 500-900 a month.

    A prime example that a friend of mine who was born in Pakistan and raised in Kuwait that studied in Illinois(http://illinoisstate.edu) She did her graduate assistant-ship with the Dormitory on campus as an RA(Residential Adviser) so not only did she get her classes paid for and a stipend for her work, she also received free housing since she worked in the dorms.

    Not everyone can have this great opportunity, its definitely worth a shot, Tons of engineering jobs in the states, but do you want mediocre pay? Also, once you bring your BA here and they evaluate it through the ECE(https://www.ece.org/) it might not be up to par. but then again, i don’t know much about that.

    To Admin : you have done a great job by making this site. I have just came across it today 6/29/2012. You have very good information and i love how you are helping the community abroad on in the US.

    • admin Post authorReply

      Thank you Pakibadsha for adding some more info and appreciating my work. Its about community work, little effort from everyone can make a huge difference and you have played your part. Thanks once again. May Allah bless you.

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