For most students, applying for enrollment to the University was nothing more than a little bit of paperwork. Questionnaires, FAFSA forms and essays culminated into what would eventually be acceptance and full-student status.
For others, the process does not stop there.
According to the University Office of Admissions, 2,017 students, both undergraduate and graduate, are international students — 8 percent of the total student body.@@http://admissions.uoregon.edu/@@
After being accepted and invited to study at the University, a prospective international student must apply for a student visa, which allows a foreign citizen to reside in the U.S. for academic purposes.
University sophomore Stephen Casey, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia,@@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&s=Stephen+Casey@@ said the notion that visas are difficult for everyone to attain is a common misconception.
“For me, the process was just paperwork and time,” Casey said. “I really had no problem getting my visa in order. My parents did most of the paperwork and I did the interview.”@@http://uoregon.edu/findpeople/person/Stephen*[email protected]@
The U.S. Department of State requests that students apply for visas prior to 120 days from the beginning of the students’ respective registration dates. For many international students who want to attend the University, this places a deadline on the first week in May.
Casey said that as long as deadlines are kept in mind, the process is basically stress-free. “I knew the deadlines and made sure to get my application in order in time.” Casey said.
Undergraduate student visas typically last four to five years, depending on the student’s chosen major. If a student wishes to switch majors or needs more time to graduate, the lengthy process must start all over again — resulting in a submitted application during the spring academic term.
Graduate student Almir Methadzovic believes the application process to be somewhat irritating and quite complicated. Originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia, Methadzovic has spent time in Croatia, Russia, Spain and Mexico throughout his life.@@wow, what a douche http://uoregon.edu/findpeople/person/Almir*[email protected]@
“The process for me was a real pain in the ass. There were questions asking if I had ever fought in a war, or if I planned on carrying out terrorist activities in the United States,” Methadzovic said.
At the age of 16, Methadzovic was displaced from his home by civil war in Bosnia and became a refugee, living in Croatia. After a friend recommended the University as an educational option, Methadzovic began the application process.
“Getting accepted and receiving my invitation to come study at the University was not very exciting to me because there was still so much to do before I would actually come study,” Methadzovic said.
An interview was still required for Methadzovic, which was held at the U.S. embassy in Zagreb, Croatia. “It was much like going to a bank. The man sat behind bulletproof glass and asked me questions,” Methadzovic said.
“Graduate students like me don’t have a lot of money, so the process is hard. You get questioned more, you must provide more paperwork, and it takes more time,” Methadzovic said.
Overall, Methadzovic believes his desire to study in the United States overwhelmed the complications and difficulty when applying. “The process is simple, but very complicated. It takes time but is worth the effort in the end,” Methadzovic said.