Saturday, April 23, 2011

Your personal MIT Email Id

One cool thing about getting into MIT (or for that matter any school) is that you get your personal email id - way before starting the program.

For Sloan Fellows, the program office sends out communication to download MIT digital certificates and create your MIT email id in the month of Feb. You will be able to access your email account (thru outlook web access) and use it connect with other students almost instantly. Pretty neat..!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

F1 Visa Interview Experience

I had my interview at the Chennai Consulate in India.

I had carried the following docs with me.
  1. I-20
  2. Sevis Fee Receipt
  3. MIT FCU Loan Approval Receipt
  4. Admit Letter
  5. Deposit receipt of $10,000
Pls note that this is not an exhaustive list of documents and depending on your background, funding option etc you may need more documents. I am no authority on the visa process, I am just sharing my interview experience. And by the way, I forgot to take my employment proof and graduation diploma. Though it was not asked but I should have carried it.

Visa Officer (VO) after seeing the my form online -

VO - oh so what are you going to do at MIT
me - I am going for a fellowship for a year
VO - what are you going to study
me - Business Management
VO - where are you working
me - told her my company
VO - your visa is approved and you will get your passport in a week
me - thank you
VO - have a good day
me - you too

While the process may vary for some people/nationalities/regions, the general view is this that MIT brand is very strong and usually there are no rejections if you are coming to a top school in US. I got my visa in flat 10 seconds. 

Post Admit Paperwork - Loan, Finance, Funding, Visa etc

I recd my admit letter in December'10. MIT Sloan Fellows has a fast track process where they select 10-12 (could be more) fellows first and inform them much before other candidates. Idea is to select the first few and then benchmark the rest of the class against this group. 

The process after you receive the admit letter goes like this - 

  • Dec/Jan
    • Receive admit letter/intimation of admission 
    • Pay a non-refundable deposit of $10,000 within 2 weeks. - Wire transfer is a better (cheaper) option than paying by credit card
  • Feb
    • Introduction to the host, who is a current Sloan Fellow to answer any questions, doubts etc
  • Mar -
    • MIT Federal Credit Union application for 2011-12 live on the FCU site. This is for students planning to take a loan from MIT FCU. They provide upto $170,000
    • Submit the online application for I-20. - MIT program office will send you information to log in to website, download certificates, create MIT email id (which I found was pretty cool). You have your id even before the course starts
    • Receive I-20
  • Apr
    • 1 Week Orientation at MIT
    • Apply for F1/F2 Visa 
    • Apply for Fall Housing on MIT Housing website

Housing and Visa process I will discuss in a separate post.