Top 7 things every International Student should know


Are you an overseas student attending a University in the United States? There are many things to consider in the process. Consult your adviser before choosing subjects, electives and courses. It is not necessary to graduate ahead of time. You might as well relish the extra time on your visa.

1. Find out about your housing assignment. There is a possibility that foreign students are not housed in comfortable locations. You can always ask for a transfer. It is practical to live within the campus during the first few semesters. It will be difficult to live far away since it isolates you from social life and meeting other students.

2. Carry your student identification at all times. Legal drinking age in the USA is 21 years old. State governments are quite strict about this policy. Never use a fake passport or identification. This is strictly against the law. Grab opportunities that will help you live a normal life in the US. Open a bank savings account. Buy a computer and apply for a mobile phone plan. This may be rigorous but you need to do this right away. The social security card may not be a requirement. However, this will make things easier for you.

3. Try to get a part-time job in the campus. The F-1 visa holder is not permitted to work outside the campus, retail stores or restaurants. However, you can always work as a language mentor, library or research assistant. This is a stepping stone in acquiring the social security card. With this card, you can apply for a driver’s license, purchase a car, open a bank account, or obtain a credit card.

4. It is not necessary to pay full prices since students (local or foreign) are qualified for discounts when it comes to online and in-store purchases. Apply for a student driver’s license. It is not necessary to purchase an automobile right away. Just make sure to pass the tests to facilitate your application for a license in the state where you reside and study.

5. Try to meet new acquaintances so you will get to know the American culture. College the best time to meet different kinds of people. The truth is international students seldom fraternize with American youngsters. They prefer to live and do not generally participate in school activities such as athletic events. The key is to meet and socialize with Americans and foreigners.

6. It is advisable to look for your country’s student association. You can also join a club to that is familiar with your country’s culture. You can look forward to support from this organizations especially during difficult times. However, see to it that you also mingle with American students and peer groups. Get to know the traditions in the US as well as the typical American way of life.

7. Make it a point to understand cultural differences. Strive to acquire several internship programs while you are in the university. This is allowed by US immigration laws for international students.

With Greenhandshake, you are assured of generous assistance from a platform that is anchored on trust, integrity and community. Visit the organization’s website at: for more useful information.

Son Hoang Nguyen – CEO/ Founder

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Community College: Affordable way to begin your dream


Two years college can help students improve English and academic skills, save money and get used to US education and American’s lifestyles. American community colleges offer associate programs at much cheaper entry tuition on freshman and sophomore level classes, often with the accepted credits of an easier transition to a traditional four year school to earn their bachelor’s degree.

The Pros of Community College

With a downturn economy and a high unemployment rate, community colleges are gradually becoming a main competitor against four year colleges, saving a lot of students thousands of dollars. International students must be taking advantage of this system of community college. They have the opportunity of renting apartment closer to school and even apply to work on-campus, while paying the reduced tuition, making education even more comfortable and affordable. For example, the University of Massachusetts- Boston estimates tuition & fees and living expenses for an international undergraduate student at $28,906 for the school year of 2015. If the students spend the first two years at Quincy College in Quincy, MA, and then 2 years at University of Massachusetts –Boston, the students still transfer with over 50 accepted credits and graduate with a University of Massachusetts degree, but saves over $20,000. Moreover, smaller class sizes that allow for more personalized instruction, a particular boon for international students who might worry about the culture shock, English level and the academic performance at a four year college. A flexible schedule at community college that provides both day and night courses for foreign students who must work 20 hours/week during their college experience. Last but not least, open admission policies at many schools that allow international students who did not perform well in high-school the opportunity to pursue a higher education.

Funding for Community College

When trying to pay for community college tuition & fees, international students first need to think about scholarships. There are a number of organizations that have scholarships available for international students; it’s just a matter of taking the time to find them. Scholarships can be awarded by your school of interest, or through another organization like a business, club or government. When you apply for admissions at your school of interest, ask your international student counselor or an admissions representative of any scholarship opportunities that they are aware of that you might be eligible for. They will be able to direct you to any scholarships your school offers along with outside awards that they are familiar with. You can either by yourself to start digging in through to learn what criteria or documents these are required for you to apply. These might include an essay, transcripts, outside activities awards, and letter of recommendation.

How to know your courses transfer?

Using Transferology tools, a national-wide network designed to help students explore their college transfer options. It helps save students’ time and money by providing a quick, intuitive way of getting their college transfer credit questions answered.

Students can add coursework, exams, and/or learning experiences to see how many schools in the Transferology network have matching courses that may be awarded when they transfer. They can also find out what their options are for taking classes over the summer (or whenever) at another school to transfer back to their current school by using the “Find a Replacement Course” feature.

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Greenhandshake – Recommended Community College

  1. Glendale Community College (CA)
  2. De Anza College (CA)
  3. Seattle Community College (WA)
  4. Shoreline Community College (WA)
  5. Houston Community College (TX)
  6. Bunker Hill Community College (MA)
  7. Northern Virginia Community College (VA)
  8. Bronx Community College (NY)
  9. Hillsborough Community College (FL)
  10. Community College of Philadelphia (PA)


Greenhandshake could be a truly helping hand in some certain areas during your community college experience. Stay with Greenhandshake for more valuable sources and explore the How it Works page ( so you can start immediately in posting your tasks.

Nghi Tran – CFO/ Marketing Manager in Vietnam

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How to Get Employment-Based Green Cards


One of the possible and perhaps less complicated means of obtaining a green card and eventual permanent residency in the United States is through the so-called employment process. It may be faster compared to family-based immigration. Many US employers are keen in sponsoring foreign nationals for potential employment. These companies have sufficient legal and monetary resources that can accelerate your application for immigration.

There are Visa preference categories which place emphasis on particular jobs or careers that can lead to permanent residency for applicants. The preference category classifies work according to education level required in accomplishing the job. You can go through the monthly Visa Bulletin of the US Department of State which spells out groupings for employment-based visas. The circular also gives details on general education prerequisites for each classification.

First Preference (EB1) is intended for individual with special skills or talents. These can be academic professors, scientists and researchers or top corporate executives. Second Preference (EB2) includes professionals with master’s degrees or higher programs. The person can be an expert in enterprise, science or the arts. The waiting time may be very brief and you can get the green card without many complications. Careers in said level are Accounting, Engineering, Financial Management, Chemistry, and Business Analysis.

Foreigners can always look at the Department of Labor O*Net site. It gathers statistics with reference to job markets as well as career field; educational background and experience; jobs that are always in demand; labor market requirements; and, prospective salaries or compensation. You must be ready to present meritorious achievements; contributions to a specific industry; recognition by governments, industries and peers; accolades; authorship of publications and papers; and, high earnings. It will help if you can show certifications highlighting 10 years or more of experience in this field. The services of an immigration lawyer will come in handy.

Third Preference (EB3) is designed for positions that call for a minimum of bachelor’s degree or its equivalent that justifies performance of the job. The method is generally quicker in securing a green card compared to the traditional immigrant visa. The drawback is there are also numerous applicants for this category so waiting time is relatively longer. The duration can be a minimum of four years and usually more than this period.

However, it is always possible to search for sponsoring employers for this Visa or a non-immigrant but work-authorized Visa. These are the L-1 or H-1B programs. It can be an alternative while you wait for a permanent employment-based green card. Your other options include Green Cards by way of making investments in business or entrepreneurship. On the other hand, Green Card through the process of self-petition are open to certain immigrant categories awarded a Waiver of National Interest or foreigners with extraordinary capabilities. Study the requirements posted at the website of the USCIS at (

With Greenhandshake, you are assured of generous assistance from a platform that is anchored on trust, integrity and community. Visit the organization’s website at for more useful information.

Son Hoang Nguyen – CEO/ Founder

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What are the advantages of getting an H-1B visa?

business man standing on ladder drawing growth chart on wall

This access to the Land of your Dreams is meant specifically for workers who qualify under the category of specialty occupation. The candidate can enter the US provided he or she has worked in this professional capability for six years.

This status is issued at the start for a three-year period and renewed for another three years. In other words, maximum period of living in the country for an H-1B (H-4) visa holder is a total of six years. Yet, it is possible to extend this privilege based on two scenarios.

The individual managed to file an application for Labor Certification (I-140 petition) at least one year before the six-year limit expires. The certification should also be pending before the applicant can extend the visa on a yearly basis. There will be no constraint on collective number of years of visa extension provided the immigration procedure is current.

I-140 petition of the visa holder has been approved but the immigrant visa number is not available because of retrogression. Then, that person is allowed to extend the H1B Visa based on three-year interludes further than the six-year restriction. In this case, there will be no 365-day condition. Specialty occupation workers are entitled to receive wages from their employers. There is also no need in maintaining foreign residence compared to other temporary visas. Based on legislation, the H1B Visa permits dual intent. Workers can also change companies under this condition.

Spouses and dependents for as long as these are below 21 years of age may be granted permission to enter the US and remain in the country while the H1B visa holder is authorized to work and stay. Children are also allowed to enroll in school on a full or part-time category even without an F1 Visa. You can also have more than one employer in the US and have dual intent or opportunity to formally request for permanent residence in the future. It is also possible to become an entrepreneur even if you are not yet a permanent or legitimate US citizen. Nonetheless, you will always need a USCIS consent to work for any enterprise even if you are its owner. Factors that USCIS will examine carefully are your capacity to pay and actual business requirements.

The H1B visa worker possesses rights while working in the United States. You will always be protected by immigration and employment laws even as a foreign employee. It is equally important to perform vital responsibilities and conform to the prescribed legal status while in this country. The worker has the right to be paid the wage that applies to the type of work and location. You must be given a copy of your Labor Condition Application which describes terms and conditions of the worker’s employment and functions. The working environment should also be free from any type of discrimination.

If you encounter any racial prejudice or bias, it is worth seeking assistance from

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